Tag Archives: beautiful

RE-FASHION: Bow Backed Shirt

I don’t know about you, but by the time the end of April comes around I get really really sick of my wardrobe. Perhaps this feeling is due to the beautiful weather or just a craving for something as fresh and crisp as the Spring breeze. In years past, this feeling would result in a nice little Spring shopping spree on my part, but since I will not be buying any new clothing for the entire year I needed to find a different solution. That solution, my friends, is a dandy little re-fashion!

My personal style is very comfortable and plain. I wear a lot of neutrals and greys, jeans and leggings, and love to accessorize with scarves and special details. This shirt is the perfect fit for that! It is a very standard long-sleeve with a touch of something special in the back. For some reason, I have recently been obsessed with adding special details to the backs of shirts. I think it is so under-rated and special. It’s like a good mullet–all orderly in the front but a party in the back. Classy.

The inspiration and idea for this re-fashion came from Donatella from inspiration & realisation. She has a beautiful blog about her sewing and fashion adventures. She finds a lot of great inspirations from some of the biggest (and most expensive) designers and then re-creates their pieces in her own way. This shirt was inspired by a t-shirt design by Red Valentino. Sure, it may not have the designer label but it is oodles and oodles of dollars cheaper and can be completely recycled (depending on where you get your supplies). I’ll admit that I re-fashioned this shirt three-or-so months ago so I will do my best to reiterate the steps. If anything is unclear, feel free to reference Donatella’s post for further clarification or ask below.

As mentioned above, my version of this shirt was made of completely recycled materials. The grey long-sleeved shirt came straight from my closet and the black meshy back panel came from a thrifted shirt. You could also use fabric scraps from projects past. If you decide to head to the thrift store to find some workable pieces, look for large pieces of fabric that are suited to your needs. You may perhaps consider using different colours or types of materials.

  • a t-shirt or long-sleeved shirt that fits you
  • meshy fabric (large enough to create both a large back panel and a bow)
  • scissors
  • tape measurer
  • pen
  • pins
  • thread (that matches your t-shirt colour)
  • sewing machine
Let me first note that this will require the use of a sewing machine. My mother’s sewing machine and I do not get along (at all) so I opted to have my Mama help me with the actual sewing part. If you are unexperienced with a sewing machine, just note that this may be a bit of a challenge. But do your best and persevere because I’m sure it will turn out great!
ONE: Gather your materials. TWO: Lay out your t-shirt or long-sleeved shirt so that the back is facing up. Using a tape measurer or ruler, find the centre of the back. From the centre point, measure 4-6 inches down from the top (depending on the size of your shirt) and place a mark. Cut a straight line up the back, ensuring to leave the 4-6 inches at the top un-touched. THREE: Using your pins, pin the edges under creating a symmetrical triangle. FOUR: Turn the shirt inside out and cut out a triangle of the black meshy fabric that is slightly larger than the triangle of the t-shirt or long-sleeve shirt. Pin the black meshy fabric in place. FIVE: Turn your shirt the right way out again. Using your sewing machine, sew the black fabric into place on the t-shirt or long-sleeve shirt. Once it is sewn on, cut out any additional scraps from the inside. Creating the Bow: I can’t really give you step-by-step instructions for creating the bow. I personally used the sleeve of my black meshy shirt. I randomly scrunched the centre, sewed, wrapped fabric here and there and somehow came out with this bow. I then safety pinned the bow onto the back of the shirt and tried on the shirt to ensure that it was placed in an appropriate position. When I was satisfied, I hand sewed the bow onto the back of the shirt and voila!
There you have it! As I said before, this shirt can be customized in a variety of ways. Perhaps you could make the back panel out of a floral fabric or a bright colour. It can be dressed up (with a pair of skinny jeans and black boots) or could be worn very casually (with some leggings and cargo boots). It really is a fun and practical piece to create and have!
Always remember that there are ways to update your style and be economically and environmentally friendly. Thanks for stopping by!
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

DIY: Elbow Patch Cardigan

I am very pleased and excited to finally be able to share this DIY fashion project with you. I have had this project completed for months but I just couldn’t find the time to get out and take some darling photos of it. Luckily, yesterday graced me with some beautiful sunshine, a beautiful model, and a little bit of free time. I am pleased to share with you this very easy and cute DIY Elbow Patch project.

Ever since elbow patches hit the stores on cardigans, sweaters, shirts, and blazers I was instantly in love. But I could never find the perfect sweater in the stores that matched my budget. For the past four months (since the dawn of the new year) I haven’t been buying any clothing so I decided that I needed to improvise. The original idea came from A Beautiful Mess where they made adorable little heart elbow patches. I opted to stay away from the hearts and instead just adapted their process to create standard elbow patches. The cardigan was one that I already had but found that I wasn’t wearing it very often. However, I can honestly say that since I have given it a little makeover, I have worn it a lot more!

I think that my favourite thing about this re-fashioned sweater is that it is completely recycled. For the patches, I used fabric that was thrifted and the cardigan itself was one that was straight from my closet. For this reason, your re-fashioned sweater will be uniquely original! The actual process takes only half an hour to do. Would you like to give it a try?

  •  an old or thrifted cardigan or sweater
  • a scrap of thrifted fabric
  • a pen
  • a piece of thin cardboard
  • pins
  • a needle
  • scissors
  • thread that matches your fabric scrap

The process of creating these DIY Elbow Patches is really quite simple. It does require a little bit of hand sewing and a little bit of patience. Before I begin writing out the process, I would just like to apologize for the lack of pictures demonstrating the process. Since I completed this project so long ago, I accidentally deleted the “process” photos. However, I am confident in the fact that this project is easy enough to do without the photos. If you really don’t understand something, just ask or reference the original post from A Beautiful Mess.

ONE: Put on your cardigan and mark where your elbows are when they are bent. Place an X directly on the sweater. The patches will cover this area once they are sewed on.

TWO: Using your piece of cardboard, draw an elbow patch in your desired shape. I used a basic oval shape but this can be customized in any way. Cut out the shape and lay it on one sleeve of your cardigan or sweater to ensure that it is an appropriate size. When you are happy with the size and shape of your patch template, trace it twice on to your fabric scraps. Cut out the fabric patches.

Note: It does make a difference which type of fabric you use to make your patches. The fabric I used had a bit of stretch and did not fray when it was cut. This is important because I did not need to take into account a hem and instead could just sew the exact shape onto my cardigan. If you really want to use a fabric that frays, take into account that you will need to hem the edges and therefore it will take a little extra fabric, care, and time when sewing the patches on.

THREE: Place the patches onto your cardigan so that they cover the X’s you marked earlier. Ensure that both patches are placed evenly. Once they are in place, pin them into position. Carefully try on your cardigan to make sure that the patches are placed in the right position for your arms.

FOUR: Thread your needle and begin to sew one of the patches on the cardigan by sewing around the edge of the patch. Repeat for the second patch, ensuring that it is still in an appropriate position.

FIVE: Wear your new elbow-patched cardigan!

Well, there you have it, dear friends. Thank you for reading through. I would love to see some of your DIY Elbow Patch creations if you dare to take it on. It really is a great way to add your own custom touch to some of your clothing, especially if you are getting tired of your boring wardrobe (this always happens to me!).

I would just like to say a very special “thank you” to my lovely sister for modelling for me. Isn’t she a beauty?!

For the record, the whole “no-clothes-buying-challenge” is going great! I am excited to share even more posts very soon with some of the creations that have resulted from it. Stay posted for even more DIY posts coming your way. Many crafting, sewing, knitting, and baking blessings on these beautiful sunny days!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,