Making it Sleeveless {tutorial}

Ack!  I can’t believe it’s the last week of July – where has the summer gone!?!  *sniff sniff*  So I’ve actually been suuuuper busy sewing and having all sorts of fun.  Did you catch my weekend getaway on Instagram?  Ridiculously fun times were had with some very awesome people.  You should check out our hashtag #seamripcity.  Anyways, I’ve got so much to share, but I’m still lagging with my blog posts.  So here’s a tutorial on making a sleeveless bodice from a sleeved pattern that originally appeared on the Oliver + S blog as part of their “customizing” series.  This top (made with super vintage nani IRO fabric that you can read more about here) is absolutely one of my favorite things I’ve made for Kaya so far.


Hi! I’m going to show you how to modify a sleeved pattern to a sleeveless version and finish the armholes with bias tape. I am using the Lullaby Layette Shirt pattern (View B) in this example, but you can do this with pretty much any pattern!

Floral Lullaby Layette Dress by you & mie

Sleeveless Armhole Finishing Tutorial by you & mie

The first step is to reduce the width of your pattern at the shoulder. Patterns that are meant to have sleeves extend to the tip of the shoulder. A sleeveless top generally has narrower straps.


Tutorial: Making a sleeveless bodice from a sleeved pattern // you & mie

The amount you want to take off the shoulder will be determined by personal preference. Just keep in mind that you’ll lose another 3/8 inch (1cm) when you finish your armhole. I reduced the width of my 3-6 month size shirt pattern by 3/4 inch from the outside edge of the pattern (shoulder tip, not neckline). From the shoulder seam, draw a curved line to meet the existing curve. For the front of the shirt, I curved the line a bit more, for the back, I kept it slightly more straight. Cut your pattern on your newly drawn lines.

When you cut out your fabric, you’ll also need 2 strips of fabric cut on the bias to finish your armholes. The fabric will not show from the outside of your garment, so you can either use your main fabric, or something coordinating. Measure your armhole edges (front + back) and then add 3-4 inches to determine the length of your bias strips. The width is 1 inch.

Tutorial: Making a sleeveless bodice from a sleeved pattern // you & mie

Tutorial: Making a sleeveless bodice from a sleeved pattern // you & mie

The pink arrows show the grain of the fabric. I’ll refer to these as “binding” from now on.

Follow your pattern to construct your top to the point where you have sewn the shoulder seams and the side seams together.

Tutorial: Making a sleeveless bodice from a sleeved pattern // you & mie

Fold and press your binding 1/4 inch towards the wrong side along the long edge. Repeat with other strip.

Tutorial: Making a sleeveless bodice from a sleeved pattern // you & mie

With your garment right side out, start pinning the raw (unfolded) edge of your binding to the armhole, right sides together. Start at the side seam and leave at least an inch of the binding strip extending past the side seam as you start pinning.

Tutorial: Making a sleeveless bodice from a sleeved pattern // you & mie

Continue to pin all the way around the armhole.

Tutorial: Making a sleeveless bodice from a sleeved pattern // you & mie

Make a small mark on the binding where it meets the side seam.

Tutorial: Making a sleeveless bodice from a sleeved pattern // you & mie

Do the same on the other side of the binding. This is where you’ll want to sew the two ends together so they will meet along the side seam.

Tutorial: Making a sleeveless bodice from a sleeved pattern // you & mie

Pull the bias tape away from the garment (you may need to unpin a few inches) and sew the bias tape, wrong sides together, at the marks that you made. Trim excess fabric, press open and pin to the armhole at the side seam.

Tutorial: Making a sleeveless bodice from a sleeved pattern // you & mie

Sew all the way around the armhole 3/8 inch (1 cm) from the edge.

Tutorial: Making a sleeveless bodice from a sleeved pattern // you & mie

Press the binding away from the shirt.

Tutorial: Making a sleeveless bodice from a sleeved pattern // you & mie

Flip your garment inside out. Refold your binding along the previously pressed 1/4 inch fold then again along the seam. This will flip the binding completely to the inside of the garment and enclose the raw edge. Pin all the way around the armhole.

Tutorial: Making a sleeveless bodice from a sleeved pattern // you & mie

Machine stitch around the armhole close to the folded edge. Or you can hand stitch it, which will make it less visible from the right side of the shirt.

Tutorial: Making a sleeveless bodice from a sleeved pattern // you & mie

Repeat the steps to attach binding to the other armhole. Give it one more good press, and you’re done!

