Layered-Look Hoodie {Flip This Pattern}

hood up

You know how it goes some times? You have a project you really want to do – say, a competition. And you get all excited about it and make a plan and pull the fabric and all that jazz, and then life gets in the way. And then the deadline is tomorrow and you’ve completely forgotten. Yeah… that. AGAIN.

I love Flip this Pattern, hosted by Frances Suzanne! They’ve picked the best patterns for this competition. One a month every month for a year, you take the pattern and make it all your own. Absolutely fun! Except I always forget that the deadline isn’t the end of the month – it’s in the 3rd week. I sewed along in July with my Bubble Pocket Skater Girl dress – remembering at 10am that the deadline was that very day. Quickest start-to-finish project I’ve done in a while. I’m ahead of that this time around. I actually did all my drafting with over 48 hours left, and there’s still 24 hours before the linky closes. Hey! There’s time to pull off one more!

Which is good, because I have about a million ideas for this pattern – the Hangout Hoodie from Peek-a-Boo Patterns. It’s an outfit style hoodie, which means it’s sized for thinner apparel knits rather than bulky sweatshirt material. I really like this pattern. And, Peek-a-boo has a great community on Facebook with lots of chatter, help, and inspiration. This is my second flip so far… and there will be more! The first was a fleece dress (find it here). I’m seeing one with big pockets next. But not today. Today we have this masterpiece of up-cycled beauty:

front 2

Let me break the elements down a little:

Not Flipped:

  • Hood (only trimmed a little to fit on the fabric)
  • Long sleeves
  • Basic shape and style


  • Split the body into an upper and a lower; the lower has extra width gathered into it to make the top looser fitting. That seam is kind of hard to see in the print – it hits the armhole and a little above the bottom of the placket
  • Flutter sleeves with a lettuce edge
  • Color blocking to create a layering look
  • Reordered construction to accommodate existing shirt pieces

back 2

I started with one man’s white undershirt from my husband. I have a massive pile that are the wrong size or have minimal staining on them. They’re excellent for upcycling. The green butterfly print was a rib knit tank top of mine that never fit quite right but I liked too much to throw away. It looks way better on Gracie 😀

Here are all my pattern pieces in case you want to flip it this way yourself. You can see that the lower part is directly from the tank; why hem when you don’t have to? I just found the center to cut the placket and lined up the edge for the armhole. The excess was gathered when I sewed it to the upper bodice. The flutter sleeves were the last scraps of the tank after cutting everything else. I have nothing left – about a 1″ x 5″ strip. Part of my wants to incorporate it just to say I did… but I probably won’t.

pattern pieces

I had to change the assembly order a little because of my pieces. Basically I made the whole body section (hood and all) then set the sleeves in after. Amy has you sewing the side seam and the underarm seam in one go, which is way easier but would have involved cutting those side seams open. I hemmed the flutter sleeve (this tutorial explains) and basted it onto the white sleeve, then set them into the body together. Like this:

sleeve with flutter

I made a 4T. It’s big, but I like it that way and so does Grace. She’s been against anything fitted lately. And maybe with some luck it will fit next year. It’s funny seeing her in this with dark jeans; she looks so grown up. When did my baby turn into a big kid, complete with big kid clothes? Bring back the rompers!

full body

In case you’re curious, all these pictures were taken on Grace’s bed. I prefer to do my pictures outside – except it’s November, so it’s 30 degrees and raining. Her tree is the next best thing to a real tree. With a lot of color correction in Photoshop, it’ll have to do. But I seriously don’t recommend putting a 2.5 year old on a bed and asking them to stand still. Out of nearly 100 pictures, the vast majority look like this:


I can’t wait to see the other flips! If you’re interested, you can find them here: November Sew-Along


Tutorial: Pitty Flowers Sundress Remix

Last week I posted my entry for Project Run and Play’s pattern remix challenge, using the Oliver + S Popover Sundress. I totally, completely, love how this turned out. Color blocking and curved bodice seams seem to be popping up everywhere this season. Want to do it yourself? Here’s a quick run through. But first, the finished look, and go here for the rest of the details:

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1) Print out the Popover Sundress pattern and track down your basic bodice pattern. If it has a sleeve, get that too. Don’t have a basic pattern? Craftiness Is Not Optional has a tutorial for tracing from a tee shirt.

2) Find the sundress skirt pattern. Since I’m not using the yoke piece, I measured the size of that piece and added it to the top of the skirt. It was roughly 1.5″ for the size 3. Round out the corner to get the style line you want – next time I think I’ll make the slope a little gentler. This was pretty sharp which made it tricky to stitch. PS – I LOVE drafting with Oliver + S digital patterns because of the grid printed on the patterns. Not only does it make taping the printed pages together easy, it makes modifying them easy!

