Hi i was wondering if ypu had any advice for widening an armhole on a nightgown? I have a goregous linen nightgown with lace that fits be perfectly everywhere but the armholes. Basically unless i have perfect posture it begins to dig into un underside of my arm and tightens across my back
I desperately want to use it more but i toss and turn as i sleep and am worried ill ruin it
A linen nightgown sounds really nice, especially for summer. However, a nightgown that's uncomfortable to sleep in kind of defeats its own purpose.
I have a few posts on altering arm holes and sleeves that might be of interest to you:
How to upsize clothes
Upsizing arm holes
If you don't need a lot of extra space, check how much seam allowance your gown has. Letting out the seams might be sufficient. Check out my post on letting out pants to see how it's done. It's a different garment, but the technique's the same.
You could also try using insertion lace. This might look odd at the bottom of your armpit, but could make for a cute detail at the top of your shoulder.
If you end up having to add in extra fabric, try looking for a scrap of fabric that's made of linen, too. Linen is very breathable, and inserting something like e.g. polyester in the armpit region would render it less effective in that regard.
Darning, Sashiko, and decorative embroidery combo, a mini adventure.
A large hole had formed in my lab coat. It was getting caught in everything so I decided to mend it. My work place had told us that "dirty, lost or damaged you are responsible for your coat" I was not about to shell out cash for a coat.
I started off darning the hole, if you don't know, darning is hand stitching a hole using running stitches and a weaving method. But I soon realized it wasn't giving me the result I wanted. The fabric was still flimsy, so I ventured deeper into YouTube and found a wonderful channel called Sashiko Story, they also have a Tumblr page its @sashico , and a workshop in NYC.
The Japanese teacher makes wonderful videos full of instruction and stories filled with historian context. Sashiko is a embroidery technique developed in Japan, by the ordinary and poor folk for mending, patching, strengthening and extending the life of a piece of fabric or garment. Garments that saw repetitive sashiko mending is known as boro, a type of patchwork. Sashiko is relatively easy to do compared to other hand stitching techniques as it implements pretty much only the running stitch.
I binge watched his videos, picked up the technique he teaches, and tried it out on my coat while listening to his live streams. I have to say the holding technique reminded me of how my grandma would mend clothes. She was fast. And the end result made me giddy. The hole was now closed! The darning had held the original threads together, the sashiko, helped it close it up more and made it stiffer and the texture is delightful. As a tactile person, the sensation was very satisfying.
A day later, I looked over at my coat and noticed the pattern that I used also resembled leaves. Now from my limited knowledge, sashiko traditionally doesn't use fill ins, but I've been also been binging on the channel Chinese Hand Embroidery that teaches the Suzhou techniques, and leaves, flowers and nature were on my mind. So I decided to fill in some of the spaces, despite not using the techniques.
I couldn't be more pleased and happy with my coat. When I'm stressed at work, the difference in texture helps relax me, the stiffness is also very grounding to me. And the best part was the mend was very easy to do, and the result is quite beautiful in my eyes...and I no longer get caught by the drawers.
So I highly recommend checking out the 2 YouTube channels. Maybe they might spark some mending projects.
I am also just delighted that this little patch job reflects my Asian American identity back to me. And reminds me I can use both western techniques but also from China where my family is from, but also learn and enjoy from other Asian cultures.
🍂 I used my own "how to make a dress from a skirt" tutorial and made this beauty today - it's not as cutesy as my other ones! I like it, it has a flexible style. I'll be posting a 'the making of' of this later
🍁 Grey linen pinafore dress with buttons - made from a thrifted linen skirt. Silk shirt, bag, sunglasses and scarf are all thrifted too
If you’ve been trying to go plastic free for awhile you’ve probably accumulated quite a few jars some way or another. I often buy in jars and will keep them for upcycling, but sometimes I run out of ideas on how to reuse them. These are some good ways to repurpose those jars. In addition to these some zero waste stores will take cleaned jars for people who don’t have containers but are looking for a refill. While some of these are exclusively for glass, some of these ideas work for plastic containers too! Happy upcycling!
Here's an idea for cordage making: Use these onion bags!
i can't take full credit for the idea; my boyfriend actually pointed out the fiber potential of the disassembled bags
some cord i made out of the purple stuff he brought me. It reminds me of thin raffia; a bit more slippery but not enough to be an issue. Think that plastic fake-raffia but more stiff? Idk, chances are you've felt a produce bag before lol.
When you chop off the loose bits on the cord it does make a bit of waste, but it's still a lot less material going straight to the landfill.
But yeah, this would be a great thing for people who want to learn cordage making, but can't get "natural" stuff because of urban environments, disability, or just straight up time constraints.
Plus it's destined for the trash anyways, so you dont have to feel bad if you mess up while practicing/experimenting.
Also, it's relatively uniform and decently strong, so it's easy to work with.
So yeah, just disassemble/unweave the bag and get what you need!
If you have time, please visit my shop on etsy, Slouchybear, where I sell bags and accessories I’ve made myself, often out of up-cycled fabric. In these pictures the collar and pouches were made of vintage bed-sheets (in perfect condition). ♡
🕊 everything i buy is from a charity shop or depop. some key search terms i've found useful are "prairie", "mori kei/girl", "blouse", "broderie anglaise", and "crochet". now "cottagecore" is a bit more popular that works too but sometimes people hike up the prices!
