Tutorial Tuesday: Sweater Pants

image from thisisnext.com

What's better than a warm, cozy sweater on a chilly day? A pair of swants! Swants aka sweater pants. Although this isn't a new idea (honestly nothing in fashion is), swants are perfect for running errands in cold temps when you don't want to rely on sweatpants. I was on a hunt for a pair of sweater leggings last year and scored them from Aeropostale for 12 bucks on sale!
I also nabbed these from H&M. The sucky part is trying to find sweater knit material to cut-and-sew a pair. I haven't been able to find any fabric in NYC's garment district or online. If anyone knows of a fabric store/shop, please let me know.

Stephen West of westknits.com was kind enough to provide a detailed (and pretty funny) tutorial to make your own from an old sweater. None wants to wear those awful Christmas sweaters, but they'd be kinda awesome as pants. Crafty and repurposing at the same time!

What you need:
  • 1 sweater
  • 1 tapestry needle
  • About 10 safety pins
  • Waste yarn for seaming (You can use a serger or sewing machine for cleaner finishing.)

You try on the sweater (legs inside sleeves), cut out the neck area to create a crotch area of the pants. And then seaming comes into play. Check out the West Knits blog for more details. Go on and get crafty!
© Stephen West
© Stephen West
© Stephen West


Yarnbox is a new subscription program for knitters. It's just like Birchbox or Curlbox, but with yarn-goodness inside. How cool is that? They offer different subscription options on their website and you get a box delivered monthly. The really cool thing I liked was taking a little survey about what you'd colors and weights you'd prefer to be sent. And there was a question of whether you knit, crochet or both. Check out their website: https://yarnbox.com.

Thanks to Gaye Glasspie for telling her GG Made It Facebook followers about it!! I would have never known about it otherwise. Onto the good stuff: I received my first box on Friday. Yay! So here's what was in the November box. (Btw, there was a small packet of Runts candy included. I devoured those before taking a photo. LOL.)

The yarn is Lhasa Wilderness, Yak / Bamboo Blend by Bijou Basin Ranch. (More info here.) When I read "yak down" I was in shock. Like...really? Yak?! But the yarn feels super soft and cool to touch. Already have plans for this to become a pair of cabled mitts.

Brrr, it's cold!

I know, I know. It's been a while. This whole "work-life balance" thing is really hard to master. Who knew?! I've been knitting more lately, mainly cowls. Chunky and super bulky weight yarns are definitely my favorites now. When it comes to quick projects (and possibly a shirt attention span), they are the best way to go. Two coworkers requested a cowl after they saw me wearing this one. So here's one in Wool-Ease Thick & Quick charcoal grey and another in Hometown USA black, both yarns by Lion brand. 

It's really chilly and windy in NYC this weekend. My plan is to make a mug of hot chocolate, lounge on the couch watching my DVR and knit up some stuff.  What are you doing today? 

FO: Ha'Penny Cowl


I can't believe I started this project a little over 3 years ago and just finished it this past Sunday (9/15). *hangs head in shame* In any case it came out beautifully. The timing was perfect. It's quite chilly in NYC now...depending on what day it is. This tricky transition between summer and fall is annoying! But I was so cozy wearing this today that I really didn't mind the cold.

I'm already looking for a new something to knit up. Something quick possibly to help eat up the yarn stash that surprisingly (not really) keeps growing.

DIY Pattern Weights

I love the idea of taking an inexpensive item and putting it to use as something else. Case in point: metal washers turned into pattern weights. The use of pattern weights allows you to keep your sewing pattern flat while tracing and cutting out fabric. I find pinning patterns to fabric kind of annoying, so instead of buying weights I wanted to make my own.

I purchased 5 pieces each of 1/2" and 1 3/8" wide flat washers from a hardware store (like these) and wrapped them in scrap yarn. That's it! Quick, simple and super cheap. You can use glue or a small piece of tape to hold down the start of the yarn. Clip and glue down the end or use a crochet hook to pull the end through the beginning loops before clipping. In total I paid less than $2 for the washers. 

What do you use when cutting patterns: weights or pins?

Project hoarder?

Does that sound familiar to you? Ok maybe the definition is a bit extreme, but still applies (somewhat). I, Kisha T, am a bit of a hoarder when it comes to having projects. Especially unfinished projects. The first step is admitting it...right??

There are at least 4 items that were on my list of things to sew back in April/May: a few maxi dresses, a maxi skirt, a jumpsuit and a pair of flared shorts. I allowed work to get in the way, but also added more things on that list in the meantime. Procrastination and not following through. That's what my issue has been lately. And lack of motivation. /sad

So my plan today is to cut out all the patterns I have that haven't been touched. I'm talking 3-4 print-at-home patterns and probably 4 more store bought patterns...not including the 3 I ordered last week and had sent to the office . Hopefully I'm done and ready to sew by tomorrow. I have a lot of fabric stash to use up. And then of course I can contribute my to the blog!

How do you push through a lack of motivation? I could really use some tips!

I'm on Bloglovin...

Since I haven't been consistent with reading blogger updates, I'm just now hearing that Google Reader has been shut down. So to keep up with me, follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Obsession: Joggers

 image from @dresstokill_boutique
The style of a jogger is not a new concept. In reality, most silhouettes in fashion now are recycled from decades past. These pants can be described as a slimmer harem or lounge pant. Just as cool as a harem pant, joggers have a slimmer leg and higher rise...or not so dropped crotch. (I don't know why, but the word crotch makes me giggle a bit.)

