Posts tagged sewing

Potato print pillowcase pants

Good day, crunchies and crunchettes!  Today I have another exciting upcycling, sewing machine project to share with you. It’s easy, it’s fun, and best of all, it’s pants!



This make-your-own-pants tutorial from The Guardian’s website has been on my ‘must try this’ list for a while, and when I had a load of pillowcase fabric left over from another project, I seized the chance for a bit of underwear craftage. The only problem was, the pillowcases were plain white and peach coloured, not nearly fun enough for new pants. So, I decided to unleash my inner 5-year-old and make a potato stamp. Huzzah!  After all, what’s the point of new underwear if it’s not fun?

Please do read The Guardian’s tutorial for more comprehensive instructions.  I made the polka dot pair pretty much according to their plan, but then I’d run out of knicker elastic and I wasn’t finished playing, so I made a second pair a bit differently.  So, I’ll give you a quick how-to for my improved Potato Print Pillowcase Pants.

You will need:

  • fabric
  • fabric paint and paintbrush (I used Dylon fabric paint)
  • a potato, knife and chopping board
  • sewing machine and thread
  • shirring elastic

TAKE HEED! It’s easiest to use stretchy fabric. I did not, and the polka dot pair came out way too small (hence the ribbon ties).

First of all, cut your fabric to shape. You can use an existing pair of pants as a pattern. If you do this, think about how stretchy your fabric is. (this is where I went wrong). If you’re using fabric with no stretch, like me, it’s easiest just to measure your hips and figure out the shape for yourself. Warning: they will look enormous!


All cut up and ready to beautify

Next, get your stamp ready. I used a new potato, since my design was so small. I cut the potato in half and nuked it in the microwave for 30 seconds to dry it out a bit. Trust me, don’t cook it for any longer than that or you’ll have a delicious-smelling, mushy stamp.

Draw your shape on, and carve it out carefully with a knife.


I made a cute heart. Awww.

Then, just use a brush to apply some paint to your stamp, and get printing! When the paint is dry, iron the fabric according to the paint instructions, and…

you’re ready to make some pants!


Look how pretty.

First, I ironed flat and pinned all the hems. This took quite some time, but it was worth it. If you’re using jersey fabric you don’t really need to bother with this step. You lucky thing.


Nest, pin the side and bottom seams. This would be a good time to try the pant-shaped-things on, to see if you’re on the right track, and adjust accordingly. When you’re satisfied, go ahead and sew the seams.

Almost finished! Are you excited? I am!

Finally, load the bobbin on your sewing machine with shirring elastic. Sew around the waist and legs, and you’re done!

Tip! Make sure you sew with the printed side facing up, or you’ll end up with the elastic showing. I made this mistake a couple of times, and believe me, I do not like to unpick and re-do when I’m sewing.


New pants!



I think I’ve found my new go-to craft for all fabric scraps.  Beware, fabric, lest ye be turned into pants!


Put your sexy new pants on and dance around the house like this.


Before you go, I want to give you a sneak preview of a SUPER EXCITING EPIC MEGA-PROJECT I’m in the middle of right now.  It should be done in the next few days, and I won’t give you any hints other than telling you that my fingers are pretty darn sore, but here’s a close-up to whet your appetite.


What can it be?!

 Speculate away, my friends.  Until then, have fun making your pants!



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Easy top / skirt

With less than two weeks to go until my move to sunny Savannah, I am in need of some pretty, summery clothes.  Here’s a really simple way to deal with this problem.

I saw this turorial on Sew Like My Mom a while ago, and have been dying to try it.  It is so well-explained, and looked so easy that even a haphazard sewer like me could probably do it.

Crunch time came on the day I made the half-and-half dress. I was on such a high after having actual sewing success that I just kept going, and made this top in the same afternoon!  I mentioned before that I had loads of material left over from the original dress that I hacked up – well, here’s where a lot of it went.  I present, the Top Skirt.


Sorry for the terrible mirror shot…

The tutorial over at Sew Like My Mom explains exactly how to do it, so I won’t bother.  I did make a few modifications though.  Firstly, I didn’t simply make a skirt out of an old t-shirt like she did.  Oh, no.  I decided to go one step further and make a combo top AND skirt!  (*gasp*)

I basically just added removable straps.  It was very easy.  I just took some scrap fabric and sewed 4 loops to the inside of the top, like this:


Make sure you put them a couple of inches below the top edge, or they will peek out.

The original dress happened to have a tie around the waist, so I just cut it in half, then trimmed a bit off each end to make the loops.  I attached a couple of old bra strap hooks, and voila!  The cool thing about the loops is that I could change up the straps to whatever I fancy, maybe a pretty piece of ribbon or something.

So, my spangly new garment can be worn as a strapless OR bestrapped top, OR a skirt, like this:


Fancy, right?

Also, it looks seriously cute by itself, like a tiny toddler dress.



When I’m finished with it I could find a 3-year-old to give it to.

So, there you have it – an easy and fun way to make something new.

Happy crunching!


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Hack it up, patch it up.

Well.  I have been living here in visa limbo at my parent’s house for a couple of months now, and the ‘change one thing every month’ project has, needless to say, completely fallen apart.  For now.  I will begin again, and hopefully cajole Adam into it too, once I get to the US.  Still waiting on that visa, but the good news is that we do at least have a place to live!  We’re getting there.

With nothing else to do all day except wait to hear from the embassy, I have been crafting with unprecedented ferocity.  I’ve been knitting and crocheting like a demon, and (most excitingly) playing with my mum’s sewing machine!  Sewing is fun but very hit-and-miss for me, since I have something of an avant-garde approach to it.  I generally dive in headfirst without bothering about things like measurements or precision.  Sometimes it even works!  So now we come to the point of today’s post – a fabulous dress I made by hacking up some other stuff and sticking it together again.

These kinds of dresses have been around for a while now, and my feelings about them have followed the same pattern as my feeling towards most trendy things: that’s weird / what’s the point of that / hmmm that one’s nice / man they’re cool / I WANT ONE.  The penny finally dropped when I was in H&M a few weeks ago (they have loads at the moment, like this one).

I looked at them and thought, 25 quid?  No chance.  It’s just a top and skirt stuck together right?  RIGHT? So I decided to make my own, and took myself to the nearest charity shop.  Here’s how to do it.

First of all, you obviously need 2 parts.  I liked the fabric of this dress and chose a plain vest top.

ImageApologies for the terrible picture.  Anyway – the dress was a fiver and the vest was a pound, I I think.  So far, winning.  I also got some really wide elastic to use as my waist band.

Next, I separated the dress into top and bottom halves.  It turned out that the skirt was so big that I only needed to use half of the fabric for my skirt (I made an adorable top out of the other half!).

Thirdly, I  tried the vest on and pinned my elastic waistband to it at belly button level. Then I sewed the elastic to the vest, before trimming the rest of the vest away.  Sew first, cut second, to avoid horrible mistakes and it being too short.  Finally, repeat the process by sewing the skirt to the bottom edge of the elastic.  Simple!

Here’s my finished dress.


Success!  It cost me maybe £8, and I had plenty of fabric left from the original dress to make other stuff.

Yay, sewing.


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