Upcycled Dress for Andy

Today would have been my grandfather’s 84th birthday. While he is so, so, so missed, he lives on in our family in so many ways. I catch myself quite often saying things to Andy that he used to say to my sister and I when we were growing up. The phrases just slip out and suddenly I realize where they came from and my heart swells.

My sister (L) and I (R) with our grandfather in May 1993. Our grandparents were avid square dancers (hence our attire). Also, LACE SOCKS (my grandmother has gifted Andy several packs of them & my heart melts putting them on her little feet!).

A few months before he passed away my sister and her husband announced that our nephew was on the way, and soon they asked our grandfather for permission to share his name. My grandpa was over-the-moon not only about a little one on the way (he couldn’t wait to bounce him on his knee), but also that they’d both be known as “Guy.” Less than two months before Little Guy’s arrival, Big Guy passed away unexpectedly.

At the beach in 1993 (my sister on the left; me on the right). I’m so glad overalls are making a come back.

We still feel the loss and wish (out loud) that he were here for so many of the special moments, but I do believe the timing was nothing short of proof in a higher power (the loss of Big Guy was going to be tough on our family regardless of the timing. Having Little Guy come into our lives after such grief was truly a blessing). I also believe that there’s no mistake that the paths of the two Guys crossed. There are things that Little Guy does that remind me so much of Big Guy. Our family was and is so blessed!

Halloween 1994.

Aside from it being my grandfather’s birthday, I share this with you because he contributed to my latest make for Andy!

For a few years, my husband coached lacrosse at the high school that my grandfather attended. My grandparents never missed a home game and wore their team shirts to every single one.

After my grandfather passed away, my grandmother passed several shirts on to my husband – this being one!

When I received an email from Heather Handmade with a call for testers for a pattern designed to upcycle an adult t-shirt, I knew this was what I wanted to use!

The pattern is designed to upcycle a t-shirt into a romper, A-line dress, or gathered waist dress (3 options!).

I chose to make the gathered waist dress and included the optional pocket. I am crazy about how it turned out!

One of my favorite things about the pattern is how Heather walks you through reusing the original neckline AND hems!

I repeat: NO HEMMING!

I absolutely love the neckline – apparently my family breeds big-headed babies so sometimes RTW shirts are a struggle to get over Andy’s noggin’. The overlap of the neckline adds a professional look with the added benefit of easing over a big head.

The pattern was really easy to follow and a quick sew!

I love the opportunity to use materials already on hand.

This pattern is the perfect opportunity to rescue t-shirts gathering dust in your drawer because you can’t bear to part with them but they no longer fit. I have so many plans for more!

Andy is at a very “busy” stage right now so taking proper pictures of her is a struggle 😀 This is the best I could do!

She is wearing mostly 12-month size clothes in RTW so I made her the 18-month size in the pattern for longevity. She has some room to spare but it fits her quite nicely. She is clearly built like me so what should be a regular sundress is more of a maxi dress on her, but I think it’s adorable!

I am planning to shorten the A-line pattern to make a few t-shirts for Andy soon. Her closet could use some basic t’s 😉

PS: You can see another shirt of my grandfather’s I refashioned (for myself) two-years-ago HERE.

*This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to purchase a pattern from Heather Handmade using one of the links in this post, I will receive a small commission. I appreciate you using my links to make a purchase and supporting indie designers like Heather!
{Disclaimer: I was provided the pattern for free as one of the testers. All opinions shared in this post are authentically mine – it’s true: I really DO love this pattern!}
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What I’m Lovin’ in January

Oops! It’s the 1st Friday of February (instead of the last Friday of January) so please forgive me 😉 I still wanted to share what I’ve been lovin’ since the list was so good!

 1. Audiobooks

My sister “taught” me how to access audiobooks with our library membership and I’m hooked.

I’ve been using the Libby app

Books I’ve listened to so far:

  • The Magnolia Story – It was neat to hear the story of Chip & Joanna, but overall not life-changing.
  • A Higher Loyalty by James Comey
  • You Can’t Touch My Hair by Phoebe Robinson – recommended by my friend Shanika!
  • Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living – inspired me to revisit the savings-calculating-budget-worksheet I created 6 years ago that’s been collecting dust…
  • The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer – Amy reading her own book was hilarious!
I’m looking for recommendations – share your favorite books/audiobooks with me!

 2. Pete The Bear {Free Pattern!}

Andy’s first birthday was this month (all.the.tears.) which means all of her daycare friends are also passing the big milestone. I whipped up Pete the Bear for one of her friend’s birthdays and was delighted at how quickly it came together!

Pete the Bear made by yours truly

I’m definitely planning to make more bears – they’re a great scrap-buster and kid-friendly gift to have on hand. Warren the Charity Bear is also on my “to-sew” list – so cute!

 3. These Parenting Hacks

This list of parenting hacks are genius!

Definitely picking up some 3D paint on my next trip to the craft store…

 4. That buying bulk doesn’t have to break the bank

love Rosewood Market and was thrilled to see their post promoting buying in bulk. Buying in bulk doesn’t have to cost a fortune or require a garage for storage.

You can read more about buying in bulk at Rosewood Market here.

 5. NM Organic’s No Mo B.O. Pit Cream

I met Bex and DeAnna at a conference last summer and was thrilled to discover that they make and sell body care essentials. I have been using their No Mo B.O. Pit Cream since the holidays and absolutely love it! I have tried a few “all-natural” deodorant options and couldn’t find any that I liked. The consistency of the No Mo B.O. Pit Cream is thick but goes on light and works really well. I’m a convert.

Visit the NM Organic shop!

 6. This post about being inclusive

Race and my own privilege is something I’m still wrestling with. As a mother now I feel even more motivated to do.the.work. I want Andy to grow up even more enlightened and accepting than I can hope to be.

I found this post really moving and am working through the recommended resources.

 7. Plastic-free Packaging

Like many folks, I do most of my fabric and supply shopping online. As a working-away-from-the-home mom, every second counts. The less time I can spend driving to a store, cruising the shop to find what I’m searching for, and waiting in line to pay, the more time I have to spend squeezing my favorite little squishy human.

BUT I acknowledge the wastefulness of online shopping. Disposable packaging makes my heart sad. I always try to reuse what I can, but that’s not always possible.

So, finding this list of sewing shops who use plastic-free packaging when shipping orders made me so happy!

Find the list of shops here.

 8. These tips for sustainable decluttering

My husband and I have started watching Tidying Up With Marie Kondo on Netflix and I am fascinated. While I love the organizing tips, the magnitude of “stuff” in these homes and watching the “stuff” get bagged and tossed does concern me quite a bit. I do wish the deeper causes were addressed more to focus on prevention (of accumulating stuff in the future) and sustainability (to remain tidy) as they relate to our consumer culture.

I really liked Kate’s perspective – specifically the five things she recommends thinking about instead of joy. Give it a read!

What have you been lovin’ this month? Let me know in the comments so I can jump on your bandwagon!

{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}