When inspiration strikes – a Hanami top and hand stamped leggings

How amazing the creative process is! Since becoming a sewing obsessive, I am finding inspiration in all sorts of places. Of course the internet is a huge part of this, but it’s certainly not the only place where inspiration strikes me. When I’m out and about, I love to check out what people are wearing, however I do let this be more of a passive process rather than actively looking for ideas. You really never know when a great idea will strike, so I have a notebook where I try to write down/draw these ideas before I forget them.

So, last week I was at my son’s soccer class on a routine Tuesday morning. There was a little girl there wearing the cutest outfit of (imagine now please) bottle green leggings with silver stars and a blue knit top with large flutter sleeves. She looked comfy and stylish – two things I love to see in an outfit for small people. Here is the very crappy sketch I made:


After rolling this image around in my head for a few days, here is what we came up with. I’m certainly not a pattern designer, so the creative process for me is matching/adapting patterns to the look I want, choosing fabrics and notions and then putting it all together.




The top is the gorgeous Hanami top and dress pattern from Straightgrain in size 2. For the top and the lining I used a lovely chambray from hereΒ (no online shop).Β The chambray gives the sleeves and ‘flounce’ a nice fullness, although 4 layers can be tough to sew. This pattern is the second I have used from Straightgrain and I can’t say enough great things about how well written and clear these patterns are. I could not get my mind around under stitching until I followed An’s very clear instructions – super easy and such a neat finish!

The leggings are cut from two women’s long sleeve t-shirts that I found on clearance for $2 each – score! They are actually a pj pants pattern from the Growing Up Sew Liberated book by Meg McElwee. I’ve used this pattern before here. I handstamped the stars using inspiration from Jess at Craftiness is not Optional and also inspired by this post from Dana. The stamping was so much fun – i’ll be making more of these for sure.

Not all my sewing adventures work out with something wearable, but I’m pretty happy with this one! Now tell me, where does your best inspiration come from?





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