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!

kale chips 2

Mike and I devoured the entire bowl in one evening.

kale chips 1

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!