DIY Corset Top

The lace up trend is a fun detail and easy update to do on an oversized/boxy t-shirt like I did into a corset top.  Try this simple tutorial on an oversized shirt, collar shirts, corsets, collars, and hems. I always have my Dritz Eyelet Pliers and eyelets on hand for projects like this. I also used their new 2-Part Eyelet Kit.


DIY Fringe Seam Tee.

Supplies: Jersey, 
Small tshirt.

My fringe sleeve/seam shirt tutorial (here) was a hit...unfortunately though, double sided fringe is a one time find. So here is a great way to get the same effect and I just used old jersey. 

DIY Below:


DIY: Embroidered Lace Chokers & Headbands.

 OESD's Embroidery Online has been my go to for designs ever since I started machine embroidery. They have any type of design you can imagine. I was browsing their website and came across these stunning Freestanding Lace Chokers & Headbands set by Mo's Art Design Studio.  Each design features intricate floral detail that are elegant enough for a wedding day and trendy enough for everyday.  The appliqués can also be great embellishments for clothing, belts, and more.

DIY steps below and see just how simple it is to create these!


DIY: Nui Shibori with Indigo

A little different than tie dye, Shibori is a Japanese method of dyeing patterns by twisting, binding, wrapping, folding, and stitching. The main dye used for this technique is Indigo because of its easy to create resist patterns on fabric. Jacquard Products makes it simple to create this ancient natural dye using their Indigo Tie Dye kit here

This Indigo Tie Dye kit has all the supplies you’ll need for a successful dye session and it has enough to create plenty of designs. It also includes tutorials on the basic techniques of shibori. You can’t go wrong as they all turn out great and the indigo blue is my favorite, can't you tell? 

You’ll also need natural fabrics. For this I used Organic Cotton Plus's white Sateen here, to date this is my favorite in the way it takes the dye. It really makes a difference in the shade of the indigo when using 100% organic/natural fabrics. My designs were much more vibrant and the resist portions were bold. They offer all types of natural fabrics from silk to knit jersey.  The fabrics are sustainably made and eco-friendly. You can read more about them here

Below I share with you my tips for a successful Indigo/Shibori session and some unique techniques that create stunning results. 

Make samples from small squares to experiment with before the final fabric. 


Have a plan: Before preparing your vat and your fabric have a plan. I use to just go with the flow but now I like to have set designs and projects in mind. It keeps things organized and then later on your not wishing you had more of a certain pattern or less of other patterns. 

Create Samples: I use test squares of 12x12 in. of the fabric I intend to dye. That way they're small enough you're not using too much fabric but large enough you can use them for projects (i.e. bandanas, pillows, zipper pouches, purses, quilts, baby booties, etc.) Especially if you have nice fabric or a project in mind you’ll want to create samples to get close to your desired results. Also keep in mind scaling for bigger patterns and how you’ll want to adjust the pattern size. This is a good time to experiment with different patterns and also test techniques you want for specific projects.  Again, it’s great to have a plan as to what you want to do with each square. Then I’ll set aside 3-4 samples for the very end that I can experiment with. 

Take notes! How long you should leave the fabric in? What fabric did you use? What binding techniques you used and the steps (I’l take photos not only for my blog but for myself). This helps especially if you’re using several different patterns…Jot down suggestions for next time or dyeing larger pieces of fabric. 

Have a project in mind: For this dye session I had specific projects I wanted to use the fabric for.  I usually sketch out the design but also can change things up along the way. Before dyeing my fabric I cut the pattern pieces out and then dye each piece.

Don’t rush! Shibori and Indigo dyeing is a process. The vat stays good for a few days and the Jacquard Indigo kit you can dye up to 25 shirts so that’s a lot of dye to use and plenty of time. If you want lighter shades of indigo save those for the end when less dye is available. It’s a process of binding and using stitch resist techniques so take your time. I enjoy keeping my hands moving so I put in a good movie and get to it.  I also have kids so I save the techniques that take time for evenings when they're sleeping. 

Wear clothing and shoes you don't care to get messy.  You will get dye on you no matter how hard you try not to.  So wear clothing and shoes that you don't mind getting indigo on. For me I just wear a previously dyed indigo shirt (with no set pattern) and flip flops. I always wear gloves but my hands still get dyed because I choose to remove the rubber bands and thread with bare hands mainly because it can be difficult with gloves on. 

Dyeing time: For me I leave mine in for a good 2-3 minutes and will remove it from the vat and let it “oxidize.”  If I want it darker then I put it in again for a minute or so…If you want a lighter shade you can just quickly dip it in, agitate it a bit and then remove it.  Also if you want lighter shades for certain fabrics, save them for the end when there is less dye left in the vat.  You can even add more water at this point and it get some lovely light shades of indigo. 


 Now for some Nui Shibori (stitch resist dyeing).  This is a simple running stitch used on the cloth, then pulled tight to gather the cloth.  Each thread is then secured by knotting before being dyed. It’s a bit more time consuming but allows for control of the pattern you’d like to create. Full video below or follow the steps.

Komasu Shibori: Fold your fabric in half. Create a template or free hand and draw triangle shapes along the folded edge and the raw edges.  I use a water erasable pen as it disappears in water.  Then use a running stitch with heavy weight thread (for buttons or denim) and trace the marks.  Pull the stitches on the side without the knot till they're nice and bunched up and knot the end a couple times. Once they're all scrunched use rubber bands around the tips.  Dampen the cloth (you don't want it soaking wet just barely damp) and place in the Indigo vat.  I wanted a deeper shade of blue so I placed mine in for 3 minutes.  Let the dye oxidize and then I let it dry till it's just a little damp and then remove the rubber bands and stitches with embroidery scissors. 

