Long sleeve shirt to floaty tank

I bought this awesome (or so I thought) blouse at Rue 21 last week. 

Like most of you, I know their clothes are cheaply made and don’t really last long, but I loved that Chevron pattern and I can’t resist floaty chiffon tops, they always flatter my mom bod. I made the mistake of not trying it on, and when I got home it was WAY too tight in the shoulders and arms. It was like they graded up the body size but it definitely wasn’t made for my upper body. But I didn’t want to give up that easily, that pattern and those colors kept calling me from the corner of the room where I’d set it to return the next time I headed that way.
At first I didn’t know what direction to go with it so I seam picked those awful tight sleeves, then eventually ended up cutting off the yoke and unpicking the pockets. 

While staring at the remaining fabric it reminded me of the shape of my favorite summer tank top.

From here, I folded the blue tank from the center front and center back, did the same to the orange tank, and began cutting my new neckline and arm holes.

Now if you happen to follow along with my new blog, you’ll quickly come to find I rarely follow the “rules” of sewing. I seldom use patterns, and often use materials and notions in other ways than they were intended.

I realized I was out of interfacing for seams, but I happened to have a roll of hem tape meant for ironing a quick hem if you don’t happen to have a working sewing machine and like me your hand sewing skills are terrible. The plus side of using this is it gives nice crisp folds on hems when I’ve sewed it in then iron my seams. So I quickly pinned the tape on to the outside my neckline and sewed a 1/4″ seam. 

Then snipped along the seam, being careful not to clip my stitches.

I then folded it under twice and top stitched down, putting in a small pleat on either side of the v-neck to keep it laying smoothly. Next I folded down the back neckline 1/4″ and then 1″ and stiched it, creating a tube to slide the straps through the back. 

I went back to those too small sleeves and cut 2 strips from the longest part of one sleeve. I sewed them together at the ends and then once more down the long side (right sides facing together) to make a tube for my strap. I ended up wanting a thinner strap so sewed in closer to the fold and snipped off extra fabric with my pinking shears to keep fraying to a minimum. Then, using a safety pin I turned my tube right side out to finish my one long strap.

I quickly pressed my new seams and strap, then threaded the strap through the opening on the back of my new top. I gathered it along the strap, keeping the strap centered, and did a few quick stitches on either side of the back/arm holes to keep my gathers in place.

To finish off those arm holes I used the same faux interfacing, sewing a tiny 1/8″ seam. Again snipped the excess interfacing, turned the edges in twice, and top stitched again. Those curved arm holes can be tricky, so go slow, use lots of pins, and be sure your material isn’t gathering on its own in weird ways. I ended up with a few puckers and had to seam rip and do it again. Finally I pressed the new seams and did a little dance (I hate arm holes lol)

At this point I tried on my top and pinned the straps where I wanted them. I really wish I could afford a dress form, but such is life. Just be careful not to poke yourself with the pins while taking it back off like I did! 

I stitched down my straps where I pinned them, did a quick press on all my seams, and went to try everything on. There are a few things I wish I’d done differently but overall, I really love it. I even managed to con my fiance into taking a few pictures for me during the 5 minutes of sunshine we had all day! (Ignore my faces. I’m not used to the sun anymore haha, and he kept making goofy comments)

The best part to me is that longer back hem, it covers everything nicely in leggings 🙂

So what do you guys think? Do you have any clothes that fit weird, or don’t fit at all you could change up a bit?

As for me I need to finally go take care of laundry mountain. I’ve been having way too much fun sewing and have let it pile up around me in the meantime… Oops 🙂


Sweet little maxi skirt / cover up

This is one of my favorite sewing projects. Little girl dresses are so sweet and easy to make out of almost anything you have lying around. Today’s dress/maxi skirt was made of a women’s 2x Cami and a scrap from a women’s xs dress (this piece came from a dress someone brought me and asked me to make into a skirt.) I started with these…

First I decided on a length based off a pair of my daughter’s leggings. I wanted this piece to be multipurpose and she is in love with my maxi skirts, so I wanted it to brush the tops of her feet. I cut straight across the tank top about an inch above the length I marked (sorry, forgot to get pics of this step!) 

Next, I cut a piece of 1/4″ elastic​ to be the same width as the shirred tube top piece. I sewed the ends of the elastic together to make a tube, then marked the tank top piece and elastic in quarters and pinned it to the outside/ right side of the tank top. I did a wide zig zag stitch, pulling​ the elastic as I sewed, which gathered the tank top piece as I went. Now the tank top opening was gathered to the same size as the shirred piece.

I flipped the shirred tube piece inside out and slipped it over the now same size pink skirt piece (which should be right side out still), then pinned the edges together. 

Next I switched to a longer straight stitch and sewed the two pieces together with a 1/2″ seam, stretching it lightly as I sewed to make sure it had room to be put on and off over her head or hips. 

Finally, just flip the top right side out and you should have a sweet little tube dress/ maxi skirt. I used the lace hem of the tank top as my hem so didn’t have to do anything with that, and the shirred top was already done as well. All in all, this took​ around 20 minutes including measuring. I love a fun quick project with instant gratification, don’t you? And little miss just absolutely loves it

I did end up having to take the top in a bit, and might add some straps that can be tucked in in skirt mode, just because an active little miss might have a wardrobe slip, but I meant for it to be worn over her swimsuit when worn as a dress so I’m not sure I’ll do that. 
Hope you enjoyed reading along! Do you have any old clothes laying around that might be better as a summer dress for your little miss?