what to do with a too-wide collar

I have a t‑shirt that has gone through a couple of refashions, and to refashion it again I had to cut more off the collar, resulting in a neckline that was way too wide (it was a shirt that was big on me to start with). It was practically falling off my shoulders and I couldn’t wear it :(

It was still a perfectly good shirt so I was determined to make it wearable. 



And after some experimentation, it transformed into a tank top :D totally wearable!


I should also mention that I gave it a bit of galaxy treatment before the refashion. (There are many galaxy shirt tutorials in the blogosphere, but if you’re interested in what I did, it was sort of a combination of this and this.)

I thought I’d share the refashion process here, in case you, too, have a shirt with a too-wide collar, or if you have a t‑shirt that is asking to be transformed into a tank top :D

In the latter case, you can start by cutting around the collar of a t‑shirt to make a wider neckline. On my shirt I have about 1.5 inches left between the neckline and the shoulder seam. You can cut the cuffs off the sleeves as well.

And now the t‑shirt is ready for transformation! :D

1. First, I put on the t‑shirt. I then flip one sleeve up and inside out, so that the edge of the sleeve meets the top of my shoulder. Fold the sleeve inside out all the way around, including under the arm. I had to kept pulling and adjusting here and there to make sure that the front of the shirt is not sagging. Repeat with the other sleeve. 



2. Pin the sleeve to the shirt in the front and underarm, as follows… (the shirt is still on me at this point… my phone camera just did a weird thing with the white balance which made my skin look all washed out)

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3. Very carefully (to avoid being pricked by the pins) take off the shirt, and pin the sleeves on the back.

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4. And now very carefully put the shirt back on again. Take the outer edge of the now folded sleeve and fold it in half, up to the shoulder and all the way around. 

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5. Then tuck any excess material under, like so…

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6. Pin the newly formed shoulder strap through all the layers. Repeat steps 4–6 with the other sleeve.

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7. Very carefully take off the shirt, and re-pin around the armholes to secure the folds made in step 4. 


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Here you can adjust the folds to make them more neat, then pin them down. Try to place the pins so that they look symmetrical on the shirt. I placed the pins in the underarms, top of shoulders, mid-front, and mid-back.

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8. Finally, with doubled thread, sew through all layers for two inches or so where the pins are placed. I hid my stitches by sewing along old serged seams where possible. I used black thread to match the shirt so you can’t see my stitches, but I drew a zigzag line to show you what I mean…

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Ta-da! A new shirt! :D



Perfect for soaking up the last bit of glorious summer before fall arrives :D

May your weekend be filled with awesomeness!


royal mail! :D

royal mail

I love getting Royal Mail :D

This time it carries two opalite beads that I ordered from Kerrie Berrie, a very friendly bead shop in Brighton. Not that I’ve been there in person (I wish I could be there in person), but the shipping was fast and when I had questions they replied right away. Very friendly services. And they have teardrop-shaped opalite beads!


I’ve been looking for opalite beads in this specific shape for a long time. The local bead stores don’t seem to have them. Of course I could get a string of like 100 on Etsy, but I don’t need that many. (Well, Etsy shops would probably sell them in a string of 10 or something, I was exaggerating. But I don’t even need 10) I just wanted one to make a necklace with. So I just kept looking every time I go to a bead store, hoping it would wondrously appear in front of me in a bead tray one day.

And one day I did a Google image search and saw a picture with two perfectly smooth teardrop-shaped opalite beads. I clicked on it and it took me to this bead store in Brighton, where one could shop online and buy as few as ONE opalite bead. I bought two :D

And finally a necklace was made, following this tutorial on how to wrap a briolette.


I love opalites because they glow.



Another happy news! Last Friday Sara of Illuminate Crochet posted an interview that she did with me :D Feeling so grateful that Sara gave me space on her blog to talk about crochet and plush and things I love. You can read the interview here, and be sure to browse around her awesome, informative blog and features on other crocheters!

Have a wonderful week, everyone! :D


out of the flame…

… grows a peony!

out of the flame

There are lots and lots of tutorials for these fabric flowers and I’ve long been fascinated by them, but I was just a bit intimidated by the fact that it involves using an open flame. Recently I’ve been working on sewing a belt to this dress (you will see the result later in the fall :D) but accidentally cut the fabric too short (this happens ALL the time with my sewing. When will I ever learn to measure properly?) so I needed a large-ish fabric flower to hide the gap between the ends of the belt. So! I finally conjured up the courage to make this.

I followed this peony tutorial on Creature Comforts. I must say, the small flame of a tea light is hotter than I thought. I was holding the fabric several inches above the flame and it still curled up rather quickly. The fabric also caught on fire a few times :S Just a really small flame, which I quickly blew out.

