Up-cycled Toddler Dress

A cute picture of a little girl’s dress made from an up-cycled men’s dress shirt was floating around Facebook a few weeks ago.  Someone at church asked if I could make it for her daughter.

So I bought a few dress shirts on sale at a local thrift store and began to sew away.  The first dress looked like a pillow case dress-not the look I was going for.  But it was cute.  The second dress looked better-I used a pattern I have but made it too small.  The third dress came out much better.  I intend to have my daughter wear the third dress so I’ll make some slight alterations to it.

After trying the three practice dresses, I was ready to cut into the shirt I was given.   I asked the girl’s mom if she had a dress that fit her daughter well.  She had one and was nice enough to let me take it home to make the pattern.  Using the dress as a guide, I cut out a pretty cute dress from the shirt.  The dress isn’t finished yet.  I still have to create the elastic casing around the neckline and the arms.  I hope to finish this dress today.  I promise to post a picture of the finished dress.

What are you working on today?



Homemade Freezer Paper

Freezer Paper.  Wax Paper.  Are they the same?  No, not really.  Wax paper has a waxy coating on both sides of the paper.  Freezer paper has a shiny/waxy side and a paper side.

I want to create my own tags for my handmade items and I began my search the other day.  I found a tutorial  on YouTube on how do to this.  (It really works, by the way!).  In the tutorial, freezer paper was used.  I don’t have any on hand and didn’t want to run to the store.  I needed to make two labels for some rice bags I made for someone.

So I set out to find out if you could make your own.  And I found out the hard way that wax paper is not the same as freezer paper.  It just doesn’t iron onto anything.  I found a way to make my own using items I already have on hand:  computer paper (I’m sure almost any paper would work, but I used it because it was handy) and a plastic trash bag (unused, of course!).  I used a white trash bag.  The tutorial I found said to use a black one.  It worked well with the white bag though.

If you want to make your own freezer paper, I’ll show you how!

Supplies Needed:


  • Plastic Trash Bag (Again, I used a White one)
  • Paper
  • Iron and Ironing Board
  • Press Cloth (I use a scrap piece of fabric)

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First, cut your plastic bag to fit your piece of paper.  I used a sheet of 8 1/2 x 11.  I cut the bag slightly smaller than my piece of paper.

Next, place your press cloth on the ironing board and put the piece of plastic down (first picture).  Make sure to smooth out the wrinkles as best as you can.  Then, place your piece of paper on top of it; I made sure the plastic was centered on top of the plastic bag piece (second picture).

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Cover the piece of paper with the press cloth to protect the paper from burning.


With your dry iron set at about medium heat (I think I set mine to 5), begin to iron.  I start from the center of the piece of paper and work out, although I don’t know that you have to do it that way.


Iron until the plastic is melted onto the paper.


You can check periodically and see if it’s all adhered to the paper.  If it’s not, just cover it back up and iron down that part.


Voila!  You’re done!  Wasn’t that easy?  I’m on a mission (along with many other things this week) to make a lot of this paper.  It will come in handy for making those fabric labels and for transferring patterns to the freezer paper so I can iron them into place on my fabric (no pinning required!).

Do you use freezer paper?  Let me know if you give this a try!





Little Girl’s Dress

My last post promised updates of the McCall’s Purse pattern I was working on.   The truth is simple:  I haven’t had time to work on the purse because I have my first custom order!  I was asked to create a pillow case dress for a little girl and a dress made from a men’s dress shirt.  I’ve been busy working on both!

The men’s shirt dress looked simple enough.  I figured I’d get that one down on the first try!  The pillow case dress looked simple enough, but for some reason it appeared to be more difficult than it really is.

Instead of showcasing the progress I’ve made on the purse, I’ll share pictures of the two dresses that are finished (these are practice dresses I made for my daughter; not the dresses for my customer). Whether or not my daughter will actually wear them, I don’t know!.




Of the two dresses pictured, I like the purple one best.  The other dress is made from an upcycled  women’s dress shirt.  I wasn’t sure of how to create the neckline so I created a casing and added ribbon using a safety pin.

