Tulle Heart Shirts

Just want to share some new shirts I did for the girls.

finished hearts shirts

The design is Bunch of Hearts by Hang to Dry. I hope you like their designs as much as I do because I have bought a lot of them and I am sure they will keep popping up on my blog! This particular design, using tulle and an unconventional applique process, was outside of my previous experience but I carefully studied the process photos they have posted online and came up with this.

machine sewing hearts shapes

Stitch out the hearts.

pile of hearts

Cut them out.

hearts layed out on shirt

Arrange them on shirt.

Cut off the bottom points to help keep down the bulk of the extra tulle when attaching them.

sewing on hearts

Attach the hearts.

hearts up close

Cut out the top of the hearts and fluff!

I think I did it right. Maybe? I really wish I had larger then a 4″ x 4″ embroidery area for a bigger impact. Sigh… one day. They are cute none the less and the girls love to wear them!

girls in shirts


Old Shirt Rework

So I figured it was about time to do something for me. I have been doing a lot for me lately actually, just not with my sewing machine. I have been restricting my calories, going to a personal trainer twice a week, doing cardio the other 5 days, and recently ran my first (and second) 5K. Needless to say, my clothes from last summer no longer fit. Our days are getting warm and I need some new clothes! I had two bags of my old summer clothes to donate and then it dawned on me that there was tons of free fabric in there!

My plan is to turn those old clothes into new ones and I decided to start with this shirt.

original shirt

This was my fat shirt. It hid my “twins plus one” tummy and it was huge and shapeless and made me look bigger then I was. It was my go-to, hide my body, comfort shirt last summer. I hate it. Well, hated it. It looks a bit different now!

I decided I wanted a sleeveless top. I got to show off these new arms of course.  So I cut them right off!

sleeves cut off

Then I cut the shirt down the sides…

cut down sides

and pinned off a good two inches on either side and tried it on. It fit in the waist but I realized I needed to cut the shoulder seams and shorten them as well.

cut shoulders

I used another tank top to figure out the shape. I cut along the lines about an inch away in order to include a seam allowance.

using shirt as guide

Then I sewed it up. I tried to make the shirt fitted but the hips bubbled out oddly. Sorry for the blurry photo. It really bothers me but I cant “unmake” the shirt to take a new one!

bubble hips

Instead of ripping the seams, I decided it would look nice If I ruched them. I grabbed a couple of 2 inch strips of ¼” elastic and sewed them to the inside hem while stretching the elastic at the same time.

ruchingruching done

It felt pretty amazing to be able to turn an old shirt I hated into something new that I can enjoy.

finished top

If it ever warms up here again, I will try to remember to add a picture of me wearing my new summer top. Every time I put it on, I will be reminded of not only my new found love of sewing but of why I needed to remake the shirt in the first place!

Knit Nitwit

finished knit shirtsWell it was bound to happen. Things were going too smoothly in my sewing adventures. I guess I needed a reality check. I kept reading blog entries about sewing with knits being difficult but they always ended with something along the lines of “don’t be scared… go for it!” So I decided to give it a try.

I wanted to make some little boy clothes since I had only focused on clothes for the girls so far. The weather was cold and my little man needed more long-sleeve shirts. I decided to use the shirt tutorial from MADE since the pant one I did recently was successful. I went out and bought three different colors of solid knits from Joann’s and set to work.

First, I needed to create my own pattern from a existing piece of clothing. I decided to sacrifice a 24-month onesie. I cut it apart and traced the pieces on some large art paper already scribbled on by my kids.

onsie cut up

I then added a ½ inch seam allowance to the traced images. Labeled them and cut them out.


Then I cut my pieces of fabric out.

cut fabric

Sewed the ribbing on.

neck ribbing sewn on

Looks good so far, right?…Ugh.

First, after beginning to assemble my sleeves, I realized they were too narrow at the wrist. I did have to fudge the long sleeve pattern because my onesie was short sleeved so I redrew a new pattern that I hoped would result in a better fitting sleeve.

new and old sleeve

I then re-sewed the newly-cut long sleeves and assembled the rest of the shirt. It was difficult to sew the sleeve to the shirt because it was too narrow to fit even the free arm but I got through it by placing the entire shirt on top of the machine’s bed and sewing slowly so I wouldn’t catch extra shirt material in the stitches.

sewing sleeves on

I then hemmed the bottom, turned it right side out, and tried it out on my son. Pretty cute huh?

calder with shirt on

That doesn’t seem too bad? Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the part where AFTER I made a second shirt for him, I had to stretch it to fit over him (I had tried to make it slimmer in places) and I heard the stitches snap. That is the moment I realized you can’t just use any ol’ straight stitch to sew up a knit garment. So, I disassembled TWO shirts, researched what stitches to use and sewed them back together again!

I tried two different stitches on the sleeves to determine which stitch to use on my fabric. For the top sleeve, I used a stretch stitch and the bottom is a zig zag stitch.  Since the stretch stitch caused more puckering, I went with the zig zag.

sleeve stitches

Before I finished sewing the shirts together, I had adjusted my zig zag a bit more and ended up with a pretty clean stitch that still gave enough so as not to break when stretched.

As for the bottom hem, I found a straight stitch with a long stitch length worked just fine.

I thought I was in the clear until I did this…

sleeve sewn on inside out

Yep, I sewed that sleeve on inside out! Oh well. I ripped that sucker off and sewed it on correctly.

So now I have two long sleeve shirts finally finished and it is 70 degrees outside. Hopefully, he will get to wear them at least once before he outgrows them!