Leggings sewing fail… saved!

How I saved a leggings sewing fail. Make too-tight leggings wider by adding stretchy side stripes! | www.cucicucicoo.com

I just love leggings, and my posts on how to draft your own leggings pattern and how to sew leggings are two of my most visited tutorials. (And you can also purchase my women’s leggings pattern here or my girl’s leggings pattern here!) In September …

Read more

How to embellish with slashed t-shirt reverse applique

Tutorial: How to embellish clothing with slashed t-shirt reverse applique

Tutorial: How to embellish clothing with slashed t-shirt reverse applique

Working with t-shirts is so much fun. They don’t ravel and, depending on the fabric content, the edges roll up, which can be interesting for your projects. In the summer you can see loads ladies walking around with slashed t-shirts, with the strands of fabric rolling into something like cords. But two or three years ago I started seeing a different slashing technique. This more controlled version incorporates stitching to keep the slashes where they should be. Then I saw this post on Refashion Co-op (which I contribute to, as well), using this technique along with the technique of reverse applique. (Remember that? I used it on this layered t-shirt refashion.) I was fascinated, but there was no tutorial, so I decided that I’d just have to figure it out myself. Some day… which never seemed to arrive.

Tutorial: How to embellish clothing with slashed t-shirt reverse applique

That is until I found myself with these hand-me-down shirts for my daughter. Now, I never say no to hand-me-downs. But sometimes I just can’t bring myself to dress my kids in them. Bratz?! Are you kidding me? Those are the most horrifyingly ugly and uneducating toys I’ve ever seen. And I can’t say I’m much of a High School Musical fan, either. (Though back when it was popular amongst middle schoolers I did show it to some of my students with some activities to complete while they watched. It was the only time that particular group was ever quiet in my whole experience with them.) However these two shirts were in perfectly good condition and Sofia loves the color yellow, so it was a shame to just pretend we didn’t actually have them.

Tutorial: How to embellish clothing with slashed t-shirt reverse applique

All it took were some scraps of other old t-shirts to get rid of the offending graphics.

Tutorial: How to embellish clothing with slashed t-shirt reverse applique

And then we had another unique piece of clothing for my sweet gal! She calls this her “oven shirt,” and I have to say that she’s right; it does look an awful lot like the inside of an oven. Whatever we want to call it, this t-shirt has been one of her favorites ever since I made it over a year ago. (Yes, it took me a while to actually publish this tutorial, huh? You can tell by Sofi’s teeth. Her new front ones grew in  quite a while ago.)

Would you like to like to save a shirt by embellishing it with this slashed t-shirt reverse applique? Well then, read on!

Read more

How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

It’s that time of the year again. You know, when your Facebook feed is full of first day of school pictures? Yes, back to school! Where we live, kids up through 5th grade have to wear these hideous smocks, but in the hotter months they’re allowed to wear a white t-shirt. I, of course, find plain white t-shirts terribly boring, so I like to embellish them (like I did with these spiral applique t-shirts and this other ruffled t-shirt).

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

Nicky did one year of private school/day care before he was old enough to start public nursery school last year. These two shirts were part of his school’s summer uniform. They were still in perfectly wearable condition, but I don’t like my kids going around like walking advertisements and in any case I don’t think his current school would appreciate him coming dressed in another school’s shirt. So what did I do?

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

I grabbed a bunch of t-shirt scraps left over from other projects in various shades of blue…

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

…and made some ombre stripes!

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

This could be done in a simpler way than I’ll show you here, but I wanted a perfectly clean effect, without any raw edges sticking out. To do this, I opened up the sleeves to be able to enclose the ends of the stripes. See? You would never say that these shirts hadn’t been made like this in the first place! Would you like to learn how to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes? Then read on!

Read more

Girlify a men’s t-shirt: making t-shirts more femminine

Refashion Tutorial: Girlify a men's t-shirt: making t-shirts more femminine

We all know how fantastic refashioning is, right? But in my book, the best refashioning is making minimal changes to an unloved garment so that it once again becomes loved. So how awesome is it when you can take a couple of men’s t-shirts forgotten …

Read more

Backstitch Practice Tutorial: How to Darn Jeans

Backstitch Practice Tutorial: How to Darn Jeans (a.k.a. How can I save my favorite pair of jeans?!)

Backstitch Practice Tutorial: How to Darn Jeans (a.k.a. How can I save my favorite pair of jeans?!)

Ok, are you guys ready for a life-changing event? I know you have a favorite pair of jeans. And I know the pain when they eventually rip open at the knees, butt, crotch or wherever else. But do not fear, you are not destined to have a dresser full of cut-off jean shorts because today I am going to show you how to darn holes in jeans with what you learned in our last lesson of the Learn to Machine Sew series: the backstitch.