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3) Trace your basic bodice pattern onto paper – I used graph paper. You’ll want all three pieces: front, back, and sleeve. Using the skirt pattern you just drafted, trace the curved seam line onto the front and the back. It needs to be perpendicular (at a right angle) with the center front and center back.

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Make sure your line is the same distance from the armhole on the front and the back. Add a seam allowance for this curved line – my basic bodice pattern already has seam allowances as needed everywhere else. You can see I raised the neckline on mine, too.

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4) Next draft the cap sleeve. Let me show you a picture first before attempting to explain it:

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  • Find the center of your sleeve pattern. I did this by folding the pattern in half.
  • Find where you want the sleeve to hit – I did it roughly in line with the top of the skirt. My book shows to measure it about halfway between the side seam and the shoulder seam. There’s a tiny x if you can see it. Mark that point on both the front and the back
  • Draw a straight line connecting those two dots
  • Smooth out the curve. I wanted it to dip in the middle.
  • Cut sleeve out, slicing it on that middle line
  • Tape to front and back, smoothing the curve as needed:

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Completed pattern:

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Notice that the sleeves dip down from the shoulder seam? You want that. Otherwise you get crazy sticky out shoulders. That helps pull it down to the body. The more dramatic that line, the more the sleeve will cup the shoulder. On Grace’s they’re still pretty out there.

The front is cut on the fold, the back has a seam allowance. Cut 1 front and 2 backs each out of fashion fabric and lining. To assemble dress (sorry I forgot pictures! It’s the standard procedure for a sleeveless lined bodice – the cap sleeves don’t affect it. ):

  • Stitch shoulder seams on both fabric and lining
  • Pin fabric and lining with right sides together, lining up all corners and seam lines
  • Make a button loop and baste in place at the back neckline. Mine is a narrow strip of pink with the edges folded into the middle then folded in half again and stitched to hold, similar to double fold bias tape
  • Stitch the sleeves, then the center back and neckline, starting an inch or so up from the bottom edge
  • Clip curves and turn right side out by pulling each back through the shoulder to the front. Press well
  • Stitch the underarm seams
  • At the center back, stitch the remaining inch or so with the fabric to fabric and lining to lining. You want the outside a complete bodice and the lining separate for the next step
  • SKIRT: Stitch side seams. Add piping or trim if desired (I used a strip of knit folded in half)
  • Attach the skirt to the bodice, right side of the outer to right side of the skirt. Pin carefully and stitch slowly – the curve is totally possible but you’ve got to take it slow. Press well then trim seam and clip curves to reduce bulk
  • Finish by stitching the lining in place. For my dress, I just hand stitched through a couple layers – not all the way through. You could topstitch if you want that look. Since I’m using knit I didn’t fold up the bottom edge to avoid bulk. If you’re using a woven you’ll want to finish the edge either by folding it up, using a serger, or your favorite finish technique
  • Add a button and hem the skirt
  • Wear and love!

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You might be able to tell, I originally didn’t leave enough of a slit for Grace’s head, so she popped a few stitches. I need to go back and hand sew it together. You really only want to sew enough of outer to outer for the seam allowance – the rest should be outer to lining for the head slit.

I’ve had people ask how I get any sewing done with a busy toddler. Two words: Play. Dough. It’s a lifesaver. She spent over an hour “baking cupcakes” with her dough, a scoop, and sea shells:

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If you make this dress, I’d love to know! Leave a link in the comments! I think it would make a darling shirt/tunic as well as a dress. In fact, I’ve got the fabric set aside for that now… featuring some crazy cat print Grace insisted on that I’ve been trying to figure out how on earth to use for about a year now.



Pitty Flowers (PR&P Sundress Remix)

It’s Project Run and Play again! I’m so excited. I’m always sewing, and Grace needs clothes again, but sometimes I suffer from designer’s block. You know, like writers block except with clothing. That’s part of why I sparkly pink heart PR&P – the themes give me a jumping off point, a direction to start walking in. And this season I’m focusing on really wearable, usable pieces for G’s wardrobe rather than conceptual artworky sort of creations… one I made in the spring never ever got worn because while it was beautiful and fit the challenge perfectly, it wasn’t something Grace would actually wear. None of that again. PR&P actually starts on Monday and runs 4 weeks, but my September is insane so I’m sewing ahead a little bit. Here’s the themes for Season 7.

