Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals. I'm a recovering former vegan and vegetarian, now healing with a nutrient-dense mostly Paleo diet, and love at-home CrossFit and yoga workouts. I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

New mom to baby Otto born April 2018!


Super easy headband project

I love headbands.  I wear one pretty much every day.  I know the thinner ones are in right now, but I had a couple ugly wide ones that I never wore and got for super cheap, and I wanted to make them at least a little cuter.
This isn't really a tutorial, since there are so few steps, but it's a fun and easy project!
Here are the headbands I started out with.  One is an ancient VERY polyester satin scarf tie headband, the other an impulse buy from the Target $1 area a few springs ago.
Here's what I did:
Tear the headband apart, pick and and rip the fabric off.  I used scissors to start the hole and then just PULLED!  They both had what seemed like hot glue on them keeping the fabric on.  In this pic you can kind of see the hot glue still left on.
I used scrap pieces from other projects for the fabric.  They're the perfect size.
I used a strip about 1 1/2" wider than the widest part of the headband.  Using spray adhesive (spray the headband itself), I position and center the fabric on the plastic.
 I used hot glue to tuck the edges up into the underside of the headband.  I did this up and down all the way, and then just hot-glued the bottom ends up.

The hot glue shows on the inside, so I could have glued some braid or something on top of it, but I don't care.  Ha ha!  Nothing shows on the outside, and they're just for me, so I took the easy way out.


A preppy, happy, springy dress!!

It has been off and on sunny this week, but I was too afraid of it passing to start any nice-weather projects.  But yesterday, I made this dress, which I think works for early spring (if I'm staying indoors) as well as spring and summer!
I was fantasizing about a 50's-inspired shirtdress, but cute and well-fitted.  Here are some of my inspirations...
I like the look of these but couldn't find a cute (and young) enough pattern--at least not in my collection.  So I used this pattern, which has waist definition but a cute detail of a high waist and large pleats.
I used the same fabric for both the top and bottom pieces, but did totally different sleeves than any of the ones provided.  I used the long, straight-ish sleeves and gave them cuffs.  I cut them too long for cap sleeves, then hemmed them with a big hem and rolled them back (kept in place with hand-stitching).
I added simple white cotton lace, the cheap an ubiquitous stuff, on the bottom.
I also played around with where to put the tie/bow of the sash... where do you think it should go?
Side tie, side bow, or back?
Just to be funky, I used four mismatch vintage buttons for the closure, and white ric rac at the neck/collar seam!
I have been way into blue/white stripes (which this fabric is, up close), and hoped to channel both JCrew and Anthro with this cutie.
I was afraid, after I cut it out and started sewing, of course, that the blue would make it look like a nurse's uniform!!  But I hope the ric rac and funky buttons make it less uniform-ey...
Unfortunately, it is rainy today, so I will be wearing jeans and long sleeves!


You tried it!

I am always so excited to run across a reader who tried and blogged about one of my tutorials!!  I would like to feature all of you out there who try and want to share something you've learned here on Adventures in Dressmaking!!  Please email me or if you've done something you'd like me to post!  There are so many talented bloggers out there, and I love to share and swap with all of you.  Feel free to post a comment if you have a project you'd like to share, too.

Carla, from Small Friendly, made the paper bag skirt tutorial from some super cute IKEA fabric.  Looks awesome!

Rachel from Shoes and Sewing tried the Kate Spade knockoff flower tank tutorial--sooo cute, I still love stripes!

Megan from My Boat Floats tried my jeans-mending method on some fave designer jeans (and did a great job!)

Trine in Denmark made a couple versions of the classic paper bag skirt--one in a girl's size, and one for an adult!

Tahirah was inspired by my super easy paper bag waist skirt,and the classic paper bag skirt, and made a version using a thrifted men's button-up shirt!  She used elastic for the waist and added the belt and belt loops.

Celine from Belgium tried my Peter Pan collar tank or tee tutorial!!

Maiko made my paper bag skirt tutorial and posted it on BurdaStyle!

Bethany at Craftopia tried my lace-embellished tee tutorial with fab results:
She said, "It was SUPER fast, and it looks great! I linked back to your tutorial. Thanks for the inspiration!! :)"  Thanks, Bethany!

Sabrina at Honor Roll used the Striped and Ruffled Rose tank tutorial, and said, "Had to immedately make the striped ruffle top after I saw it this weekend - it was so easy and turned out so cute!! Thanks for sharing! Here is my version, in boatneck:"

Ingrid wrote me and said, "I made the Tissue Flutter Tank out of a clearance nightgown I found at Target."--how fun and girly is it in pink?

Becca at Thrift Stitch tried my blue ruffle top refashion, since she had the exact same top from Target clearance and had also never worn it!  How funny is that?!

Suzie from Su Sews So tried my shirt skirt tutorial and it looks great!