What exactly does darning mean and how is it different from patching? As Wikipedia explains it, “Darning is a sewing technique for repairing holes or worn areas in fabric or knitting using needle and thread alone.” So, while patching is adding extra fabric over or under a hole to repair it, darning is basically recreating the fabric with thread. Now, sometimes I love the way a patch looks (have you ever seen jeans patched with lace? Gorgeous!), but sometimes I don’t want embellishment, just a totally normal pair of jeans. And that’s when darning is just the best thing ever. I’ve lost count of how many holes I’ve darned on my husband’s and my jeans. Every time I do it, I heave a big sigh of relief that I’ve saved yet another loved garment from the Cut It Up Refashion Pile.

Read more

Tutorial: How to refashion a short scarf into a shrug

Tutorial: How to refashion a short scarf into a cozy winter shrug

Are you an expert refashioner or just starting to get interesting in it? If you’re interested in hearing my thoughts about refashioning, how I got started and some of my past messups, take a look at my interview as part of the Greeny Crafter series …

Read more

Make a DIY Minion costume from Despicable Me

How to make a DIY Stuart Minion costume

This year our Carnival costume theme is Despicable Me 2. Sofia dressed up as Lucy Wilde and Nicky as the Minion Stuart. It was so easy, I made a DIY Minion costume tutorial to show you how to make one, too! Sofia and I thought …

Read more

Despicable Me costumes: Lucy Wilde’s scarf and coat

DIY Despicable Me costumes: Lucy Wilde's scarf and coat

Back to our Carnival costumes! To recap, my kids are dressing up as Despicable Me characters and I’ve already written about the wig and accessories of Agent Lucy Wilde. But the costume is just not complete without her scarf and, even more importantly, her turquoise …

Read more

Despicable Me costumes: Lucy Wilde’s wig and accessories

DIY Despicable Me costumes: Lucy Wilde's wig and accessories

Oh yes, my kids just love Despicable Me. (Evidence of this can be seen here, here and here.) And yes, this year my kids are dressing up as Despicable Me characters for Carnival. And yes, I’m making the costumes. Sofia decided to be AVL agent …

Read more

How to make a hat and scarf set from a hooded towel

How to make a hat and scarf set from a hooded towel

Kids just love hooded towels, especially when they’re shaped like some fun animal or creature. So my mother thought that a couple of adorable hooded towels would make a great gift for my kids. But I had a little surprise when I opened up the …

Read more

Tutorial: Super easy no-sew t shirt sleeve necklace

tshirt sleeve necklace

Now that Christmas is over and I’m done (for now) with my ecological gift wrapping guide, let’s get back to regular refashioning business with a super quick project. I’d actually planned on publishing this tutorial as a last-minute gift idea, except I was perhaps a …

Read more

Tutorial: Turn little kid pants into big kid pants

Turn little kid pants into big kid pants

I recently wrote a post on the upcycled t-shirt underwear I sewed for my little boy when he was potty trained. One of the nice things about children wearing underwear (besides the obvious plus of not having to deal with diapers anymore) is that you …

Read more

Tutorial: Applique to cover rips in clothes

flower applique on ripped pants

Last July the daughter of a good friend of ours was getting ready to head to the Galapagos (lucky thing, her!). While her mother was ironing her things for the trip she accidentally melted a bit of her versatile polyester pants which were going to …

Read more

How to make pants from a shorts pattern

make pants from a shorts pattern

And here we have the third and last post about the MADE kid shorts pattern. (If you haven’t yet, read about making shorts from duvet cover scraps and making shorts from a thrifted t shirt, reusing the original hem.) This time I’ll be more seasonal …

Read more

Upcycled T Shirt Shorts: how to reuse the original hem

upcycled tshirt shorts

Here’s the second part of the series on shorts and pants made with the MADE pattern. (Did you read the first part about my shorts made from scraps of a duvet cover?) I’m really happy with how these shorts came out because they’re really soft …

Read more

Shorten those necklace chains!

how to shorten necklace chains

  Almost a year ago, I received these fantastic pendants as part of a wonderful swap. The chains I had to wear them on, though, were just too long. They’re nice sterling silver chains that I took from some horribly ugly pendants that my mother-in-law …

Read more

The Super Simple Dress-Skirt

Turn a dress into a skirt

I bought this cute dress used for €1 at my local market in April. I wasn’t able to try it on but I figured that if it didn’t fit, I could always use the fabric for something else. Well, come the hot weather, I found …

Read more

Mala and T-shirt Necklace

beaded tshirt necklace

  I’d had these wooden beads in a glass jar for nearly 10 years. I’d saved them from… are you ready?… a pair of flip-flops. Yes, that rubber part that keeps them on your feet? They were covered in these beads. They were cute, but …

Read more

High waters no more!

shortening highwaters

    Sorry, Italians, but I just can’t translate this post. For those of you who don’t know the term, “highwaters” are pants/trousers that are too short. The idea is that, if you’re in high water, your pants won’t get wet because they’re so short. …

Read more