Week 1: Pattern remix of the Oliver + S Popover Sundress (free)

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Oliver + S AND free? Yes please. You can download it yourself here. Since we’re headed into fall, I remixed the pattern by adding on a cap sleeved bodice. The skirt portion is only barely modified – since I wasn’t using the yoke, I added a couple inches to the center front/back to compensate and follow the original line. I curved the corners to accommodate trim. The rest of the skirt is straight from the pattern. I also braved a new technique – using a double needle to hem! I think I need to tweak my tension a little more next time but I’m so glad I finally got around to trying it.

Most importantly for a busy 2 year old Little Miss, I made it out of a super soft yet sturdy cotton knit from Joann’s instead of the original woven fabric. I bought the floral knit on impulse a couple sales ago because I LOVE the green and brown mixed in with the pink flowers. The top fabric is a thinner cotton knit also from Joann’s that I purchased in the spring for a project that didn’t work out.

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The green trim is a simple strip of scrap knit fabric folded in half. It started it’s life as a tshirt of my sister’s – she made a tshirt quilt not too long ago and I inherited all the backs and sleeves once she’d cut her quilt blocks. I was thrilled to find this one which matched perfectly. Aunt Susan, your MSU American Humanities shirt lives on! That giant box of scrap jersey has come in very useful! The bodice is lined with a white undershirt of my husband, also located in my scrap jersey box. As a sweet finishing touch, I used a scrap from the skirt to make a covered button. I think it adds the perfect charm.

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I’m pretty pleased, and Grace wouldn’t take it off. To me, that’s always a compliment. That and the, “OOOO! I gots pitty flowers!” I’ll be sad when she stops speaking toddler.

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It needs a little denim jacket over it to be perfectly perfect. As if I needed something else on my to-do list! There’s a couple darling patterns I have my eyes on come October. One last Grace-less picture so you can see the cap sleeve shaping. This is my new favorite silhouette! It’s easy to draft and just as easy to sew.

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(Yes, that’s a food stain already. Remember I said she wouldn’t take it off? I meant it. This required bribery of her purple striped jammies to steal it away. Toddlerssigh.)

Tutorial available here

Bubble Pocket Skater Girl {Tutorial}

A few days back I showed you my contribution for Flip This Pattern July – a combination of the Roller Skate Dress from Oliver + S and the Bubble Pocket Tunic from Elegance & Elephants. I still love it. Grace still loves it. She’s worn it twice more since I made it on Thursday. I’m considering fabric choices for more renditions, probably utilizing the currently popular color blocking. Combining these two absolutely lovely patterns makes for the perfect dress for my rough-and-tumble toddler.

Want to combine them yourself? I’m describing everything as if you own both patterns, which you should. They’re beautiful patterns with a lot of workable pieces, and they’re copyrighted! Therefore I’m not giving any measurements, just techniques. Roller Skate Dress from Oliver + S; Bubble Pocket Tunic from Elegance & Elephants.

Here’s how it works:

1. Prepare your pattern. I love digital patterns for drafting because I can print only the pieces I need, then draw all over them, cut them up, tape them back together, and draw on them some more without losing my original pattern. Then next time I can start all over with a fresh digital print-out. For this flip, you need all the pieces from the Roller Skate dress except the yoke, unless you want that style detail. It doesn’t affect this project. You also need the side front and bubble pocket pieces from the E&E Tunic pattern. Cut each out to your needed size (Grace is a 3!)

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2. To add the pocket, we need to add a side front piece to the Skate Dress front. I sketched it onto this pattern piece – roughly straight down from the bottom of the cap sleeve. This creates a barely A-line center front piece.

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Trace your new center front onto tissue paper (I save it from birthday parties) and add a 1/2″ seam allowance. Don’t cut up the original – you need it for the lining.

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3. Now we draft the side front piece. Be brave, this is pretty simple and the patterns are forgiving. Let me show you the picture first then explain what all the different lines are:

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First, trace the side front section we drew in Step 2 onto a fresh sheet of tissue paper. You’ll want the parallel lines for the elastic casing, too. These are the pencil lines in the middle of the piece. Second, lay the E&E side front pattern under your tissue, lined up with the arm hole seam. Copy the pocket placement line onto the tissue (in pencil, parallel to the hem). Third, we’re going to widen the side front piece to accommodate the pocket. The tricky part of this is we do not want to add any width to the elastic casing area because that will mess up that step of the Skate Dress. You can see where I drew these in, angled starting at the bottom line of the casing out to meet the pocket placement line. Below the pocket I took it straight down so I’m not adding too much sweep to the hem.

Take a breath, the hard part is done! And it wasn’t too hard, was it? Add a 1/2″ seam allowance to where it will meet the center front only – it’s already included on the side seam. Smooth the lines out for easier sewing. Add a notch to help you line it up (I placed it on one of the large circles on the Skate Dress, originally to help tape the printed pattern together). You can see my final pattern piece in black marker.