Sleeveless Armhole Finishing Tutorial by you & mie

I love making sleeveless tops for my kids and myself, especially as the warmer spring and summer months hit. You can use this method to finish any top pattern! For this post, I made another Lullaby Layette Shirt for my daughter, but this time I shortened the shirt and added a gathered skirt for a sweet spring dress. You can check out more details here.

Tutorial: Making a sleeveless bodice from a sleeved pattern // you & mie


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Watercolor Dress {and tips for painting fabric}

Watercolor Sundress and Tips for Painting Fabric // you & mie

So I have exactly one project coming out of this Kids Clothes Week, but I’m pretty damn excited about it!  The (optional) theme for this season was Kid Art and while this dress was probably the last thing I needed to make, I got really excited by the idea of getting Yuki involved in creating a one-of-a-kind garment for herself.  I had all sorts of ideas like fabric painting, stenciling, iron on transfers, etc.  But I knew I didn’t have much time so I could only pick one thing.  If you know me, you know that I looooove fabric painting (like this cardigan, this hat and bag, and this dress) and I thought Yuki should have a go at it since she loves painting too!

Watercolor Sundress and Tips for Painting Fabric // you & mie

I went through my stash looking for plain white knit, but I didn’t have enough.  Then I found this cream double gauze that Frances sent me awhile back.  Ooooh, I knew it was perfect!  Whenever you’re painting or dyeing fabric, it’s best to work with natural fibers since it holds dye the best.  I knew the double gauze would be a great canvas to paint and make a comfortable dress to wear.

Watercolor Sundress and Tips for Painting Fabric // you & mie

I use these Pebeo Setacolor Transparent Fabric Paints (affiliate link) and I absolutely love them!  I love the watercolor effect and how it doesn’t leave the fabric stiff.  This is not a sponsored post of any kind, I just really enjoy working with these paints and I’ve learned a lot each time I’ve tried it so I thought I’d share some tips.

I knew I couldn’t just give Yuki the paints and let her go to town – I’m just too much of a control freak to do that.  Plus, the paints are permanent and I knew I wanted to approach the project as something special so she really took her time on it, instead of just slapping paint all over and calling it done.

Watercolor Sundress and Tips for Painting Fabric // you & mie

The first thing (and possibly the hardest) is to balance having control with letting go.  This is especially helpful when painting with a preschooler, but also something I try to keep in mind when I’m working myself.  Things don’t often come out as I want them to.  It’s never going to look “perfect” or precise, but that’s part of the beauty and quirkiness of this kind of paint.  I’ve had plenty of failed projects as well as creative discoveries.  It’s really an experiment every time.

The first few times you work with these paints, just play around and explore.  Different fabrics, different amounts of water, different types of brushes, will all affect your result.  Be sure to wait to see how it looks when it dries too.  Colors will often appear lighter when completely dried, so keep that in mind.

Watercolor Sundress and Tips for Painting Fabric // you & mie

Be sure to put everyone in clothes that can be stained or an apron/smock and work on a surface that you don’t mind getting stained.  Finding a large enough surface is really hard, since the paint will easily soak right through, but I have this old cutting mat that was warped from heat and I’ve started using that as Yuki’s “art” mat.  It is plenty stained and cut up and works perfect for this kind of project.

Next, I recommend cutting the fabric to the general shape and size that you’ll need for your project.  Painting a huge piece of fabric is a bit daunting and difficult.  It helped to break it into several smaller pieces.  It helps to tape the edges of the fabric down to keep it from moving.

Watercolor Sundress and Tips for Painting Fabric // you & mie

I told her that we could only pick three colors and I showed her an old painting of hers that I wanted to use as our palette inspiration.  But as soon as I took out the paints she grabbed the neon pink and bright yellow (the neon pink is not a part of the set, I bought it separately - affiliate link).  So I suggested turquoise as the third color, mixed it up and we were good to go.  I introduced one color at a time which I think worked pretty well.  It kind of explains why the first piece (front of the dress) has distinct color blocks while the back (the second piece we painted) is a little more color-all-over.

With these paints, the amount of water you add will dramatically affect the way it looks and behaves.  The less you add, the thicker the paint and the more distinct your strokes will be, the more opaque the color.  The more you water it down, the more faint the color will be and also the more they will bleed together.  So it’s really up to you and the look you’re going for.  I like something in between so I add a bit of water to the paints and also spray the fabric down with water before we start painting to help get that water color look.  Again, you’ll have to play around with this before figuring out what’s just right for your project.

Watercolor Sundress and Tips for Painting Fabric // you & mie

You can see how the diluted paint bleeds when applied to the damp fabric.

