Thursday, 5 January 2017

Upcycling and fun with knits

I started to feel stressed in life and the result was a bunch of knit projects and stress-free upcycling.  It was great to get these things taken care of! 

#1: the success
Mission tank top with stretch lace binding.  I widened the straps a bit by eyeing my pattern (I've done this lots of times but never put it to paper) and just zigzagged the lace on.  The ribbing I used for this tank is really heavy, I think it's rayon, so I'm not sure it's going to last long before it stretches too much, but it's a perfect sized, comfy tank top.  I'll keep an eye out for thin rib knits to make more of these, because this is something I often buy to wear under other layers.  Because I'm nice, I sent it to a friend who also wanted some layering tank tops.

that's dirty camera spots, not dirty shirt spots

#2: The Mission dress upcycle:

This started out being a size XL Roxy surfergirl dress - with triangle top and an empire waist and it went on forever, because I guess Roxy surfergirls are all 6 feet tall...and I upcycled it into a Mission.  I wasn't sure how things would go with the ruffles - in fact, I started to suspect quite early that it would be a total fail.  I was curious if I could get the ruffle in the right place to add some volume to the skirt of the dress without it being right on my hips.  And in the end I rather like it although I'm not sure I totally succeeded - I went into this project expecting nothing, which can sometimes be really freeing!

#3: selfless upcycle:
My cousin asked me to upcycle some old sweaters into Plantains.  Here's the first one (the second will be for another Hawaii trip, I suppose...) It's a size 38, no modifications except to use the original cuffs and the neck binding is the original binding cut narrower.  I cut the bottom to the plantain pattern, and then hemmed it with a zig zag which created the ruffle - and my cousin says she loves it!  Here's to lucky design features!

#4: selfless tees x2.
These aren't too interesting as I cut them in Munich last April, so they are exactly the same as versions I made for the same two friends last year : )  I guess I'm on track to give my friends one shirt per year!  The men's shirt is the Strathcona by Thread Theory, and the girl shirt is a Briar, size S, with the high-low hem made more subtle.  In this interlock knit the Briar turned out super nice and I'm considering making me some!

Yes these are mostly fold marks from being packed for nearly a year...

#5: Desigual dress to skirt
I love this dress.  Of course I forgot a before picture.  Ebay has provided instead:

I got the dress in Barcelona when I ran the Barcelona marathon, and so my memories of it are tied up in the pain of that terrible terrible race course, haha.  But the dress, beautiful!  It also had this stupid overlapping triangle top, and it was really tight.  Like, I gave up wearing a bra, no matter how skinny I've gotten those green stripes under the bust were super tight.  And no matter how I tried, I just don't feel covered going out wearing two triangles over my chest, unless I'm at the beach. (In which case no problem, actually all my favourite swimsuits are nothing but two triangles...)  So what to do?  I decided to try and make it a skirt with a fold over waistband.

Lo and behold - it worked!!!  I cut it across just above my hips and left the zip in place, thinking it would help to get it on (doesn't) and made a tube of my green merino, and just sewed it on with a lightning bolt stitch.  I had to shorten the green initially cause my guess of the circumference was wrong, and I was mainly lucky that I can squeeze the dress over my hips - but I didn't want to cut lower and lose the pattern.  Anyway this is a magical save as I love the skirt. 


  1. really cute!!!
    great to see upcycling

    1. Hi Mary! Thanks! It is really a different world compared to sewing things from scratch but so much fun.