This is the first round of curling before the petals were cut. I took a photo of it because I thought it looked like the cap of a jelly fish :D


And this is the finished peony! :D


The petals aren’t cut exactly the way the tutorial instructed, mainly because I forgot how they were cut and didn’t bother to look it up again… but I think it looks alright! I sewed pearly beads in the centre.

This was a lot of fun! I think I will make more of these with other kinds of fabric! The chiffon I used was the same material I used for the dress and it’s really light, so maybe that’s why it caught on fire so easily…? 

As for how it will look on the dress… it will be positioned on the centre back of the waist because of the belt, and the first comment that Mike made was, “wouldn’t it look like a rabbit’s tail?” 


I haven’t tried it on. It is indeed a pretty fluffy flower. We will see…

Hope you’re having a good week! :D


this week’s awesome finds

That’s pretty indeed! And cheerful :D Pineapple lamp by Now That’s Pretty.


I’d have a hard time eating its cute little face but I bet it’s delicious! 1‑up mushroom pizza roll from Kitchen Overlord.


Pretty blouse made from a pillow sham! From the ever awesome C&C.


Maybe I’ll be able to tackle this one day! Whale shark phone cover by Reuben Briskie on Ravelry.


I’ve tried sun printing with fabric paint before, but this post by Craftiments has a scientific explanation of how it works! With regular acrylic paint! Might try that again and maybe make a tote bag with it :D


This chicken pot holder makes me grin :D Pattern by Crochet Again.


Such cheerful bunting for the bike basket! Also great for the home. Also makes nice pockets! Pattern by Greedy for Colour.


Oh my, a raincoat made of Ikea bags! Genius! By Scasper on Instructable.


Isn’t it beautiful? Pattern by Creadoo (it’s in German, so I hope Google Translate does a good job!). I really love this monochromatic version (spotted on Pinterest). Reminds me of the woven potholders we had when I was a child.


These owls are simply fabulous. By Decoideas.


Happy crafting! :D












summer parties

tea party 1

Last weekend my friends and I decided to have a tea party. My friends are very good at baking but I can’t bake for beans, so I thought I’d make tea party sandwiches. These open-face ones were inspired by a photo I saw on Pinterest. 


tea party 3

I thought lining them up on a cookie sheet with parchment paper on it would look nice. From left: cream cheese/cucumber, cream cheese/smoked salmon, avocado/mayonnaise, cream cheese/cucumber/smoked salmon.


tea party 2

Check out our spread! Cupcakes, shortbread, macarons, berries, oh my! We had an excellent afternoon catching up and eating lots of sweets :D I love tea parties.

And this weekend Mike and I went to a wedding. I had hoped to wear the cardigan from Amy’s crochet-along, and it was perfect for the cooler temperature in the evening. I even found a nice teal dress to go with it :D

CAL cardigan

Mike lent me one of his tie clips for the front closure (the piece of driftwood I was using in my previous photos was drawing too much attention to itself, I thought). It actually worked really well :D

Have an excellent Monday, everyone!


another day at the farmers market


This time I got some black cherry tomatoes, pattypan squash, and some kale. I’ve never had any of those before. The friendly farmers gave me samples of the tomatoes and squash. They were very sweet.

Here’s what we did with the cherry tomatoes and squash — a summer salad with just some salt, pepper and sesame oil.


I sautéed half the kale, but found it a bit too chewy. So I thought I’d try to make kale chips with the rest of them. I’ve always been intrigued by them!

I followed this recipe. It’s really rather simple. Didn’t even have to turn them over half way through baking. Came out nice and crisp!

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Mike and I devoured the entire bowl in one evening.

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And this is the drawing of the week. Treasures from the earth.

treasures from the earth

May your week be filled with simple joys and treasures!




A sandy-coloured sweater! :D KNITTED!!

I’ve always wanted to try a pattern by Pickles. They always look really stylish and seem simple to knit. Simple enough for someone who doesn’t knit very much, like me.

This sweater is made from the Late Summer Sweater pattern. I added random stripes of teal half way through the back piece because I thought I would run out of the sandy-coloured yarn (which, by the way, I bought from Value Village last year :D). I’m very much used to crocheting, where making a sleeve can consume an ENORMOUS amount of yarn, so I definitely overestimated how much yarn it would take to make the sweater. I ended up with an entire skein leftover. Yay :D

Here’s how the back looks, it has a different stripping pattern than the front.

back of sandy

I also made the sleeves and the bottom half of the sweater longer than instructed. More precisely (if you’re interested in making the sweater), the bottom part of the body (below the beginning of the bat wing sleeve) has 30 stitches in length, compared to 16 stitches in the pattern. And I did several more increases for the sleeve, ended up with 38 stitches before casting on extra stitches for the body.