Yuki pretty much painted the first rectangle by herself (front of the dress), then by the second rectangle she started to lose steam so that was more of a collaborative effort.  Then she needed a break and we were going to come back to paint pieces for the bodice and straps.  But she was over it and never returned to painting.  So another tip, if working with kids, is to keep the activity short.  I could tell that if I tried to get her to do more painting it would be forced and not be fun for anyone.

Watercolor Sundress and Tips for Painting Fabric // you & mie

Once you’re done painting, you’ll want to let it dry completely.  If the fabric is really wet, I leave it flat to dry.  If it’s not too wet, I hang it up to dry.  You don’t want to hang up really wet fabric because the paint will bleed downwards and drip all over the place.  When it’s completely dry, it needs to be heat set.

Watercolor Sundress and Tips for Painting Fabric // you & mie

Heat setting is what will make your paint permanent and not bleed or fade when it goes through the wash.  Obviously a very important step.  Read the directions carefully, but basically you need to iron the entire painted area, which is another reason why it’s easier to work with smaller cuts of fabric.  Set your iron on the highest setting that is appropriate for your fabric.  I place a thin cloth over my painted fabric because I have noticed paint getting on my iron otherwise.  Hold your iron over each section of the fabric for 30 seconds.  IT TAKES TIME.  A boring step, but you don’t want to skip it.  If I have a really large piece of fabric, I iron it and then, just to make sure, I’ll throw it in the drier on high heat for a cycle (by itself, not with any other clothes or fabric)!  I have no clue if this is helpful or necessary, but I figured it couldn’t hurt :P

And you’re done and ready to sew!

Watercolor Sundress and Tips for Painting Fabric // you & mie

I used my Fluttering Fields Sundress tutorial to make another dress for Yuki.  She loves the first one and I’ve been wanting to make another.  I made a few changes to the shape of the bodice and then I shortened the ties because the first ones were too long.  But now the back ties are TOO SHORT!  I could barely tie them.  Bummer, I’ll get it right one of these days.

When I saw how bold and stunning the skirt pieces were, I decided to go with a plain solid bodice.  Otherwise, I thought it’d be a little overwhelming.  I think I made the right choice.

Watercolor Sundress and Tips for Painting Fabric // you & mie

This double gauze is so soft.  And I really love the contrast of the natural and neutral cream bodice with the bold and bright paint.  I don’t say this very often about my projects, but I really love how this turned out.

Watercolor Sundress and Tips for Painting Fabric // you & mie

And I think Yuki does too!  It’s exciting for her to see something that she helped make.  I hope that we can take care of this dress and keep it around for a long time.  And maybe someday she can pass it on to her kid!?

I wanted to have the artist’s signature on the dress somehow and I asked for suggestions on Instagram and Facebook and got a lot of great suggestions!  I ended up using a fabric marker on a piece of wide bias tape.  Worked well!  I originally wanted to write directly on the fabric but the ink was bleeding too much in tests and I didn’t trust Yuki to take a pen to a finished dress.  No way!  The back of the tag has the date and her age.

Watercolor Sundress and Tips for Painting Fabric // you & mie

And that’s it!  Yuki’s Watercolor Dress.  It was a really fun project to work on together and I’m really glad that KCW give me the push to try this.  I think I should collaborate with the little artist more often!

How’s your KCW going?


Strawberries and Edelweiss

So I’ve got a new project for you today.  But when I say new project, I mean it’s never been posted before, but it’s something I actually made a year ago.  And then photographed a couple months ago.  And I’m just finally getting around to blogging it now.  Oops!  Better late than never right?

Strawberry Edelweiss Dress // you & mie

I call it the Strawberry Edelweiss Dress because, well, the strawberry part should be obvious and you may recognize the pattern as the Edelweiss Dress by Hey June.  This dress is actually a knock off of a dress I saw a little girl wearing in a picture.  I’m pretty sure it was a store bought dress and I thought it was adorable and I immediately realized the Edelweiss pattern would be perfect to recreate it.  Later on I saw a little girl wearing the same dress in blue at IKEA, so I’m thinking the original may be from a big company like Carter’s or something, but I don’t have a picture of the original.

Strawberry Edelweiss Dress // you & mie

Anyways, I made this dress a year ago just as Yuki was about to turn three.  She’s always been petite for her age, and the size chart told me I should sew a smaller size, but I just got excited about her being three and made the dress in size 3 and of course, it was way too big.  So I put it in the closet without even showing her and almost forgot about it.  Then a couple of months ago, Yuki started loving dresses and I pulled this one out and it fit!  She liked it and wore it a bunch at first, but now it’s kinda fallen out of rotation again.  Not sure why . . .

