I started with a lot of inspiration from all over the place.  It’s ok, I’ll call it a barely wearable muslin.  It’s a bit bulky. That’s ok, I still like it.  Not in love with it, but, like it enough.  I’m a little embarrassed to wear it out of the house, but I’ll force myself.

I used the Tonic tee and cut the large as a base, and of course, added a bunch of stuff.  It’s a little large and poorly fitted, but decent.

I unfortunately ran out of buttons.  I wanted to add a button to the collar and button it up.  My son thought it was funny when I had it up.  He said I looked like a ninja.  Oh well.  The collar looks a tad sad.  I also forgot to plan to add pockets.  It probably won’t be worn very much.

The fabric is a thick navy sweatshirt knit with minimal stretch.

jacket f



Bow Back shirt – yes, another

Basic black bow back shirt.  My modified tonic tee, of course.

Boring right, but, closer to filling my closet with basic tops.  I modified the back neckline because it felt like the bow was pulling in at my shoulders.  It feels a touch too wide, but maybe I’ll just lower the bottom part to compensate.  I’ll have to wear it a while and see what I’ll do.  Plus, my result will be different with other knits.

The fabric is from the National City Swap meet.  There is a lady there that sometimes sells a bag of fabric for $5!  Most are 1 yard or less and often have printing errors, or holes, but for experiments, and muslins it is fantastic.  It also forces me to think creatively about what I will do with it. I bought 2 bags last time and I think I’ve sewn through 75% of it!

This fabric’s fiber content feels like a beefy cotton/spandex.

I will need to make more of these, but I don’t think I need to post any more of these, they all look the same.  I’ll try to make a different one next time, like a different colored bow or something.

bowf bowb

Tonic tee – with bow

Lately if it has a bow on it, I want to make it.  The Tonic tee with the bow back in purple this time.  Yes, I can’t stop myself.  I will likely make a few more.  Although, I’m running out of T-shirt fabric, boo.

This was one of the first knit fabrics I bought, wow, almost 10 years ago.  It’s a nice thick soft knit I had been saving.  Unfortunately, I forgot to pre-wash it, oops.  Hopefully it doesn’t shrink too much.

Not much to say about it.  It’s the Tonic Tee as a base with a plain front and a bow back.  I did a 1″ FBA and rotated the side dart.

The skirt is one of my favorite thrifted skirts.

Looking at these pictures it feels like the shirts should be shorter for these skirts.  I’ll experiment.

purple bow1 purple bow2

Tonic Tee Hack Again

I tried to improve the “not a” Lekala 4284 copy I made before.  I still think it’s so cute.  This time with a “plain” front and a bow back.

In a hardly any stretch brown with a 3/4 FBA! I think I still need a larger FBA.  The back is horribly wrinkled.  I swear the hem is even!  I checked!

bowbackshirtbrownf bowbackshirtbrownb

In an off grain print.  This fabric was very stretchy.  No FBA.

pinkbowback f pinkbowback b

The skirt is a ready to wear pencil skirt I found at a thrift store.

Tonic Tee turned into Lekala / “Not” Lekala 4284

I modeled the modified version of the Tonic tee after Lekala 4284, but with a sweetheart neckline.  I had already tried the Lekala free t shirt they have and I wasn’t pleased with the fit.  I must have done something wrong because there are plenty of people that say Lekala’s patterns fit great with minimal alterations.  Lekala also has such nice designs.

Anyway, I found it easy enough to make the Tonic tee shirt look similar to the Lekala pattern.  Of course I changed a few things.  It’s not perfect but I really really like it.  It’s a little more fitted than I’m used to wearing, but I’m trying new things.  I am probably going to need to add a dart boo.



I did make the skirt, last night.  It looks quite terrible actually.  It was a ponte I found, yes, at the swap meet.  The skirt stretched quite a bit and it didn’t recover.  I had worn it last night and didn’t notice.  Hopefully it will bounce back after washing.  I didn’t use a pattern, just used my measurements.  It worked out ok.  Well, maybe not so good since it looks terrible. hahaha.

When I was drafting the blog post I didn’t really have a skirt or pants that went with the shirt.  I said this out loud and my 3 year old boy heard me and said, “well, you could pattern it and sew it”, meaning a skirt.  I showed him the shirt and I asked him what color skirt I should make. He paused then said mmm black.  My dilemma is finding the right shade of black.

I think I might want to try to draft Lekala 4321 next.  I will likely make dresses but who knows.