A reader emailed me this great pic of her zig zag rug from my DIY tutorial--doesn't it look great in the larger size??

Iris at BYOV tried the jeans shorts makeover tutorial: "I had a pair of jeans in my closet, possibly from high school, with ridiculous flaired legs, circa 2002. Not.acceptable." Aren't they great now?

Heather of Mei Mei Makes Five turned some too-short jeans into very cute cropped shorts using my jean-to-short makeover tutorial!  So trendy!

And Stephanie said, "I just wanted to say thanks for inspiring me to use my sewing machine for more than pillows and table runners.  I went a bit bold with the ruffles, and I love it.  So, so easy and fun."  See the cute ruffled top she made?

Natalie at I'm Frugal did a great job mending some holes with my Essential Blue Jean Mending Method!

Diana used my Essential Jeans-Mending Method on her jeans, and posted on Sew, Craft + Decor!

Kristen from Peace, Love and Crafts tried Ali's great bow necklace tutorial that I had on here as a blog swap.  So cute!!

Maiden Jane made a rice bag, with a cozy pillowcase, too!

And Kelly, from The Haute Mama Fashionista, made this sweater inspired by my ruffle vest and JCrew tee tutorials:

Erica said, "I just finished making two kid-sized versions of your J-Crew Asymmetrical T-shirt.  I LOVE the way they turned out.  I am not a seamstress...I've never sewn anything except baby headbands, so beginner is an understatement for me.  Your tutorial was great and seemed so easy, so I decided to try it out on some clearance long sleeved shirts I found at Old Navy for $2.99."  Check how great they turned out!
And look at how well-accessorized her daughter is in one of them...

Lauren from MidSouth Stagers had almost the exact problem I did--cheap ikat tank, not cute to wear--pillow!  Look how great it looks with that cute orange print!

Janine said, "Some time ago I found these American Eagle Christmassy T-shirts at 1 euro for 3!...I took 2 of them apart and made this shirt with the help of your tutorial. I guess I'll be making Christmas pillows from the fronts, but not now!"

Becca at Think Pink combined my J.Crew Asymmetrical Ruffle Tee and my J.Crew Ruffle Henley tutorials to make a hybrid version!

Have any of you tried any of my tutorials?  If so, I would love to see pics!  Email me at!


A simple ruffle tee makeover--an original!

I do lots of ruffle tee refashions, but this one isn't based on a JCrew or Anthropologie look.  This one is a combination of my design and a tee one of my friends wore one day!
I used a plain long-sleeved tee from Old Navy in that funky neutral mushroom color for this refashion.  I bought several of these in different colors when they were on special for $5 each!
A huge benefit of always shopping at the same places is that they use the same colors.  So, I had leftover sleeve pieces from this project in the same color and very similar knit fabric.
All I really did was sew together and then gather the strips (about 1.5" wide), then pin them on and sew them down.
The whole thing took about 10 minutes.  Seriously, try this at home!  You could use any color for the ruffle, too, I suppose, for a different look!
Here's the before:
And here it is with a ruffle on the front!
Rolling my eyes at my photographer... ;)


Very versatile patterns, for those of us with funky chest sizes!

During my many years of sewing, I've come across several patterns with three or more different "bodice front" pieces--one for A cups, one for B cups, one for C/D...
As someone with frustratingly small boobs but also a larger-than-average ribcage, normal patterns usually fit me and I can usually pick the middle-of-the-road cup size pattern piece.
But oftentimes, patterns don't fit right out of the envelope and you have to figure out yourself how to alter patterns and tweak them for your body type.  I've listed a few (cute!) patterns here that are adjustable right from the package, letting you mix and match the pieces to make a specific size.

Any McCall's pattern with the "MADE-FOR-YOU" slogan on the package includes multiple cup sizes, I'm pretty sure.
And Simplicity, my personal fave, has quite a few cute ones with multiple cup sizes:
Seems to me about half of these have little banners on the pattern front that say "Separate Patterns Included for B, C, D Cup Sizes"--but not all of them do.  You have to read the fine print on the back and this can be pretty confusing.
It also seems pretty random which patterns do and don't include multiple options for bust.  You'd think the fitted, structured, figure-hugging dresses and tops would do this and the baggier, cross-over, or more forgiving looks wouldn't, but this isn't the case.  Who knows what the logic behind this is.

And as a warning, here's a pattern that DOES NOT fit any cup size.  I've made this three times and I always hope that it'll fit, but it's always snug and unflattering across the bust.  There are no bust darts, just gathers at the waist, and there is not enough room at the bust.  I need to draft a new pattern piece or make a note or something on the paper, because I really like the style, but it is not flattering!
 Hope my thoughts help!!
Have any of you had particularly good or bad luck fitting/altering bust sizes in modern patterns?


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