Strawberry Edelweiss Dress // you & mie

All the materials are from Jo-Ann Fabrics (except for the flannel I used for the applique and stuffed strawberry).  I used eyelet trim for the ruffled straps and bottom hem.  I also added some decorative buttons in the front (the aren’t functional).  And of course, added pockets.

Strawberry Edelweiss Dress // you & mie

The strawberry applique is based completely off the picture I had seen of the original dress.  I hand cut pieces of flannel and used fusible web and a tight zig zag stitch to attach it to the dress.

Strawberry Edelweiss Dress // you & mie

Pockets are kind of a must for me/my kid.  I’m not exactly sure what happened (I made this dress a year ago, so all the details are a bit fuzzy), but when I gathered the skirt and attached it to the bodice, the side seams of the skirt (along with the pockets) ended up closer to the back than the front.  I’m thinking that the front bodice piece is actually wider than the back, but I’m not entirely sure.  Anyways, the pockets are a little far back, but it’s nothing that my kid notices or minds.

Strawberry Edelweiss Dress // you & mie

Testing out the skirt twirlability.

The pattern is great and has soooo much room for creativity and making yours unique.  I remember back when they did a Edelweiss Pattern Tour, each one was so different and I really loved seeing all the versions.

Strawberry Softie // you & mie

This stuffed strawberry is one of the most random things that I’ve made.  I think I was inspired by a new set of bedding that Yuki had just gotten from IKEA and some matching stuffed veggies they sell.  I used this tutorial for the basic construction of the strawberry but drafted my own pattern pieces based on the amount of fabric I had and embroidered little seeds on it.  It was fun and easy to make.  And completely silly.

Strawberry Edelweiss Dress // you & mie

She was having quite a bit of fun pretending to eat the strawberry.

Anyways, I’m glad that this dress finally got worn some – it’s really a great summer dress.  And I’d definitely use this pattern again.  It’s so sweet!

This week is actually Kids Clothes Week, didja know!?  I’m kinda half in this time.  Not fully committed, but hoping to make at least one thing.  The theme is Kid Art, which I love.  Of course, you don’t have to go with the theme, but I love the idea of involving Yuki in some aspect of the creative process.  So today I let her paint some fabric (you can see a preview here) and I’m thinking I’ll make her another dress.  I think she’s going to be so psyched to wear something that she helped create.  I can already imagine her telling everyone at school that she painted her dress.

Are you sewing along?  What do you have planned?  Any kid art in your projects?

Snap Bibs!

I’m back with a fun review and giveaway! Not related to sewing, but so relevant for many of us, I’m sure.  Any of us who have messy eaters in the house.

When we started Kaya on solids, I was secretly dreading it.  Whether you make your own food or buy it, there’s just soooo much work and clean up and the food rarely ever ends up in their mouth.  When Yuki was a baby, we tried all sorts of bibs – cloth, plastic with a pocket, laminated cotton.  They all had their pros and cons, but I hadn’t really found one that I loved.  So as we were gearing up to start solids with Kaya I reached out to Katie of Snap Bibs to see if she’d let me try them out.  And she kindly agreed!

Snap Bibs Review & Giveaway // you & mie

Snap Bibs are very simple in design – vinyl, waterproof, and durable.  They come in two sizes: Toddler and Mini.  The mini size is great for babies.  It fit Kaya perfectly at six months and I’ll probably continue to use it for many months to come.

Snap Bibs Review & Giveaway // you & mie

The toddler size is great for older kids who still need some mess protection when eating.  It fits my 3.5 year old perfectly, but she doesn’t wear bibs, so I’ll keep this one around for when Kaya is a little older.

Snap Bibs Review & Giveaway // you & mie

They feature a single snap which is sturdy – not something a child can pull off alone (a plus if you’ve ever dealt with a kid trying to rip off their bib while eating)!  And the snap is reinforced with an extra layer of vinyl to prevent the material from stretching out with wear.  The shape is so simple, yet there is something perfect about it.  When you overlap the ends of the bib to snap them together, the bib curves to perfectly fall over your kiddo’s chest.

Snap Bibs Review & Giveaway // you & mie

One of my favorite things about Snap Bibs are all the amazing colors that it comes in, and they are always adding more!  So many fun and bright options and glittery ones too!

