Kirstin and Jordan are sisters who blog at kojodesigns. And while ‘creativity’ sometimes looks different for each of them – Jordan’s kitchen is the backdrop for many an experiment in crafty cooking and she is rarely without her camera while Kirstin is slowly decorating her home with Anthropologie knock-offs and using her extra minutes to whip up new J Crew-y duds for her kiddos (and her sisters), there is a whole lot of crafty overlap as well (mostly their shared love for throwing kicking parties and showers).
Hello whipup friends! I am Kirstin, half of a sister team that blogs over at kojodesigns, and I am just thrilled to be here today!
Recently, I helped hostess a “retro patchwork” baby shower. For the decor, we tried to incorporate as many vintage items as possible (vintage quilts and afghans, a retro cooler, mason jar glasses, vintage serving ware). We also used vintage sheets to make several of the decor elements, including a vintage sheet flag bunting, vintage sheet cocktail napkins and vintage sheet fabric flower corsages. But why let the vintage sheet fun stop there?
I’m here today with a darling (and super simple) vintage pillowcase skirt tutorial.
To make one yourself, you’ll need:
- a vintage pillowcase
- sewing supplies
- a yard of contrasting bias tape
What to do:
- Cut the sewn top edge off of the pillowcase. Cut the rest of the pillowcase down to 20″ long.
- Measure your natural waist. Cut a length of 2″ wide elastic, the same length as your measurement. Sew the ends of the elastic together, right sides facing each other, creating a waistband. Trim the edges to look clean and top stitch them down.
- Pin the elastic tube to the top edge of the skirt. First turn the elastic inside out, slide on the outside of the skirt (so that the right sides are facing each other). Find the middle of the back of the skirt and pin to the middle of the back of the elastic tube. Repeat with the middle of the front of the skirt and the two edges (this ensures that your elastic is evenly spaced). Continue pinning at equal intervals. Sew the elastic to the top edge of the skirt. Pull the elastic taut as you go. Sew a zig zag stitch around the perimeter to prevent the minimize fraying.
- Finish off the hem with contrasting bias tape.
- Done! Super cute, super simple skirt with a retro vibe!
Guest post by Wendi Gratz: You can find Wendi online at Shiny Happy World where she is on a mission to teach beginners of all ages how to sew. All of her patterns are especially designed for beginners and include links to free video tutorials teaching every skill you’ll need to complete the project.
Today Wendi is introducing a Workshop she is running called The Shirt Off Daddy’s Back Sewing Workshop which begins 10 July. The workshop will teach participants how to make girls’ clothes out of men’s shirts, and will include skirts, dresses, and aprons using both knit and woven fabric (from T-shirts and dress shirts). All patterns are included as well as video lessons for each project, plus a few extras such as how to crochet a scalloped border, embroider a pretty hem, and sew on knit ruffles. Find more info here.
Wendi is giving away a free spot in the workshop to a Whip Up reader! Just leave a comment telling me about your favorite thing to make for kids. Contest will be open for 48 hours. Congratulations Cinnamon. You have been contacted via email.
Choosing Shirts to Refashion
I love a good wardrobe refashion. It’s good for the environment; it pleases my thrifty soul; and when it involves reworking my husband’s clothes into outfits for my daughter – I find it incredibly sweet. She loves to wear her daddy’s old clothes!
When I started out refashioning, I was just cutting old garments apart to reuse the fabric. I’ve learned to go a step further and now I also work to reuse a lot of the finish and detail work from the original. It preserves some of the character of the shirt I started with, and it also gives me some great details in the finished piece – with less work! Here’s what to look for. . .
- A good hem. For dress shirts I love curved shirt tails – those look lovely at the bottom of a skirt or dress. Many casual button-down shirts have straight hems – but some of them have nice notches at the side seams and that’s also a nice detail. For T-shirts – make sure the hem is intact. That double-stitched hem is often the first seam to go on an inexpensive tee. But you can dress up those plain t-shirt hems in lots of cute ways.
- Pockets. Pockets with curved bottom corners are nice. So are nice details at the top edge.
- Shoulder yokes and back pleats. Both of these details add a lot to the construction time if you do them yourself. Some strategic cutting on a shirt with them already in place will add a professional finish and take you no extra time.
A word on fabric
If the fabric feels good – use it. Remember – if you’re sewing for kids, comfort is the most important thing. If it’s stiff or itchy they won’t wear it, no matter how great it looks. One of the great things about using worn clothes is that they’re already ‘broken in’: t-shirts are buttery soft and dress shirts that are no longer “crisp” enough for business are perfect for a drapey skirt. Let your fingertips be your guide. Find more info here.
Experimenting with colour is a lovely meditative and interesting process. It is part art, part science, part cooking and part childhood game. Around Easter time this year the kids and I had a hoot dyeing eggs – and then I continued with my natural dye experiments on wool I had recycled from a fine cream coloured skirt. I have had a long on and off again fascination with dyeing fabric and in fact my mini quilt in Whip Up Mini Quilts is a Shibori Sampler.
Dyeing – either with natural – readily found ingredients like beetroot and red cabbage or with harder to find woodland materials like lichens, moss and plant leaves, or if you want to go use indigo and cochineal or even if chemical dyeing is more your thing – its tricky – fun – and addictive!
- Dip dye clothing
- Sweet Paul Magazine Summer has an article on natural dyeing
- Dye shoe makeover
- Great article at Craftzine on natural dyeing (pictured)
- Natural wool dyed table runner
- Some clamp and fold experimentation and more lovely experiments here (pictured)
- Resurrection fern keeps a dye journal - beautiful and interesting. (pictured)
- Abigail has been experimenting with dyeing bracelets. (pictured)
- Jude’s onion skin dye experiments
- Lichen dye experimentation