4. Cut out of fashion fabric: back, new side front, new center front, bubble pocket, button loop, and yoke if you’re using it. Cut out of lining: back, original front. Start by assembling the side front/pocket section using the directions from the Bubble Pocket Tunic pattern:

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Then attach those to the center front section to get your completed front:

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And from here, follow the directions from the Roller Skate Dress to assemble the rest of the dress.

It’s such a simple alteration, but I’m mad in love with it. This is my new “perfect dress” – at least until the next one comes along!

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Yellow Rose “Anna” Dress

This dress has been underway forever, or at least 7 months. That’s really ridiculously long for such a simple dress, but I have an excuse – Project Run and Play got in the way, and then my buttonholes didn’t work. But in June I finally got my buttonhole fixed and finished this cutie up right away.

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I used the Anna Dress tutorials from Craftiness is Not Optional – have I mentioned that I love nearly every one of her projects? Her taste is similar to mine, at least in terms of silhouettes. I’ve lost track of how many CINO dresses I’ve made at this point.

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I used a nice sturdy quilter’s cotton from Joann’s for this dress. There are yellow roses scattered along blue vines; the blue waistband and trim is another quilter’s cotton. I wanted an easy wash, easy wear every day dress that Grace was able to play in. I love her in dresses, especially as we begin the journey known as “potty training.” It helps that she likes them too!

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This is such a simple dress. I love it. I used cap sleeves I’d drafted for a different project since puff sleeves aren’t really my style. There’s also 2 pretty deep growth tucks in the skirt. You can tell the dress is huge. When I first drafted the pattern back in December or January, Grace still had more of a “baby body” rather than her strong, lean little girl body she’s growing into. Although her weight hasn’t changed since November, she’s gained something ridiculous like 6 inches in height and went from a pattern size 3 in the chest/waist region, down to a size 1.

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I love the full, play-friendly skirt. I think I’ll be heading to the fabric store for some more novelty cottons to make more Annas in. It’s everything I want in a day-to-day dress. I’m seeing some crazy print on the top over a denim skirt… the possibilities are endless.

Oh, and photographing a 2 year old is nearly impossible. Here’s some priceless out takes:

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“I dangle like Daddy!”

"I crawl. I baby!"

“I crawl. I baby!”

Running away instead of smiling at me

Running away instead of smiling at me

Striped Summer Sundress – for me!

When one has a toddler who is 1) easy to sew for and 2) constantly in need of new clothing, it is very easy to devote all of your sewing time to little creations for her. And needless to say, it is WAY easier to fit a straight-line toddler body than… well… mine! But the coming of summer leads me to craving cute sundresses. Since I’m too picky to wear most of the (cheaply made, way too short) commercially available dresses, I’m either out of luck, or sewing for myself.

Guess which one won 😀

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Super simple stripe summer sundress!

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Let me break it down for you, because it’s kind of a pattern mess. The only actual pattern piece is the waistband, taken from McCalls 6503. Not that you can really tell! It’s wider at the front with a slight curve. I love the wide waist, especially with this stripe fabric – it’s a perfect foundation and control for the gathered chaos I created on either side of it. The bodice started from Simplicity 1611. I cut it off at the waistline, then rotated the darts to the waist and converted them to gathers. I also raised the front neckline 1.5″. I also moved the zipper from center back to under my left arm, which required trimming some fullness from the back. The skirt is 2 simple rectangles ~ 28″ long x34″ wide before hemming.

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The dress is made from a blue and white stripped shirting fabric from Joanns, a 50/50 poly cotton blend. I fully lined it with a light weight white poly cotton to add a little body and keep it from being see through. Except the waistband – for fun, I lined that with the blue stripe 🙂

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I have a couple changes if I use my pattern again. Mainly, the boat neck is really wide for my narrow shoulders so I need to narrow that. It also gapes under the arms. I can solve both issues by trimming a triangle from the center fold, keeping the waist measurement the same while narrowing everything above that. I may redraft the strap angle a little as well. And I would LOVE to get pockets in the skirt! Can you tell I’m already planning to make it again? Probably soon.

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In the mean time, this is perfect for our quickly warming weather. I prefer skirts in the summer because shorts are my enemy, and I prefer dresses even more because there is just one piece to throw on and go. Oh, and did you know stripes are “on trend” right now? LOL – I’m even sort of cool! That’s got to be a first! It looks like something I could have bought from Modcloth… except long enough to cover everything 😀

Details Summary

  • Pattern: Highly modified from McCalls 6503 and Simplicity 1611
  • Fabric: Poly/Cotton shirting
  • Techniques: Sleeveless lining with a side zipper from here; vintage lapped side zipper from here