Wellnesting | Creating a Happy Handmade Home

Summer

Dip Dyed Linen Top

DIYStephanieComment
DIY Dip Dyed Linen Top | Wellnesting

Linen is one of my favorite summery fabrics. While most people tend to focus on the impracticality of a fabric that wrinkles the second you put it on, I’m a fan of how breezy and wearable it is. The versatility of linen is one of it’s best selling points because it can be dressed up or down and it’s insanely comfortable at the same time. Not to mention, it’s a natural fiber which makes it perfect for DIY projects that involve heat and dye, which, let’s be honest, is nearly all of my projects.

DIY Dip Dyed Linen Top | Wellnesting

I knew I wanted to make a lightweight, swingy blouse when I ordered this flax colored linen a couple months ago. I immediately narrowed it down to a simple sleeveless top that would go with anything, but after weeks of thinking about it I realized I also wanted to add some pretty ruffled cap sleeves to make it more interesting. Like all of my sewing projects, the final product came about through trial and error.

Lots and lots of it.

Let me just tell you, while a little ruffle sleeve looks easy, the actual construction behind it nearly made my head pop off*. But once I finally got the shape figured out, it was easy as pie to put together.

DIY Dip Dyed Linen Top | Wellnesting

When all was said and done, I got out some old dyes I had leftover from a few projects of yore and mixed up the perfect orangey-red color. Then I simply dipped my shirt into the dye and let it absorb the color at varying increments to get a pretty ombre effect.

Despite all the trial and error this little shirt caused me, I’m super smitten with how it turned out!

*Ps. I apologize if the step-by-step pictures are less than obvious – after ripping and re-ripping seams, the process got a little muddled. Hopefully my descriptions will help, but if you try this and you still have questions, email me and I’d be glad to help!
 

Supplies

1 1/2 yards linen
Scissors
Iron
Pen and paper (to create a pattern)
Stitch Witchery fusible hem tape
Buttons
Pins
Sewing Machine
Dye suited for natural fibers
Old shirt that fits
Double fold binding tape (I used Dritz)
Needle for hand-sewing

DIY Dip Dyed Linen Top | Wellnesting

Before you get stared, be sure to wash and dry your linen fabric to prevent any unwanted shrinking later.

  1. Take an old shirt and place it on top of your piece of heavy paper. Trace the body of the shirtand the sleeves separately as best you can (they don't have to be perfect).  To trace the sleeve, I free hand sketched the shape of the sleeve as it looked when the shirt was lying flat, then when it came time to cut it, I folded the piece of paper along the upper/outside edge to get the front and back of the sleeve.
  2. Cut out your template pieces.
  3. Take your sleeve pattern piece and cut about 6 long slits in it, starting at the flat edge and extending to the curved edge. Do not cut all the way through the curved edge. Next splay the sections until youget a large curved shape (see the red shape in Step 3 above). Trace.
  4. Trace the body pattern piece onto your linen (this will be the front of your shirt). Be sure to add a 1/2 inch seam allowance, then cut.
  5. Cut your the body piece down the center so you have two separate halves (this will be the two back pieces). Trace each half onto your fabric with a 1/2 inch seam allowance all the way around. Cut.
  6. Lay your two back pieces on top of your single front piece with right sides together and line up the seams. Pin along the edge where the back should meets the front shoulder. Sew along this seam.
  7. Open the shirt right side up so that the front piece is laying to the left and the back pieces are laying to right, connected by the shoulder seams in the middle. Next, fold your sleeve pieces down the middle and iron to make a crease - this will help you center the sleeves on the shirt. Take your sleeves, and lay them right side down (so that right sides are facing each other) with the fold in the sleeve lining up with the shoulder seam. Pin to the shirt with curves perfectly aligned and sew together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.
  8. Finish the arm hole by folding the seam allowance over by 1/2 inch the rest of the way around and securing with your Stitch Witchery fusible tape and an iron.
  9. Now take your shirt and, with right sides together, pin both side seams together. Sew the side seams.
  10. Hem the bottom edge and two edges at the center of the back by folding each edge over 1/2 inch, press with an iron, then fold another 1 inch and press again. Pin and sew.
  11. Mark out where you want your buttons and button holes to be.
  12. Take your double fold binding tape and fold it over top the raw edge at the neckline. Pin in place and then sew. I used an edge stitch foot to get the stitch nice and close to the inner edge where the binding meets the shirt.
  13. Make your button holes. The process will vary by machine. Here is a nice detailed guide on making button holes on a machine. Sew on your buttons by hand.
  14. Finally, dip dye your shirt using any natural fiber dye you like. Follow the instructions on the package for tub dying. Wet your shirt first and dip the top 1/3 of the shirt into the dye bath for a few seconds. Slowly pull the shirt out of the dye in increments until your get the desired concentration of dye. Rinse your shirt in cool water and then use the gentle cycle on your washing machine to get rid of any remaining dye. Let dry.

Rather than hem the sleeves and add bulk to the ruffle, I left the hem raw to retain the soft, frayed look. In order to keep them from fraying too much, I covered most of the sleeve with a piece of newspaper and then used a sprayable fray check on the outer most edge right where the fray starts.

DIY Dip Dyed Linen Top | Wellnesting
DIY Dip Dyed Linen Top | Wellnesting

Boozy Watermelon Granita

RecipesStephanieComment

I should have created a post series called '50 Ways to Use a Watermelon'.