Here is a pattern I had cut out and dyed using this technique. I'll be sharing this project in another post soon. 

Stitch Resist: Creating Prints

This is similar to the one above but in this one you will create a design on paper first.  I then placed it underneath my fabric and traced it with my water erasable pen. This time though I used a running stitch but I folded the fabric while I did it as shown in the photos. I also did an individual set of stitches for each petal (or section) for when you pull the threads. Scrunch it up and dampen it lightly. Place in the Indigo vat for 2 - 3 minutes or until you've achieved the shade of indigo you like. 

These were my favorite of the samples and final designs.  They're different from your basic shibori tutorials and easy to customize.  I'll be using some of these in my new studio and even a cute theme for baby Louie's room.  I'll be sharing more on that later. 

Shibori is a fun summer activity for my boys' and I and we look forward to doing it each year. My boys' are becoming pros and at the end of the dye session (usually lasts 3-5 days) we take the sheet we used to protect our deck and dye it together to finish off the vat.  It's a great new bed spread or set of curtains...

Check out Organic Cotton Plus for more natural fabrics, supplies, notions, and dyes. 

& Jacquard Products for more textile dyes and products. 



DIY: Linen Tulip Wrap Skirt

When it comes to Summer sewing nothing beats a quality linen fabric.  It's light weight, absorbent, and provides coolness for hot weather.  I've always been a fan of TÉLIO fabrics and use them often here at Trash to Couture. When I was sent this beautiful striped linen (HERE) I knew it would be perfect for many summer projects I have coming up. The light blue and white stripes are a classic, timeless print so I wanted a silhouette that was similar.  I got a lot of interest in my gingham wrap skirt I posted on IG so I thought this would be a perfect tutorial to do with this fabric. I drafted the pattern so you'll have to have a bit of pattern making skills. If you have a skirt that fits you well you can even use that as a pattern and just create 2 front pieces that have a tulip hem on alternating sides.


DIY Patches with Cotton + Steel Thread by SULKY

I was excited to see the new thread collaboration: Cotton+Steel Thread by Sulky.  The new line of 50 wt. thread is Egyptian Grown, Extra-Long Staple Cotton is twisted, dyed, and, finished in Italy, with the final winding done in Germany. All 100 colors of this fine all-purpose thread were carefully chosen to include essential sewing colors plus a mix of fun, vibrant colors. 

The story is in the details. Follow along the manufacturing path of Cotton+Steel Thread by Sulky in this short video as the Sulky team traveled through Europe and learned the steps involved in making this thread.

I went with the Cotton + Steel Thread OESD Embroidery CollectionIn this new Cotton+Steel Thread by Sulky Slimline contains all the colors needed to stitch every design in Scout by Cotton+Steel. Consisting of 25 mix-and-match patch designs, Scout is the first ever embroidery collection by Cotton+Steel. 

The cute patches and little details were the perfect addition to my denim jacket made from my kids’ upcycled jeans in my last post, here. The OESD Embroidery collection, "Scout" features darling little animals, geometric patch outlines, fruit, and other fun designs. They remind me of the old school Girl Scout patches I use to get as a child.  I made a patch representing each of my boys.  The Mustang horse was coincidentally perfect as this is my sons’ school mascot: The Monarch Mustangs.  I went with the “Louie” the lamb, “Vinny” the fox, and J the sheers as he’s my little artist… I couldn’t resist the strawberry and happy daisy for momma!


Named Clothing Maisa Denim Jacket from Upcycled Jeans

One of my very first sewing projects with a pattern was a denim jacket… I know very ambitious of my 13 year old self.  I remember having to ask the teacher to help me with just about every step. After it was done I was unimpressed by the end result. To me it looked handmade (in a bad way), bulky, and wasn’t what I was going for with all that work.  From that point on I decided I didn’t want to try another denim project (jeans, jacket, etc). And I pretty much stayed true to that until now…

I saw Named Clothing’s Maisa Denim jacket from their SS17 Playground collection and I couldn’t resist giving it a go again. I was drawn to the combination of contrasting colors and their sample was even made of recycled denim remnants. Perfect! My boys have a box of torn down denim that was just too trashed to giveaway but not nearly trashed enough to throw out.  I also can show my boys (as they laugh) this was the pocket of your jeans here, and here was yours right here…I know I’ll get good use out of this and it will also remind me of the many adventures I have with my boys. For the parts I didn't have enough denim to cover I used TÉLIO's bleached wash denim that went perfect with the mix of colors I had. 

Named Clothing is a Finnish clothing pattern label founded by sisters Saara and Laura. They offer patterns of all skill level from beginner to more experienced.  This one is a bit advanced but if you’re new to sewing patterns they have plenty of options to pick from. I love the style of their patterns…classic silhouettes with a twist, interesting little details that bring out the designer in you. 

What I loved the most about this specific sewing pattern is the easy to follow instructions, even for an advanced project like a denim jacket. I never once questioned what was to be done. This alone deserves an applause as we all know most sewing patterns can be difficult to follow.  

  See the steps of the process below including video...

 Tiling the pattern. 
 Piles of torn denim my sons' and husband have destroyed. They play rough like they should. 
 The hardest part was making all the scraps of denim work for the project and picking out the color theme. 
Cutting the pattern.
I love seeing the jacket come together little by little. 
Had to add embroidery of my boys names on the cuff...
Finishing the button holes...
The pattern turned out better than I expected with a perfect fit.  The construction process took awhile but take your time and enjoy it.  Not every project needs to be under 1/2 an hour.  The finished results are worth it! 

Check out more of Named Clothing patterns here