Snap Bibs Review & Giveaway // you & mie

The bibs can be wiped clean with a wet towel, but my kid always seems to get food on both sides of the bib, so I find it easiest to take it to the sink with her tray and just do a quick wash with the dish sponge and rinse, then I hang it off our bottle rack to dry.  It does require a little extra work to clean, which is my biggest problem, but until someone invents a self cleaning bib, I think it’s just something I have to accept :P

Snap Bibs Review & Giveaway // you & mie

The bibs can also be washed in the washing machine (but don’t throw it in the dryer), which is convenient for the occasional deeper cleaning.  I also like that they are sturdy, but not super stiff.  It’s very pliable and comfortable for babies to wear (at least I think that’s what Kaya was telling me).  They roll up easily for throwing in the diaper bag for meal on the go too.

Snap Bibs Review & Giveaway // you & mie

Overall, I think the bibs are great.  We don’t use them at every meal, but just earlier this week, I was giving Kaya some soup and I definitely reached for a Snap Bib instead of one of our cloth bibs.

Be sure to follow Snap Bibs on Instagram.  I really love their fun color-themed pictures, with ideas for creative toddler meals, plus they are always sharing their latest sales, promotions, new bib colors and other announcements!  Check them out @snapbibs!

Snap Bibs Review & Giveaway // you & mie
photos from @snapbibs

Check out the entire selection of colors and get some bibs for your kiddo or as a fun and practical baby shower gift for a friend!

OR you can try and win a $25 shop credit that Snap Bibs is so generously offering one reader! {GIVEAWAY CLOSED}  Click the link below for all the details on how to enter.  And good luck!


I was given these bibs to try out and review, but all opinions are my own!

Triple Gauze Sleep Sack and Blanket

This month I’m taking a bit of a blogging break and enjoying time away from the computer.  I’ve done a lot of sewing recently though, so I’ll have a lot to catch up on when I’m back!  Reposting this project, originally published here, as part of the Miss Matatabi Makers series.  Mmmm . . . triple gauze . . . 


Ooooh, do I have some amazing fabric to share with you today!

Triple Gauze Baby Set

TRIPLE GAUZE.  Did you know it existed?  I did not, until very recently, and I am now a huge fan!  If you think single gauze is lovely and double gauze is dreamy, well, triple gauze is downright heavenly.

The triple gauze available in the Miss Matatabi Shop is reversible, which makes it even more awesome!  Before I washed it, it was smooth and soft.  When it came out of the wash, it was like a fluffy cloud!  Double and triple gauzes are multiple layers of gauze fabric that are attached every couple of centimeters, essentially basting or quilting the fabric.  After washing and drying, the fabric was already like a perfectly lightweight quilt.

Triple Gauze Reversible Dots from Miss MatatabiThe three layers of gauze give this fabric the perfect amount of thickness, but it is still so light and breathable.  It’s perfect for warm or hot weather.  And because it’s loosely woven, it’s got a nice amount of give to it and it makes a wonderful blanket for swaddling a baby or for just a light cover.

The first project I made with this lovely fabric was a baby sleep sack using the Lua Sleep Sack Pattern by An of StraightGrain and fellow Miss Matatabi Maker.

Triple Gauze Lua Sleepsack2

The pattern is great.  Simple and easy to construct and I ended up with a practical and adorable sleep sack for my baby!  I didn’t add piping, which is an option, but I wanted to showcase the double sided nature of the fabric and flipped the fabric for the top portion of the sleep sack.

Triple Gauze Lua Sleepsack1

The lining is not from Miss Matatabi, but is a double gauze fabric I picked up from Tomato, a fabric store in Japan.  So yes, that makes FIVE LAYERS OF GAUZE on this puppy.  What can I say, the stuff is amazing!  There is a layer of cotton batting in between as well, since we don’t really ever have hot nights here in San Francisco.  This thing is SO COZY.  Like sleeping in a cloud.  Honestly, I’m jealous.

Triple Gauze Lua Sleepsack3

Triple Gauze Lua Sleepsack5

The only modification I made was to shorten it by a few inches, but it’s still got plenty of growing room for my petite babe.

Triple Gauze Lua Sleepsack4

Triple Gauze Blanket1

The other project is a blanket – suuuuper simple, but so practical and adorable.  I took 1 meter of the triple gauze and rounded the corners (I used a glass jar to trace the curve).  Then I serged all around the edge of the fabric, and that’s it!  A blanket!

Triple Gauze Blanket2

Because the fabric is reversible, there is no wrong or right side.

Triple Gauze Blanket3

I seriously love this blanket.  It’s so cozy and soft, but perfectly light and breathable.  It’s the kind that I can imagine carrying around with us everywhere in the warmer months – to cover the baby during a nap at the beach, or throw over the car seat to block the sun, or over us while nursing, whatever!

