Sunday, September 18, 2016

Upcycling a Nessie Top and Hosh Pants

Welcome to my Project Run & Play sewalong look for week 2: I'm An Autumn. Fall clothes are THE best. I've always loved getting new clothes for fall and then look forward to the weather cooling off enough to wear them. I love the deep, warm colors of fall and I also tend to think of texture with fall clothes - think chunky sweater knits, corduroy, etc.

One of my favorite aspects of sewing for children is that with smaller fabric requirements, you can upcycle a lot of the time. Having her only sister 13 years older than her means that while there is a good pile of hand-me-downs for Elena, only some of them are classic enough to save as is for future years, but many wind up being remade. I like that upcycling costs me no money, but I also like the nostalgia of seeing Olivia's clothes worn by her little sister.

The pants are LouBee Clothing Hosh Pants with added welt pockets on the front. They began their life as a dress from Old Navy. It's a medium to heavy weight knit with good stretch and recovery. After cutting the dress apart I noticed that the back of the dress had a center seam that I had to straighten out before I could use it. I used a straight edge and marked where to sew a new seam to straighten it. This means that one pant leg has an outer seam, but who is really going to notice that?

I fancied up the pants a bit by adding welt pockets. I made WELT POCKETS! This has been on my sewing bucket list for well over a year. I'm so glad I did it because 1.) they were the perfect pocket for a pant with no (or only 1,  heehee) side seam and 2.) I feel like a sewing genius now. After watching a couple of video tutorials, I wasn't too scared of the sewing, it was the placement. I was hacking here and totally guessing as to where to put that first one and then not so confident about making the other one match it. So stressful. But it turned out well and now I have the confidence to welt all the pockets.

The shirt is the really fun part. It is made from a long sleeved tee my mom passed off and a tiny piece of rayon/spandex knit from CaliFabrics. I used my favorite old Craftiness Is Not Optional Nessie Top. Gosh, I love that pattern. This upcycle was meant to be. Look at this pattern layout in the next picture and see how little of the shirt was wasted.

So a recycled Hosh pant and Nessie top outfit came to life. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed the process of making this one. Between pushing myself to try the welt pockets and the fear of cutting through the second layer on the bodice portion, this one was a roller coaster of emotions. The process and all the nerves were well worth it. I'll do a tutorial on how to do the textured reverse applique technique later this week. And now, more pictures.

(Edited 9/22/16: The tutorial is here.)


  1. that top is gorgeous! what a great technique and congrats on a beautiful welt pocket :)

  2. Love the cut uit triangles on the top. Great idea!

  3. I love this look! From her hair to her boots and everything in between- especially those welt pockets. This is my favorite PR&P look this whole season!

  4. I love the unique fabric manipulation on the top. Very creative and lovely.
    Deborah @ Sew Much To Give

  5. Love how you give new lives to the old clothes! Beautiful jobs!

  6. I love this!! The technique on the top is super cool. I also love your pants fabric =) I have been drooling over jacquard knits lately. I will have to stalk the thrift stores for some.

  7. Interesting texture and design component. Tucking it away in my "mental files" . . . .

  8. Love how you recycled favorite clothes to make something totally unique. Great job!

  9. Hip, Hip, Hooray for welt pockets, up cycling and autumn sewing!!!


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