For daytime, I would definitely wear these with sneakers or flats depending on fabrication (print, solid, knit, etc.). I love the idea of a slim pant in a graphic pattern paired with a heel and fitted tee or cropped top. So sexy for summer nights out.
image from Urban Outfitters
here at RiverIsland.com
River Island

What do you think of these? Would you wear them?

10 Surprising Celebrities That Sew

I thought this article from The Sewing Directory was pretty cool. There are a few on the list that aren't surprising (Gwen Stefani mostly), but I never expect to see men listed when I read the title. Check it out at the link below.

10 Surprising Celebrities That Sew

Obsession: Maxi Skirts

Every summer, I go maxi dress crazy. I mean, I literally have about 15-20 maxi dresses and most are patterned. There's a joke in the office that I can probably wear a maxi dress everyday without repeating one for an entire month. :)

The next best thing are maxi skirts. They are super comfortable and just as feminine as a maxi dress. Pair it with a tee, tank or even a button-front woven shirt tied at the waist. Most maxi skirts are better paired with a flat shoe. If the hem stops at your ankle, then wear a heel. I will be making some very soon. (The ones I had were ruined.)

There are a ton of DIY tutorials on the web and YouTube. The easiest way to make a maxi skirt would be to cut a large rectangle (about double the with of your waist measurement), fold one of the longer sides to create a tunnel, pull elastic through the tunnel and sew the shorter sides together. Sew a hem and you're done!

Here are a few outfit ideas (all images found on Tumblr). Now go strut your stuff you sexy goddess!

DIY: Scrabble Coasters

Hey beautiful people! Ok...so I kinda forgot to post the finished Scrabble coasters. (Please excuse the photo qualities. I have no idea where my camera is :(.)

Here's a quick tutorial of what I did:

Lay out your 4-letter words. There are endless possibilities when you have 100 tiles like I did. the only issue I came across was having just 1 blank tile and an excess of vowels. I turned over an extra tile for a blank space.
I kept my word choices PG

Next, apply a very thin layer of glue to the sides of one tile and press against the next. I've seen another tutorial where someone used super glue, but I like my trusty E6000. When you're all done, you want to let them fully dry (I wanted overnight) and then affix the blocks to rolled cork.
I used a glue gun, but a thin layer of E600 is just as good.

Then using an exacto knife or box cutter, cut off the excess cork.

When that's done, you're ready to seal! I used modge podge and a foam brush. Brush across in one direction to keep an even layer.

And that's it! You are now the owner of super cool, Scrabble coasters. :)

New furniture and things

Three months and no blogging?! Tisk, tisk, tisk.

Well...I'm back! I've been super busy at work and trying to get my apartment to look presentable. For a while it looked like a storage unit with all the boxes and plastic bins I had spread throughout the space. Slowly but surely it is coming along. I never posted a photo of the desk I purchased from BestBuy.com back in January. It's called Love in Paris by LumiSource. Really cute and was very easy to put together.

Then in March, I bought a coffee table from Target and a bookcase from Best Buy. (I seriously love the furniture prices from Best Buy online!) Both were quick to put together and all pieces were assembled buy me alone. 'Cuz you know...I'm tough like that. /sweat

And then...the rug. I actually find it the day before the packages for the coffee table and bookcase arrived. After scouring costless furntiure and retail store, Craigslist and Amazon also, I went to the one site I didn't think would help. eBay. Of all places...eBay. This rug was in the Overstock.com eBay store. I thought it would go perfectly with the table. I was right :).

Now I'm in the process of making coasters out of Scrabble tiles. Fun!! Two of them are drying now, so hopefully that will be my next post. Until then...

New Books: "Drape Drape" & "Drape Drape 2"

This post is so late...

Like everyone else who hates going shopping during Black Friday sales (but doesn't like missing out on good deals), I hit up BarnesandNoble.com to see what I could find. (Don't judge!) Luckily I spotted soft cover versions of Japanese draping books that I've been stalking. The hardcover editions are $24.95 each, but softcovers are under $20 and at the time I bought them for even less. *happy dance*. Both books are by Hisako Sato.

I absolutely love all things drapey. Lightweight, drapey knits appeal to me mainly for the ease of fit. Don't get me wrong - I rock tight jeans and leggings all the time, but a slouchy tee or relaxed cardigan is my go-to any day of the week. Anywho, below are some of the styles you can make in Drape Drape 2.

As soon as I get the rest of these boxes unpacked, I'll be attacking these patterns (full sized paper patterns are included in the back of the books). Oh...and I just found out Drape Drape 3 is available for purchase also.

No Laptop :(

So my precious MacBook Pro randomly shut off while I was in the middle of a season 1 marathon of Scandal on Netflix. (Yes, I caught onto the show late, hence, my self induced marathon lol.) I never realized how much I rely on my laptop in the small amount of time I actually am home after work. It's been 5 days now and it's been such a struggle! Last I checked, it was in its way to Apple repair center in LA. Hopefully the logic oats won't need to be replaced. *fingers crossed*

By the way, there are a lot of websites that still don't have mobile layout. They need to get it together! Lol.

Happy New Year!!

A new year has come again (I mean, its not like that's not going to change LOL). May you have a blessed year ahead of you filled with love, happiness and healthy.

I celebrated by going to Times Square to watch the ball drop. INSANITY!! But I had fun. Check out some of the pics I took below. Theres also a video that I cant post since I'm typing from my phone :(.

What did you do to ring in the new year?

Jenny McCarthy. She's looked amazing!

ETA: here's the ball-drop countdown :).