Triple Gauze Blanket4

Need a gift for a baby, or have a baby of your own?  These triple gauze fabrics are perfect!

And check back in later this week for a baby/kid related giveaway!!

Starry Night Washi Dress

Bringing home this post from March, originally published here, as part of the Miss Matatabi Makers series.  This is the THIRD Washi Dress that I’ve made (see 1 and 2), not to mention, the wedding dress I made from a hacked version of the pattern!  Can you tell I love it?  By the way, this fabric is still available in the Miss Matatabi shop!


When looking through Frances’ fabulous shop, this gorgeous cotton voile caught my eye. It’s called Starry Night and comes in several beautiful colors. I knew immediately that this lightweight fabric would make something wonderful to wear for the upcoming warm weather months.

Starry Night Washi Dress by you & mie

The pattern is the awesome Washi Dress by Made by Rae, with the large bow from the Expansion Pack. I absolutely love this universally flattering, easy-to-wear dress pattern!

Starry Night Washi Dress by you & mie

I made this dress for a wedding that I was attending and it actually has a little secret that is hidden. Can you guess what it is?

Starry Night Washi Dress by you & mie

Can you see it now?

Starry Night Washi Dress by you & mie

Ok, ok, I’ll tell you. It’s nursing friendly! I needed a dress that I could nurse in and unfortunately, the options are pretty limited out there. So I had the brilliant idea of adding an invisible zipper to the bodice. Well, it turns out that Rae herself had the same idea and not only beat me to it, but she even made a tutorial for adding a zipper to a Washi (or any dress bodice, really)! Lucky you!

The black fabric, plus the large bow, make the zipper completely undetectable! Of course, I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to photograph any of the details of this dress because of the color, but trust me, the fabric is wonderful!

Starry Night Washi Dress by you & mie

The fabric is very lightweight and has a beautiful drape. It is slightly sheer, so I lined the entire dress with a tan/nude voile I had in my stash. But because of the dark color, it actually wasn’t as sheer as I thought it would be. I think it could make a great unlined top, if you are going to layer it with a camisole underneath.

Starry Night Washi Dress by you & mie

I made the Washi in size large and added 1 inch to the bottom of the bodice just so it would hit a little lower. Well, the truth is, I originally added 2 inches to the bodice, but in a complete sewing fail, I sliced my bodice with my serger blade while finishing one of my seams. THANKFULLY, the fabric was cut 1 inch above the bottom of the bodice, and I had added that extra length, so it was easy enough to save. Phew!!

I also added a little width to the front skirt piece and gathered it (instead of pleating). I pleated the lining so that it would lay nice and flat and not add anymore bulk to the waistline. I made a double elastic casing in the back instead of shirring, since I still haven’t unlocked that secret on my sewing machine yet.

Starry Night Washi Dress by you & mie

I love how versatile this dress is – I can dress it up or down. And I plan on wearing it long after I’m done nursing. I hadn’t used voile to sew for myself until know, but it was so easy to sew with and I love wearing it! I highly recommend this fabric, especially for your spring/summer wardrobe. It would make a perfect lightweight tank, blouse, or scarf. And I love the other colors, especially the bright and cheery yellow! I could definitely use a Wiksten tank in some of that!


Birds Eye Skirt

July is a pretty busy month for me and I’ll be spending a lot of time with family and away from the computer.  So I thought it was a good time to bring some posts home, especially all the stuff I’ve been sharing on Miss Matatabi the last few months.  This one is back from February!


I love to sew for my daughters, but recently I’ve been trying to sew more women’s clothing, so today I’ve got a skirt that I made for myself and I’m so excited to be here sharing it with you!


If you know me, you know that I’ve been a HUGE Nani Iro fan for a few years now, but unfortunately my local fabric store stopped carrying the fabric.  I had to search elsewhere to feed my Nani Iro addiction and that’s how I found Miss Matatabi.  Frances has been my official supplier ever since!  I started out only buying little bits of fabric and using it only for my daughter because it’s pricier than most other fabrics and I didn’t want to buy a large amount of yardage.  But after realizing that a toddler does not need or appreciate the perfection that is Nani Iro, I was determined to start using the fabric for me.  And I’m so glad that I did!

