Little Fox Sweater

Things are starting to get a bit chilly here so I thought I’d make up a new little sweater for Zoe. I know it is super trendy right now but I can’t help loving the fox and owl motifs I see out there these days. So stinkin’ cute!


I decided to repurpose this old cashmere sweater that I had felted in the wash for a diaper project that never came to be. It is super soft! (My husband says that if Zoe won’t wear it I can change it into a pillow case for him.)IMG_1723

After perusing Etsy for a little inspiration I made this little fox applique from other wool sweater scraps.


For the pattern I used this DIY Peasant Dress freebie from Once Upon a Sewing Machine. Zoe has 3 other tunics in her closet made from this pattern… simple, fast and easy (and it goes up to 4T!)


The sweater cam together quickly and I added a little embroidery around the neck, passing the embroidery thread just through the top layer of stitches in the knit fabric. You can’t see the stitches on the inside.


I like that while it is 18M to 2T size it will fit her for a really long time first as a sweater dress and later as a shirt.



If she wears it at all that is… She begs me to take it off almost as soon as it is on, making a photo shoot, already made challenging by a squirmy toddler on an overcast rainy day almost impossible. She reacts like this to new clothing quite often though, so I’ll not give up hope she will wear her fox sweater too soon.



A Little Something to Keep Me Warm

Lately it seems I am always cold. I have a throw blanket that I really like. I love the colors and the design. It is also very soft on the darker side.

Unfortunately it is just a little too small. You know the type, can’t quite cover both the feet and the shoulders at once. Not even when the person seeking maximum coverage is only 5’2″. Sigh…

So it was time for a change. The blanket would have to be sacrificed. I got out my trusty freezer paper and taped together two pieces. I used an oversized shirt I really like as a guide to make a pattern for my new sweater. For the front and back pieces I pushed the sleeves back inside-out to get the curve of the arm hole.

Then I added 1/2″ seam allowance.

I cut out the pattern pieces and ironed them onto the blanket. Then I cut them out using pinking shears to minimize the unraveling of the woven fabric.

The front piece was just like the back piece except that the neckline dipped down.

The two pieces were pinned right sides together then sewn and the seam edges zigzagged. I like the bolder color of the red, but that was also the softer side of the blanket. Since my main motivation for making this is that I’m feeling so chilled as of late, having the sweater fuzzy and soft on the inside won out. This is my hug-in-a-garment sweater.

To make the sleeves, I traced the sleeve onto the freezer paper.

Added the seam allowance.

Cut it out and ironed it onto a folded piece of the blanket fabric. The fold is along the upper edge of the sleeve. When I made the pattern piece I added extra length to fold up and hem at the cuff. I then decided to use the already finished edge of the blanket so the excess length of the pattern piece is hanging over the edge in the photo. Because the piece is on a double thickness of the blanket, I also pinned it in place after ironing the freezer paper on to prevent any shifting about as I cut it out.

Then it was time to sew down the seam at the underside of each sleeve.

Adding the sleeves to the sweater made me very nervous. I had never done this before and I had read that it was a difficult thing to do. Fear of attaching sleeves is the main reason I haven’t sewn sleeved shirts before (other than a raglan PJ top for Eli). It went so smoothly! I’ll be sewing many more shirts in the future.

At this point all that was left was to attach bias tape around the neck and the bottom of the sweater. I was happy to find I had this wide double fold brown bias tape in my stash bought back when Joanne’s was having a big sale. I was happy I didn’t have to run out an buy anything for this project. I have enough left that if I decide I want to also change the way the ends of the sleeves are finished I can.

Behold my new ultra-cuddly, wear a blanket in public, sweater. This is what stands between me and the ultimate humiliation of wearing a Forever Lazy. I know everyone around me is thankful.

This was all that was left of the blanket that gave her all for my obsession with getting warm.

Thanks for reading!


Here’s where I’m linking up.


Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,


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Elfin Hat from Sweater

Here is the original sweater. I used the sleeves for fluffy-bottom sweater pants and the third photo is what remained.

I cut out the back panel. I cut strips out of t-shirt material to add as stripes. I wanted a kind of whimsical appearance to the hat so I cut the stripes a little bit wonky.

Then I pinned the stripes to the sweater back.

Next I sewed these down using a zigzag stitch.

I folded the now stripey sweater back in half and cut out my hat shape with a rotary cutter. I made the base of the hat 9″ across and didn’t begin angling the sides to the point until the first stripe, 5″ up from the bottom. I marked the lines I wanted to cut with a sliver of soap, visible on dark fabrics yet completely washable.

Now I put the hat pieces right sides together and pinned along the side edges.