The (wo)men’s dress shirt dress is a work in progress.  Yesterday I cut out a new dress using a pattern I already have.  The dress seems to be coming together well.  I forgot that dress pattern sizes are different than the clothing we purchase in the store.  Therefore, the dress is too small for my daughter.    (I’m going to create another practice dress before making “the real one”).

If you’ve created a dress from a man’s dress shirt, let me know how you did the neckline!  I’d love to know how to finish this project up.

New Purse Pattern

Last summer I purchased a purse pattern and cut out the pieces for it.  But there were so many pieces, it seemed too complicated for me to make.  So I set it aside.  After we moved, I put the bag on top of my sewing table where its sat for almost five months.

Yesterday I decided it was time to give it a go.  I didn’t get very far  yesterday; I was able to make the pleats and pin the pockets into place.

I realized that the pattern is much easier if you take it one step at a time.  So my next few posts will focus on this purse pattern.  I will take pictures as I go along to show the progress I made.  It really won’t be  a tutorial, but you might take away a few tips for your future projects.

Because this is a test pattern for me (I always test a new pattern before making it for someone else) there will be bumps along the way.   I also decided not to waste my precious interfacing.  It won’t be as stable, but it will give me a good idea of whether or not I attempt to make it again.

I’m excited to let you in on this journey.  Really, this purse has been lurking in the shadows.  I was intimidated.  Until yesterday.  So I’m excited to begin this next challenge.

I hope you’ll join me for my next post where I’ll add pictures and update the status of this purse.  It will take a week  or two to finish because I have other projects to work on.  But it WILL get done!

What are you making this week?  Join me on Wednesday as I update the status on this new purse!

Sewing Zippered Pouches

I’ve been on a bit of a roll creating lately.  I finished three new zipper bags (I’ll post pics below).  I thought of creating a tutorial for them, but I admit that I’m a bit intimidated.  So I’ll have to share the finished products with you today.

The most difficult part of beginning  a project (for me) is selecting which fabrics to use and making sure they co-ordinate.  I can spend an hour just sitting in my sewing room looking at my fabric (and really, I don’t have that much).    In the end, the fabrics usually co-ordinate and the project usually comes out fine.

So I wonder, am I the only fabric lover with a difficult time selecting fabric for a project or am I too much of a perfectionist?  With this said, I’ll leave you with pictures of my newest creations.  Leave me a comment and let me know how you approach choosing fabric for a project and tell me which case is  your favorite!

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Renewed Perspective

Last week I began to feel discouraged and disheartened.  Perhaps it’s the time of year; it’s cold and snowy (but here in CO we’re lucky to have sunshine even in winter).  Perhaps it’s because I didn’t meet my January goals.  Whatever the reason, I felt down.  I had no direction and felt like I was back at square one again.

If you’ve read my blog, you may know that I have an Etsy shop.  I am in the process of growing and promoting my business.   It is not any easy task, mind you.  I have great ambitions for my shop.  My dream is to one day make a full time income from home (I’m currently at stay at home mom to two children).  Once my children are in school full time, I don’t want to answer to a boss or rely on another company to pay me.

In order to get there though, there are many things I need to accomplish.  (I won’t bore you with those details).  I realized that not meeting my January goals were probably the source of discouragement I felt.

I rely on my faith in Jesus Christ to guide me in everything, including my new business.  And He didn’t leave me stranded at being discouraged.  I received an email from Donna Partow (author,speaker-I’ll share more about her in another post!).  She was holding a teleconference last week and focus of that call was dealing with discouragement!  I wasn’t able to listen live but began the replay later.  Within minutes, I felt uplifted and not so discouraged.  I was encouraged again.

This is Monday.  I’ve already created and listed another item (for St. Patrick’s Day!), began another project, and listed my very first custom order item.  I’ve realized that launching a business isn’t easy and will have obstacles.  But I need to keep pressing in.  So I’ll keep moving forward; one step at a time.

Today I’ll leave you with a picture of our snow laden tree in the backyard.  Happy Monday from snowy Colorado!