First of all, the prints are always gorgeous and very much my style.  It’s like the artist, Naomi Ito, reaches into my dreams and makes them into fabric!  Ok, I realize I sound a little crazy now, but that’s now much I adore her work.  Secondly, the fabric is always such amazing quality – it feels great, it looks great and it’s a joy to sew.

everydayskirt2The fabric that I used for this skirt is Nani Iro Birds Eye – C and it is a soft brushed cotton.  The print is a gorgeous mix of colors in a style reminiscent of a Monet painting.  The main color is a light lilac, but if you look closely there is a wonderful mix of mint, dark purple, tan, blue, cream, goldenrod and yellow.  It’s such a unique and delicate print – I feel like I’m wearing a piece of artwork!  This print is available in several different colorways.


The fabric itself is unbelievably cozy and soft.  It’s a bit heavier in weight than say, double gauze or some quilting cottons, but because of the looser weave and softness, it still has a lovely drape and is suitable for sewing garments.

everydayskirt3The pattern I used for the skirt is Liesl + Co’s Everyday Skirt.  It was my first time sewing it and I loved it!  It’s a really simple pattern, suitable for beginners, but comes out looking so professional.  I love patterns that give you the confidence to sew for yourself!


The skirt features a flat-front waistband and elastic in the back for perfect fit and comfort.  There are side panels that aren’t gathered to avoid any extra bulk in the hip area (which I think is genius!) and pockets, of course!  I really recommend this basic skirt pattern, especially if you are new to sewing women’s clothes.  I definitely plan on making more!


When my 3 year old saw my skirt she begged me to make her one too.  She loved the feel of the fabric.  I think this fabric would be wonderful as a scarf, a luxurious pair of pajamas, a pillow case or a blanket.  In fact, when I laid my hands on this fabric for the first time, I had the urge to make it into a blanket so I could snuggle with it all the time.  But now I can wear it out and still feel so comfortable at the same time.

I also made the top that I’m wearing in these pictures.  It’s a simple knit dolman sleeve top that I made based off another shirt that I own.  I was going to make more and blog it eventually, but that never happened.  Just another to add to the “things I’ll blog about someday (aka never)” pile :)

Washi Tape Book Giveaway!

*GIVEAWAY CLOSED!  Thanks to everyone for entering and congrats Kristin (@ktstitches)!  You are the winner of this awesome book and should have received an email from me!*

Ooh, do I have a fun book to share with you today!  My friend and incredible artist, Courtney Cerruti, has recently released her second book titled, Washi Tape: 101+ Ideas for Paper Crafts, Book Arts, Fashion, Decorating, Entertaining, and Party Fun! (affiliate link).  I don’t really know anyone that doesn’t love washi tape and this book is full of fun, creative and beautiful ways to brighten your life with washi tape!


A little about the author, Courtney . . . she is a true artist and a maker extraordinaire.  She’s the type of person that can take ordinary objects and turn them into something magnificent.  She recognizes beauty everywhere and loves to document and share it on Instagram.  Her first book, Playing with Image Transfers (affiliate link), is awesome and it’s absolutely no surprise that both books are gorgeous and jam packed with ideas to fill your every day life with art and creativity.


The book is separated into categories of washi tape projects such as, on paper, as decor, for kids, in the office, etc.  There’s really an idea for every occasion.



The projects range from simple to intricate and subtle to stunning.  I’ve already tried a few and it’s so addicting!  I started with decorating a binder clip because there happened to be one laying on the desk in front of me.  I love using it for party decor, card making and organizing too.  And though there are already 101 ideas in this book, it’s really just the beginning.  Pretty soon you’ll be finding your own ways to play with washi tape.


I love this quote on the back cover of the book.  “The only wrong way to use washi tape is not to use it at all.”  Sometimes I get caught up in saving the “nice stuff,” but then it just ends up sitting there on the shelf.  This book inspired me to go a little crazy and create a big washi tape collage, and as I was working, Yuki wanted to join in.  Of course, I felt protective of my washi tape and wanted to find something else for her to do.  But she was so excited by the tape and why would I want to squelch her creativity!?  So I let her go at it (ok, so I may have hidden some of the nicer rolls).  And she had a great time making and I realized that it’s true – this tape is meant to be used!  It’s meant to be seen and shared and enjoyed and that’s exactly what my daughter was doing.  And besides, if I run out, it’s just an excuse to buy more!  :P

washi tape collage by yukiArtwork by Yuki

Anyways, this book is just plain fun.  If you want to see more, check out this sweet trailer for the book.  It would be the perfect gift (along with some washi tape, of course) or a great book to go through with your kids during summer vacation (I know we’re all looking for things to do)!  So . . .