🕊 texture is your best friend, and is usually my starting place for finding cute statement pieces! go for anything crochet, cord, chiffon, knitted, linen, or lace.
🕊 stock up on cardigans!!!!!! from oversized to bolero, there's a cardigan for every season + outfit. they're cheap as chips too, almost all of my cardis are from £1 sale rails in charity shops:)
🕊 white cotton blouses, particularly broderie anglaise, look so cute tucked into a skirt or trousers. pair with a cardi or let the collar peek through a woolly jumper when its chillier.
🕊 corduroy trousers are abundant in secondhand stores, but ones that that FIT are hard to come by. don't be scared of bigger sizes - that's what belts are for:) i wear cords 6 sizes too big for me with a belt and they look lovely, especially with a tighter fitting top or blouse!
🕊 the same goes for skirts. granny skirts are so sweet and literally everywhere in charity shops but if you're worried about the waist just add belt loops and ur ready to go:)
🕊 invest in frilly white socks. seriously, you won't regret it>:))
🕊 petticoats make great cottagecore skirts or you can wear them under a dress that's a bit too short!
🕊 anything printed with flowers. ANYTHING.
🕊 shoes are a bit trickier, so i tend to find those on ebay or depop. im a big fan of chunky shoes, docs, mary janes and high-top converse! i've been pretty lucky with docs as they can be priceyy online and mine were between £10-30, i've found they tend to be a bit cheaper on ebay than depop but take longer to find. you don't need loads of shoes, just a couple neutral ones. great colours to go with pretty much any cottagecore outfit are brown, black, and green.
🕊 think about colour schemes if u feel overwhelmed in a secondhand/thrift store! i usually head straight to anything green, light blue, pink, or cream/off-white, so think about what cottage-y colours suit your complexion and focus on those.
🌷🧵 hope this helps! the post after this is part 2 on upcycling and styling<33 🧵🌷
Visible mending is a decorative way to fix up an item. Instead of trying to make your mend as invisible as possible, the idea is to make it part of the garment's design.
Visual mending is not a single technique: it's more of a mindset. If you've got an item you love, it deserves to be mended, and if you're going to put that love into stitches, why not show them off?
That being said, there are some specific techniques that are popular with visible menders. Let's take a look!
Sashiko is a type of traditional Japanese embroidery that is used to both decorate and reinforce fabric. In visible mending, sashiko is often used to cover up holes with patches or to reinforce thinning fabric. This technique uses a variation on the running stitch.
(Image source) [ID: sashiko stitch diagram: the distance between each stitch is 1/2 stitch in length.]
Some resources on sashiko:
SashiCo on YouTube: sashiko livestreams and information on the cultural aspect of sashiko.
Written tutorial by Upcycle Stitches.
Free sashiko templates by TheSpruceCrafts.
Fixing jeans with sashiko by Soluna Collective.
(Image source) [ID: three examples of sashiko embroidery on jeans fabric.]
(Image source) [ID: sashiko embroidery with white thread on blue jeans fabric.]
Regular embroidery is also a popular technique to accentuate your mends. Check out my embroidery 101 post to learn how to get started. You can embroider patches, or use embroidery to hide or accentuate any stitches you've made to fix holes. Embroidery's also a great way to cover up stains.
(Image source) [ID: colourful embroidery floss covers a worn sleeve edge of a jeans jacket]
(Image source) [ID: colourful flower embroidery surrounds a hole in a pair of dark gray jeans. Fabric with a red and black flower print peaks out of the hole.]
There are many ways to add patches to a garment. My tutorial on patches is a good place to start if you want to make custom-shaped patches to sew on top of your fabric. You can also sew your patch on the inside of your garment and have it peek out from beneath the hole you're trying to fix. Fun ideas for this are lace or superheroes.
(Image source) [ID: Spiderman peaking out of a rip in a pair of blue jeans.]
(Source) [ID: a red flannel heart-shaped elbow patch on a gray knitted sweater.]
Darning is a technique used to repair holes in fabric by using running stitches to weave extra fabric over the hole as to fill it up again. While traditionally darning is done in an invisible way by using the same colour of thread as your fabric, you can also use contrasting colours to accentuate your fix. Check out this written tutorial on darning by TheSpruceCrafts.
(Image source) [ID: vintage instructions on how to darn a hole.]
(Image source) [ID: four examples of darning on blue fabric with colourful contrasting thread.]
Visible mending is a creative way to fix up your clothes and give them some personality at the same time.
You should be proud of the fact that you took the time and learned the necessary skills needed to mend your clothes! Show off what you did!
A fun side effect of wearing these obvious mends is that people will notice them. They'll remember your fixes the next time they're faced with a hole in their wardrobe, and it will make them more likely to try it for themselves.
These are just a few ways to visibly mend your garments. Want more inspiration? Check out Pinterest or r/Visiblemending on Reddit.
I made a pot scrubby out of those mesh produce bags that are unfortunately hard to avoid. Just fold them up into a rectangle, make sure to fold in the cut sides in and sew around the edge a few times. Oh, and don’t make my mistake of cutting off the wonky edges when you’re done.
The whole process is pretty easy really and the sewing could definitely also be done by hand. Just be aware that, at least in my case, this still produced an upsetting amount of little plastic bits that are very hard to clean. I don’t think you can avoid those.