Rather proud of myself for being able to add ribbing (2x2) to the edges :D 



The collar and the bottom edge are knitted on circular needles back and forth, and then the ends are sewn together. The sleeve cuffs however, are knitted *in the round* on DPNs — a new thing I don’t have a lot of practice with and pretty much avoid in patterns. It’s really not that hard but I’m still quite happy about it :D I used Lacey Bind off so it’s stretchy (#3 on the list in the link).

I’m all ready for fall! :D

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!



relishing summer

Stumbled upon a farmers market in the neighbourhood where I used to go to school, it even has a cafe! So I’ve made it a goal to visit when it opens every Wednesday, get some vegetables for the week, stop by the cafe (that is also part of the farmer’s market), and take some time to draw. Like I did when we were on our trip to Chicago :D I’m foreseeing a very busy September, so it’s nice to have the time to relish summer.

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Treasures from the earth! Rainbow chard — unicorns’ favourite vegetables! :D But contrary to what I thought and what the farmer seemed to be telling me, rainbow chard isn’t a species in itself, it’s actually a mix of different kinds of chard. But anyway, I’ve never had chard and it was very sweet.

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We sautéed the chard and the radish together :D

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And here’s the drawing I made at the cafe. About sharing space, sharing resources and supporting each others’ growth.

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The farmers market is in front of a church and the cafe is inside the nice courtyard of the church. I should take more pictures of it next week.

John Street Farmers Market! I highly recommend visiting if you’re in the neighbourhood :D

May your week be filled with simple joys.


trip to the windy city

Degi Hari

Mike and I spent a little time in Chicago about a week ago :D Here’s our view from the top of the Willis Tower, using the Zumi. It also captured a pretty nice photo of the impressive columns at the Museum of Science and Industry

Degi Hari

… and other impressive architecture in the city.

Degi Hari

We got a pass to various museums and city attractions, so we visited eight places in six days. It was more walking than I would do in a month in my home city, but definitely worth the effort to see all the new and wonderful things I’ve never seen before :D


I loved the miniature dioramas at the Field Museum. Here’s one about mummification that I especially like, mainly because I love how the light is filtered into the space. I could imagine people working on a hot sunny day, quietly and solemnly wrapping the body in strips of cloth.


Also at the Field Museum — a sloth! A giant tree sloth!!


Yup. I want to be a barnacle when I grow up.


Beautiful jelly fish at the Shedd Aquarium. I took many pictures and videos of them.



Don’t these green corals look knitted?


The sun filtering through the lily pads.


Marveled at more impressive architecture as we walked and took the transit around the city…



One of the train stations we frequented. They looked much older than the Toronto ones.


Owls at the Washington Harold Library! They remind me of the Guardians of Ga’hoole. This one in particular is kind of saying, “what you doing walking around and not reading a book?”


Cloud Gate is a must-see :D 


I’ve read about Cloud Gate in art history books but never fully appreciated it until I saw it in person. Seeing the hundreds of people walking around it and interacting with it, all intrigued by their own reflections, makes me realize how clever a public art piece it is. It’s a sculpture that interacts with everything in its environment; it sits perfectly still yet it actively invites people in its environment to interact with it.

Speaking of things I’ve read in art history books, we also visited the Frank Lloyd Wright home and studio. I didn’t buy the pass to take photos of the interior, but here I found the tallest, largest ginkgo tree I’ve ever seen! I so wanted to offer a hug but there was a flower bed around it :(


And here’s an amazing community art piece at one of the train stations, called Hopes and Dreams. It’s made by the people who visited the various museums during the summer of 1999, at the turn of the century. There’s a nice write-up about it here.


This is from the Adler Planetarium, early drawings by astronomers to record what they saw in the sky. I took a photo of it because I thought it would make a nice embroidery pattern.


We also went to the Jane Addams’ Hull-House Museum, one of the first settlement houses in North America, I believe. Didn’t take many photos there, but I bought a book that was part of the Alternative Labeling Project at the museum, which I just found out that it is entirely online! So you can read it too, Jane Addams’ Travel Medicine Kit by Terri Kapsalis. It’s a very short read and I highly recommend it. This is a quote from the book that I really like:

There are many ways to arrive at an understanding. We must not conflate brilliance with ease and comfort. Trembling knees and an unrelenting sense of failure is one way forward.

All in all we had the most wonderful time in the windy city. We even celebrated our 6th anniversary with deep dish pizza and root beer! :D



Feeling blessed to be able to travel and see things, and to have a community of people to share traveling photos with! :D Thank you so much for visiting!