DIY Ruched Tank Top

Last year, I was given a bag of clothes by one of M’s cousins. She was cleaning out her closet and distributing the pieces. “If something in here works for you, great! If not, just give it away.”

This was, to me, an invitation to try my hand at modifications.

I discovered this tutorial awhile ago. It’s intended for maternity clothes, but who doesn’t love a good ruching, and DIY to top it off?

I pulled out a tank top from the bag of clothes and it didn’t take much to make it a perfect fit.

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First things first, I shortened the shoulder straps by about an inch each.

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Next, I decided how long I wanted the ruching to be. I decided to make it about from the empire waist (just below the bustline) to the bottom of the shirt. I cut the elastic to that length, minus two inches (I’d say three for a more bunched look, but I didn’t want to take the shirt much shorter).

Then I followed the tutorial instructions. I positioned the top of the elastic on the first side seam of the shirt at the empire waistline and secured it well.

Then I stretched out the elastic to the bottom of the shirt without stretching the shirt itself.

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And then I just let the machine run down the elastic along the side seam. I secured the elastic well on the bottom and checked the ruching.

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Sweet! And then repeated the same thing on the other side.

And ta-da, a shirt that was a little too big for me is now a perfect fit.

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New Baby

I’m so happy! I have a new sewing machine!

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It’s a Janome Memory Craft 4800, a model that’s been retired, but is fully-loaded with lots of great features. I’m so excited to be “back in the saddle”.

This does have another consequence: the sale in my Etsy shop will end as of May 31st, so get your orders in! All of the listings have been discounted 10-20%—now is the right time to buy.

Now is also the right time to get your name down for any custom sewing projects you might have in mind. I think my summer schedule is likely to fill up quickly!

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Bow Ties!

On our recent trip to Saskatchewan, we faced the conundrum of needing certain pieces of baby equipment, but not wanting to lug them across three provinces. We posed the question to my sister-in-law and she posed the question to her in-laws, who generously lent us a playpen, car seat, and high chair.

As a thank you, I made a couple of bow ties for the twin boys in their family.

These are going to be available in my shop, as soon as my sewing machine is running again. If you have an immediate need, send me an email and I’ll see what I can do. 🙂

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I love both of these bow ties. The fabric makes me incredibly happy, and I was so pleased to find the bow tie hardware for a reasonable price on Etsy.

When would you dress your wee one in a bow tie? Do you think they’re just for special occasions or are they coming back for everyday wear? I don’t know which it is, but I think it should be the latter! They’re just so classy and fun. 🙂

Roman Shade

Another project for my friends was to make a roman shade for their kitchen window. The project began when S contacted me to make a faux shade for the window, a relatively simple DIY (here). They’d been looking at roman shades in stores, but hadn’t found one in their price range that they liked. It seemed like a quick and simple project, so I agreed.

But a week or two after we’d talked about it, I stumbled across a tutorial for making a real roman shade (here and here). And so, with their enthusiastic permission, I took on that project instead. I procrastinated terribly for a few weeks, afraid to mess it up. But once I finally got started, it was actually quite straightforward.

I didn’t take pictures of the process, but it turned out really well.

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I think they’re very happy with it, too. 🙂

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If you’re looking for a roman shade, send me a note! I’m always happy to discuss custom work of this kind. (There will be a slight delay in production time of about 2 weeks in order to get my sewing machine back on its feet.)

Enjoy this beautiful weather!