Using the zigzag stitch on the sewing machine I sewed the pinned sides. I used a tight zigzag and went over it more than once to make sure there was no uncaught yarn ends.

Time to turn it right side out and think about embellishments.

I decided to put a patch with an airplane button below the first stripe…

and a tassel made from strips of the same t-shirts as the stripes.

Here is the finished hat!

I also had a lot of sweater material left from this pair of sweater pants, so I made this hat. It was a birthday present for a lovely five year old friend of ours this past weekend.

I’m honored to have been featured here:


Here’s where I’ve linked up:

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Dittle DattlePhotobucketmmm buttonPhotobuckethomeworkHope StudiosI'm topsy turvy tuesdaysClothes Upcycling Projects

The Shabby NestSortaCrunchyNetshabby creek cottage

My apologies if I linked up to you but don’t have your button here. My computer crashed after I had linked up with quite a few parties but before I had updated the post, so the buttons I had grabbed were lost.

Fluffy-bottom Sweater Pants Tutorial

Before Eli was born I sewed a lot of fitted cloth diapers using the Mama Bird diaper pattern. While cloth diapering saves a lot of money over using disposables, sewing your own also saves that initial investment that comes with buying your cloth diaper stash. In the end I found I needed more than I was able to sew so I have also used some gDiapers, prefolds, and a few Kushies that were given to me.

The main drawback I have found to cloth diapering has been that Eli’s pants don’t fit over the bulk of the diapers he wears. We also had trouble getting him to fit well in his car seat while wearing the cloth diapers. If we have another child I will research other trimmer brands and look for a new cloth diaper pattern. With Eli I am compromising by using the cloth diapers when we are home and using ‘sposies when we go out.

During the summer it isn’t any problem letting Eli go just diaper clad down below when we are at home, but now that cooler weather will soon be here I’ve been wondering how to keep him in cloth diapers yet still keep his legs warm. These pants are just for knocking about the house, not for out on the town wear.

My solution? Fluffy-bottom Sweater Pants!

I took a pair of sweat pants (made from the sleeves of an old sweatshirt) that fit well and trace them on the sleeve of a retired sweater.

Cut this out adding 1/4 inch seam allowance along the crotch/butt edge. No  allowance is necessary at the bottom of the legs as the existing cuff makes hemming unnecessary. I also don’t need any allowance along the top as I will be adding fabric for the elastic casing later. Trace this leg onto the opposite sleeve and cut that out.

Using the upper part of one of the sleeves cut a wedge shape as tall as is possible. It can be trimmed down later. This will be added to the back of the pants to make them nice and roomy. Here is the tutorial where I first encountered this idea. Turn one leg inside out and pull it over the right side out leg so that the fabric is now right sides together.

Sew from the crotch up one side to create the front of the pants.

Cut into the pants on both sides of the unjoined back pieces so the resulting area into which you will sew the wedge shape is more of a U than a V.

Add the wedge shape. This is where you will cut it to fit. Match it along the waistband edge at the top of the pants. Trim the bottom corner so that it will fit into the space length wise. Leave an extra 1/4″ at the bottom before trimming for your seam allowance. Sew from the waist down.
Repeat with the other side of the wedge. Then sew over the seam at the bottom of the crotch back and forth a couple of times to close the bottom of the U and to reinforce it.
Zigzag (or serge) to finish your seams. Turn the pants right side out.
Now measure the width of the top of the pants and double the measurement and add 1/2″ for seam allowances. Pick a coordinating soft fabric for the waistband. (I’ve done this with both knit and woven fabric.) I used 1″ elastic so I cut my waistband fabric 2 1/2″ wide (1″ + 1/4″ seam allowance, doubled).
Sew both ends together to form a large loop.Fold the loop in half the narrow way, wrong sides together. Pin around the outside of the top of the pants, the open edge of the loop of fabric toward the top edge. Place the seam where you formed the loop in the center of the back of the pants.Sew all the way around. Zigzag or serge to finish the seam. Fold the waistband up into place. Top stitch so the finished seam lies flat on the inside. I found I had made my pants a little short to rise and cover the bottom area well so I repeated this step with an additional piece of fabric.

Use a seam ripper to open the inside of the waistband to insert the elastic. Measure around your child’s waist and add an inch to determine the length of your elastic.
Attach a large pin to one end of the elastic and feed through the waistband.
Sew back and forth where the elastic overlaps a few times. Sew up elastic opening in the waistband.

Catch toddler. Insert one foot into each leg of sweater pants. Pull up to fully cover cloth diapered bottom. Step back to fully appreciate the cuteness. You’re done!
Here are a couple other pairs of sweater pants that I’ve made.
Clothes Upcycling Projects