Refreshing Watermelon Tequila Granita | Wellnesting

Because by the time I finish using up that watermelon from a couple weeks ago, that’s about where we’d be. After whipping up my watermelon salsa a few Mondays back, I was left with about 2/3 of a huge watermelon and nothing else to do with it. We could’ve just eaten it as-is but that would have been way too easy, and boring, so I chopped him up and popped the rest in the freezer to tide me over for a few days until I could figure out a game plan.

Then it hit me: boozy watermelon granita.

Refreshing Watermelon Tequila Granita | Wellnesting

Um, hello, why am I just thinking of this now? I wish I had discovered this stuff 15 (ahem, 12, I mean 9…) years ago. It's seriously one of my favorite things ever. That might sound melodramatic, and it is, but until you’ve frozen a watermelon and spiked it with tequila, you won’t really get what I mean.

Since we’re not huge liquor drinkers at our house, I ran to the store and picked up a couple mini bottles of tequila (why not the big bottle, you ask? Let’s just blame it on The Strawberry Margarita Incident of 2013, and leave it at that), as well as some cilantro and a lime.

Refreshing Watermelon Tequila Granita | Wellnesting

I initially thought two airplane bottles of Jose Cuervo would be just the right amount of sauce but after taste testing it, I quickly settled on one. Rather than scream MARGARITA!! I wanted my granita to seductively whisper margarrrrrita in its best Antonio Banderas impersonation. Subtle and smooth.

And trust me, a dab will do ya! This stuff is potent but so so tasty.

Refreshing Watermelon Tequila Granita | Wellnesting

Boozy Watermelon Tequila Granita Recipe

Ingredients

3 cups watermelon cubed
50 ml tequila (1 airplane bottle)
1 lime juiced
1/8 cup cilantro
1 tbsp honey
 

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend on high for 30 seconds until completely smooth.
  2. Pour into a shallow baking dish and freeze for 45 minutes. Use a fork to scrape the top layer of frozen watermelon mixture, being sure to break up any large ice crystals.
  3. Pop it back in the freezer and let freeze for another 30 minutes. Use your fork to scrape any freshly frozen watermelon.
  4. Continue doing this until your granita is ready. Then scoop the granita into a small glass and top with cilantro and any remaining watermelon slices.
Refreshing Watermelon Tequila Granita | Wellnesting

How to Make a Skirt from a Mens Shirt

DIYStephanieComment
How to make a men's shirt into a skirt | Wellnesting

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that I have a weak spot for makeovers.

I really like the challenge of turning trash into treasure, or at the very least, trash into a-step-above-trash. It’s really the challenge part I like, not to mention, I love letting my inner Donatella Versace run free every now and then! So for that reason I keep a whole box of trash-with-major-potential hidden in the back of my closet (Hoarders, here I come!…), and every once in a while I’ll troll through it looking for those treasures that light my fire.

How to make a men's shirt into a skirt | Wellnesting

This time I was inspired by an old button down shirt I swiped from my husband’s Goodwill pile when he wasn’t looking. There’s something so versatile about a crisp button down that makes it suited for nearly any DIY, but after entertaining several ideas (bustier? ruffle shorts? pajama set?) I finally settled on this easy shirt-to-skirt refashion.  Since I’m all about pairing a simple skirt with a light blouse or tank to keep cool these days, it was only fitting that I add one more skirt to my rotation. 

How to make a men's shirt into a skirt | Wellnesting

To make this skirt I used a super simple gathered elastic waist construction, which helps keep both sewing time and skill level to a minimum. And if I’m not feeling the elastic waistband look, it can easily be hidden with a belt or drapey blouse, so I can then hit the mean streets of DC in elastic-free style.

And did I mention the whole thing cost me a whopping zero dollars?  Holla!

Read on to see how I did it.

How to make a men's shirt into a skirt | Wellnesting

What You'll Need

An old button down shirt that's a few sizes too big
Marker
Ruler
Scissors
Seam ripper
1-inch wide elastic
Iron
Pins, sewing machine, matching thread

How to make a men's shirt into a skirt | Wellnesting

How to Do It

  1. First button all the buttons, then lay your shirt on a flat surface and smooth out any creases or wrinkles as best you can. Take your ruler and lay it directly underneath the armpits, draw a line.
  2. Cut along this line -- this will be the top of the skirt where you'll insert the waistband.
  3. Next, find the seams on either side of the freshly cut edge. Using a seam ripper, rip seams about 2 inches down.
  4. Fold the top raw edge over about 1/2 inch and iron flat. Do this all the way around.
  5. Then fold it over another 1.5 inches. Iron. You should now have a tube that's open at both ends through which you can feed the elastic waistband. If your tube isn't open at the ends, use your seam ripper to rip more of the side seam.
  6. Turn your skirt inside out (this will make it easier to sew) and pin the tube along the long edge. Sew this long edge, being sure to leave both ends open.
  7. Figure out how long you want your elastic to be by wrapping some around your waist and making it tighter or looser until it feels comfortably snug. Cut your elastic. Then, using a safety pin and knitting needle (or just your hands!), feed the elastic through the tube. Pin the elastic in place at both ends of the waistband.
  8. Tuck one end of the waistband behind the other and look at the front seam to make sure it lines up correctly. Then simply sew the waistband closed, mirroring the original seam as best you can. It doesn't have to be perfect since no one will be able to see it once you're wearing it anyway. Turn right side out, trim any lingering threads and iron where necessary.

That's it!

How to make a men's shirt into a skirt | Wellnesting