Simple Sweats


Thanks to everyone who has “Liked” and “Commented” on my last blog post, “Sweatshirt Fairy Tale”.  I received so many fun responses.  And as promised here is the first of three followup related posts, sequels to the aforementioned. As you may recall, our “Cinderella” Sweatshirt has some unfortunate step sisters (3), who are looking for a makeover. Today’s post features, “Sloppy Sweatpants.” Right away I’m feeling the need to rename these pants as they are really just simple not sloppy, seems more fair!

Our garment redo is a pair of Old Navy light weight navy knit pull on pants with a roll down yoga-style waistband. They are great for working all day in the studio or at a retreat.  Since my previous post featured several different altering techniques, I decided to keep this one very simple.  With just some fabric paint, stencils and stamps these basic pants are transformed!

When painting with fabric paint, I used Jacquard, always make sure you prewash the garment to remove any sizing used in the manufacturing process. My pants were ones I have had for a while, they have been in and out of the wash many times and have held up quite well!


I used  purchased letter stencils for the “Art is Life” and “Create”. I cut my own stencil for the number “10” from mylar with a utility knife. Also a good idea is to slip a flat pice of cardboard or some newsprint paper in between the fabric layers so that the paint doesn’t bleed through to the other side when applying the paint. BTW the “10” is to commemorate the tenth anniversary this year for the Art is You Retreats. The title “Art is Life” was the theme from a previous AIY Retreat…I just love that expression!

Always let your fabric paint dry overnight, if possible (a hand held craft dryer also works if you are in a rush!), and then heat set with a press cloth and a dry (no steam) hot iron.


Here’s a pic of “Cinderella Sweatshirt” and her sis, “Simple Sweat”.

If you love to sew, paint and embellish…please join me for my workshop “Art Retreat Threads”on at Art is You, Stamford CT on Saturday, October 10, 2015. Here’s the link for the class, click here

Stay tuned for the next chapter in this garment makeover trilogy!!


Sweatshirt Fairy Tale

Once upon a time there was an old, plain sweatshirt. Nothing wrong with her, just a plain jane gray. You know the type.  Recently while I was sewing away in my studio, I heard this tiny voice calling from the closet.

“Is anyone out there?” said the voice.

I walked over, opened the closet door, pushed back some clothes and heard the voice again,

“Over here”, it said

“Well, hi there”, I said (just realizing I was in fact talking to a piece of clothing).

“Thank goodness you heard me! I have been trying to get someone’s attention for some time now.”said a sweatshirt. “My name is Little Gray (LG), and I’m feeling a little overwhelmed in here with all these clothes. Is there anyway you can please help me look cool like them?”

“Well of course I can, LG.  Let’s take a look at you and see what we can do.” I said

I told Little Gray about my upcoming workshop “Art Retreat Threads” at Art is You, Stamford this October and she immediately lit up!  “I’d be willing to be a class sample if you’d like…I really could use a makeover!” she said.

I said I was game if she was, so I began to make suggestions as to how we can change up her look.

“How about if we try a flower design:  free motion embroider the petals,  reverse appliqué and then bead the flower’s center?


Then we’ll stamp an inspirational word under the flower. Let’s add side pleats by opening up your side seams and inserting this batik fabric..that would look great. The neckline could use some trim,  maybe this stretch lace? To round out the design, let’s add some more free motion flowers on the front and back sides down by the pleats.  What do you think? I asked.















“Yes, yes, yes to everything!’ Little Gray said with delight!

So that’s just what we did. When I was done, I tried LG on and we looked into the mirror.

“WOW, I’m so arty and cool!” She exclaimed. “Thank you so much for this makeover, I feel so ready to rock this new look (very nice manners for a sweatshirt, I must say!)!.


Then LG asked, “I have a couple ugly step sisters, “Holey Jeans” and “Sloppy Sweats”, can you help upcycle them too?”

“Of course, LG, I would be happy to!” I said. So off we went to gather them up for their redo.

And they all lived happily ever after….to be continued!

Join me, Little Gray, Holey and Sloppy and a whole cast of characters (!) for a great day of re and up cycling clothes from your closet.  It will be such a fun, stimulating and transforming wardrobe experience!

To learn more about my workshop Art is You, Stamford                “Art Retreat Threads”, click here!