Pathfinder vest and Pixie shorts

My husband recently lost a lot of weight. So on top of a healthier version of my sweetheart I scored a few pairs of his now too big jeans. Before I had a chance to decide what to do with them I got an e-mail from Miranda inviting me to participate in the Twig + Tale Upcycling Tour.

While she was sleeping, I made a Pathfinder vest and a pair of Pixie shorts for my little adventure seeker.


Judging by both body and finished garment measurements provided in the pattern I knew the vest would be roomy on Miss L, which was fine with me. We are heading into Autumn when temperatures may change dramatically within one day, so it will be all about layering. Having a vest that could be worn over anything seemed like a good idea.


I wanted to play with various shades of blue my original 'fabric' provided me with. I cut the jeans up into 2 inch wide strips and sewed them back together into a rectangle big enough to fit the front and back pattern pieces. I originally wanted to add flutter sleeves but I underestimated the thickness of my material. Adding numerous seams only aggravated the issue. In fact, on one stage I was wondering if the vest would be wearable at all because of the thickness. Phew, it is!


I was originally going to topstitch denim along all the seams, however after a little practice on a scrap of my newly created fabric I thought it looked too boring. We can't have a boring outfit on a child, can we?


Inspiration for the solution came from the fabric I used for the lining. A few months ago I cut out a wrong pattern piece from this printed cotton poplin. I put it aside together with a couple of small scraps of this fabric, you know, just in case. Well, this 'just in case' type of hoarding certainly paid off on this occasion!


I drew a shape of an apple on one of the side panels. I pulled two colours of thread through one needle, red and pink, and started stitching straight lines in every possible direction until I was happy with how it looked. I used two different shades of green for the leaf. I stitched around the apple and the leaf a couple of times to highlight their shapes. This is a sure way to jazz up an otherwise boring looking garment and use up a ton of thread in no time at all!


Maybe the fabric I used for the lining did not strictly match the criteria for an upcycled outfit, however the button surely made up for it! This one came from an op shop. A few years ago I used it as a decoration on a cushion. I think I used it for some other project before it ended up paired up with the vest.


I used a small piece of red elastic that was scavenged ages ago to make a button loop.


As you can see I was right on track for the upcycling challenge. Well, mostly anyway ;) And then it was time to make the Pixie shorts...


I had a rather ugly denim chambray dress-shirt thing I picked up at an op shop lined up for the shorts, however I already made two pairs of denim shorts for Miss L. Seeing that I have already twisted the requirements of the challenge I decided to completely rebel and made the shorts from brand new gorgeous printed japanese chambray I recently purchased from House of Cloth. Do I feel guilty? Nope. I mean, how cute is the final result? Totally worth a little rebelling, don't you think?


Both items were very easy to make. I think the fit of the finished garments is perfect. Both patterns have layers, the instructions are very detailed and easy to follow. Both patterns offer options. The Pathfinder vest can be made in over 70 combinations! In a nutshell, I am very pleased with the quality of the patterns.


A few super talented and perhaps less rebellious sewing bloggers will wow you with their creations during the tour.


You can try your luck at winning four Twig + Tale patterns of your choice.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

16 comments

  1. Well done, beautiful girl and awesome sewing.

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    1. Thank you Jodie-Ann, I certainly had a lot of fun sewing this little outfit :)

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  2. Awesome! What a lot of love and now history in that vest- you will have to hold onto it. Love the shorts too !

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    1. Thank you Suz. I am very pleased with how the vest especially turned out. It has already been used a few times in our weird weather, and I just love how it looks on my little girlie :) I am certain it will go into a 'special memory box' when Miss L outgrows it. The shorts are just perfect for a little energetic human being. Easy to make, easy to wear, easy to look after.

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  3. Haha you rebel! As fellow rebel myself I love it, the strips of denim are gorgeous together and that apple! You just did that free motion type style on your sewing machine, I love it and have to try it for sure. I by the way also can not throw away an incorrectly cut piece, and I think using it as a lining even counts as another upcycle ;)

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    1. Thank you Miranda :) I had no idea that my sewing in any direction is actually free motion embroidery! You live, you learn I guess :) It was an experiment and I am very pleased with how it worked out. And thank you for normalising my sewing related hoarding habits hahaha

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  4. This is so cute, love the whole outfit!!!

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  5. I love this entire outfit -- the jeans look wonderful in their new life as a vest (and that apple!!! Love it!). The shorts look adorable on her, and I think being a rebel at times is a very good thing ;)

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    1. Thank you Emi :) The blue fluff that was everywhere after I cut up jeans was worth it!

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  6. I love the way to you cut the denim in strips and then sewed it back together.. brilliant.. LOVE it all!

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    1. Thank you Emily. I am very good at over-complicating simple things like that hahaha

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  7. Two awesome upcycles - both of them are so gorgeous! Loving how you cut and reconstructed the denim in strips - so striking! Thanks for joining us xx

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    1. Thank you Lisa :) I have had sooo much fun cutting up my husband's jeans and sewing the vest :) Thank you for having me :)

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  8. An adorable outfit, Jenya, and a very creative way to reuse hubby's jeans. I love the asymmetrical stripes - very effective. I had to enlarge the photo to see the stitching on the apple - again, so effective. It actually looks like appliqué

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    1. Thank you Pam :) I was aiming for something that looked like an applique without being one, something with depth and colour :) I am very pleased with how it turned out :)

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