Monday, September 22, 2014

PRP: Oatmeal Lace Cardigan and Raspberry Linen Pants

It's another week of Project Run and Play and I am happy to have been able to participate in another week of the sew-a-long. Truthfully, when I sew anything for no reason at all, I am happy, but when I have the opportunity to enter it into something as fun as PRP, even better!

This week the challenge was the hand-me-down, or upcycling challenge. This is right up my alley as I have lots of clothes hanging around that need a little "reviving," just begging to be loved again.

I choose to sew for my oldest daughter Kylie. She is 6 years old and grows taller by the minute. She is in desperate need of warm weather clothes that fit. I scrounged around in my closet and after a few days at the sewing machine, I came up with this:

These were fast sews and it shouldn't have taken me several days to whip them up, but as many of you know, life with a baby in the house is full of interruptions. Especially a baby that is hardcore into cuddling and just loves to take his naps in your arms and not in his crib. Thankfully he makes up for it with cuteness and I have agreed to keep him... for now!

See, his cuteness is totally worth it! This is Emmett at 10 months old.
I also had originally planned on making a different shirt. I had a black linen dress I was going to use and Kylie just so happened to request a black shirt with butterfly sleeves with a huge butterfly on the front of the shirt. Not my style at all, but she's the one I'm sewing it for, so I agreed to her very specific request.

I sewed the shirt she requested from my old black dress but just didn't fall in love with it. I had to make something else for PRP. I will upload pictures of the crazy butterfly shirt shortly, but I don't want to distract from my real submission.

So not only did I have a clingy baby and I sewed a shirt I wasn't going to use after all, I decided I wanted to dye the shirt I ended choosing to recycle. I settled on tea dying so that the cost could go towards my grocery budget and not my sewing budget, haha!

I had this lovely ivory lave cardigan from Old Navy, until one day Jason washed it with something red. It came out a very light and dingy color of pink. I still wore the shirt from time to time and for some reason received compliments on it. Which was mind boggling to me because the color was just awful, like a mix between beige and pastel pink and the ivory buttons were clashing horribly. They must have felt pity for me wearing it and felt like they should say something nice. See for yourself:

What was I thinking, photographing this sweater against this similar shade of concrete? 

It needed a little livening up. So I died it with very strong tea. While I was at it, I threw in another one of my once ivory sweaters that had a little laundry mishap. Now I had something "new" too. Score!

I was extremely happy with how the tea dye turned out. I will share my experience for anyone else who wants to try it out in a blog post later this week.

For Kylie's cardigan, I simply wanted to size down the original sweater. A true "hand-me-down" without waiting for her to actually fill it out.

Since the sweater had raglan style sleeves, I pulled out Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop's Grand Slam out of my collection. I love that this pattern has two different fits (athletic or slim) per size and also a dress option. Plus I just love raglan tees.

You can tell in the photo that I had to do some adjusting in the shoulder area. I also added a tad bit of length as Kylie is a tall girl. I did a size 5 for width and 7 for length and it amazes me that her pattern piece is taking up most of my shirt. Crazy!

And here it is sized down to a perfect Kylie size. I also glad to be rid of a dingy sweater from my closet, who knows how many more times I would have dared to wear it out in public again?

Now as much as I love that cardigan, I just have to admit that I love the pants even more. I took the most hideous dress out of my closet and made a perfect fitting pair of raspberry linen button down skinny pants. If you are thinking that something that cute couldn't come from something ugly, well let me give you exhibit A:

Are you laughing? My husband was when he come home for lunch to find me wearing this and handing him the camera. Someone had given this to me several years ago, insisting it was my color and I took it graciously. Not only were they being kind in playing the hand-me-down game themselves, but it was a beautiful color, it was linen, it had amazing buttons. I knew I could repurpose it. I know this person intended me to wear it as is, but what they don't know can't hurt them!

I knew I wanted to use those buttons down the seam of one of the pant legs.I also was hoping that I could make them into a skinny legged pants. I knew that might have been wishful thinking as these were linen without any stretch.

Still I wasn't going to give up on my dream (yes, I dreamed about it!) without trying. I pulled out my Kudzo Cargo Pants pattern from Willow & Co and created a muslin with the skinny version. I wanted a pair of pants without a back yoke and without front pockets so that I could piece the front and back together to create one pattern piece and place it over the buttons in the dress. I had to alter the pattern very slightly as it had front pockets but it was a simple fix. 

After trying on the muslin, I was so excited! My daughter was thin enough in the hip area that she could easily wear skinny pants without stretch. With the exception of needing to add some length in the rise area, the muslin fit perfectly and I was ready to cut into my dress. 

I simply unpicked my muslin down the inside leg seam and so that I now had a combined front and back leg pattern piece. The muslin was now my pattern and I simply placed the seam where the front and back joined right over the buttons in the front for one of the legs. 

The finished pants, with faux fly, flat front and elasticized back:

I know that they are so simple, but with the color, buttons and fit, I love them so much.

Now you may have also noticed a lace scarf in the first picture. That was seriously a one seam, one minute project. And it's not really a hand me down, because I'm keeping it for myself, haha!

I had this beautiful stretch lace scarf that my sister brought back from France from studying abroad. We grew up in France, so the scarf was extra special to me. But I wasn't great at styling the scarf. I felt like it just didn't look right no matter which way I wore it. Here it is just plain, for perspective's sake:

Finally while sewing Eve's scarf in the last PRP challenge, I realized I would wear it if it was an infinity scarf. I literally just gave the scarf a few twists, and sewed up one seam attaching the short ends together, and tada:

I love it now and will even let Kylie borrow it from time to time. Maybe! At least for this outfit.

And there you have it, a new outfit for Kylie, from my closet to the sewing machine to her closet.

If you are wondering about that apple, I took these pictures last week when we took a trip to an orchard to do some apple picking. The whole family had a great time and I will post some pictures of the rest of the visit later. I want to be better at chronicling the fun memories we are trying to make during these childhood years.

In the meantime, I leave you with this picture of Kylie drinking her apple cider slushie while looking very stylish.

Update: If anyone is interested, click here for my blog post on tea dying. It's so easy!


  1. Very cool! I love the side buttons on the pants!

  2. Very awesome outfit. I love it. The color on the pants is gorgeous and I love the buttons down the side.

  3. Those pants are such a perfect refashion--way to turn something terrible into something fantastic! Love it.

  4. Those pants are amazing, what a great idea!

  5. Very creative idea to put those buttons down the side of the pants. I like it!
    Deborah @ Sew Much To Give

  6. We are raglan sleeve fans too! Your powers of upcycle are awesome!

  7. so so cute! That outfit turned out darling!

  8. Very creative to use the buttons on the side of the pants!

  9. I want that whole outfit! Love that cardigan!!! ~Elizabeth

  10. Those pants are awesome! Really great job

  11. Thank you all for the kind words! This is why I love PRP, so much positivity!