We’re giving away one copy of the book, Washi Tape: 101+ Ideas for Paper Crafts, Book Arts, Fashion, Decorating, Entertaining, and Party Fun! to a lucky reader!  Read all the details below . . .


This giveaway is open to continental US residents only and washi tape is not included.  The giveaway ends Friday, July 4th at 5pm PDT and the winner will be selected randomly and notified by email.  Void where prohibitied.


Are you a big washi tape fan?  If so, you can check out #101washitape on Instagram for some fun ideas OR share your own washi tape project pics!

Good luck and happy crafting!

Shine Many Ways Bianca Top

nani IRO month is going on strong around blogland and you can follow all the stops on the Miss Matatabi blog.  The projects have all been SO AMAZING.  I love seeing how each person has been using the already gorgeous fabrics to create such unique garments (and an amazing blanket).

Today, I’m sharing another top I made for myself as part of the Miss Matatabi Makers series.  I used the Shine Many Ways – A print in sateen.   Check it out here.

Shine Many Ways Bianca Top // you & mie

Happy Homemade Sew-along // round-up, winner and many thanks!

PHEW!  We made it to the end of the sew-along.  Today is the day we wrap it all up.

I am sooooo amazed by all the different hoodies that were made during the sew-along!  I loved seeing all of the ‘in progress’ pics and getting feedback and questions along the way.  And the finished hoodies are all so awesome and SO different!  I love the variety – it’s amazing how one pattern can be interpreted in so many different ways!

Meg and I have rounded up all the hoodies that were in the Flickr group (as well as a few from Instagram) and are sharing them on our blogs for everyone to see.  But FIRST, I’ll just go ahead and announce the winner of the sew-along PRIZE, since you all are probably dying to know if it is you :)

A big thank you to the wonderful sponsors of our giveaway prize:

Happy Homemade Sew-along GIVEAWAY!

The winner is going to receive:

$30 gift certificate to Miss Matatabi
$30 gift certificate to Girl Charlee
2 yards of fabric from Imagine Gnats
AND . . . 
Secret gifts from Meg and Cherie!


And the randomly selected winner is (drumroll please) . . .

L Poel Pull-over Parka

Lucinda P. who made this awesome hooded DRESS from an upcycled button up shirt!

Congrats Lucinda!

Seriously, all of the hoodies are all so unique and original, I loved seeing each new picture being added to the group.  Links to the original photo are below each collage and start with the picture in the top left corner and go clockwise.  Half of the hoodies are here and the other half are on Meg’s blog, so be sure to check out her post too!

One of the fun ways that people remixed the hoodie was by playing with contrasting fabrics and color blocking.  I love all these combos!

Happy Homemade Sew-along Round up! // you & mie
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It’s all about the details in this group of hoodies . . . floral binding, embroidery, applique, piping, added ties . . . such unique touches!

Happy Homemade Sew-along Round up! // you & mie
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I also love the simplicity of these solids and classic stripes and polka dots.  They really let the design of the pull-over shine.

Happy Homemade Sew-along Round up! // you & mie
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And in the last group, we’ve got some comfy looking hoodies made from knit fabric and a couple of fun floral fabrics too.

Happy Homemade Sew-along Round up! // you & mie
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Be sure to check out the rest of the hoodie parade HERE!

I want to give a huge THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the sew-along!!  I’m really glad that we were able to sew together – even if you didn’t get to finish your hoodie yet, that’s ok!  I had so much fun.  I especially loved hearing people tell me that they were always too scared to attempt a Japanese pattern and that this gave them the final push to try it.  That was the whole point of the sew-along, so I’m happy that we were able to do this together!

And definitely a big thanks to Meg, my co-host for the sew-along.  Definitely could NOT have done it without you, Meg!  You’re a rock star!  But I think we all already knew that.

Ok, so before I really wrap this up, I wanted to ask you guys for any feedback you have regarding the sew-along.  Who knows if I’ll do this again, but I’d love to hear what you thought – even if you didn’t participate in this sew-along at all!

What did you like?  What didn’t you like?  How was the pace?  The timing of the sew-along?  Anything you want to see more of?  Was there anything particularly helpful or still way too confusing?  Would you want to do another sew-along?  Another pattern from this book?  A different Japanese sewing book?  Any suggestions?  I’d love to hear it!

Alright friends, that’s a wrap on this sew-along.  Time for me to catch up on some sleep :P

Happy Homemade Sew-along // elsie marley and you & mie

See the rest of the sew-along posts here:

Announcing . . .
Where to buy the book
Hoodie Inspiration
Mixing it Up
What you’ll need
Schedule and Sew-along Prize
Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day Four
Day Five