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T-Shirt to TV Pants

I went on a little Pinterest binge a couple days ago looking for ideas to help clear my refashion stash. Saturday night I decided to make a pair of yoga pants out of a t-shirt using this tutorial. I wear a size eight on average, and used an XL adult t-shirt.

I did make a few changes to the design. First, instead of cutting the shirt down the middle, I cut it down the sides from the middle of the underarm to the hem. This also means you’ll have an inseam and no side seams. That keeps any design on the front or back intact and moves them to the hips. For the waistband, I cut the underarm seam from the sleeves and squared them up to be two equal rectangles, leaving the hem intact. I sewed the short sides together making a big, short tube from the sleeves. I then put the tube inside the waist of the pants with the pants right side out and the right side of the tube facing the inside of the pants. The raw edge of the tube lines up with the raw edge of the pants. I serged the top together like that. This made it so when the tube is folded down to the outside, the seam is covered.


Sorry for the awkward pictures. No one was around to take the pictures and Doctor Who was about to start.

I sewed it all on my serger and it took less than ten minutes. I probably should have added two minutes and switched from white to black thread. Or not.

They are a little loose at the waist. If I were planning to actually do yoga or wear them in public I should probably add some elastic at the seam. Since they will probably be used mainly for watching Doctor Who while sitting on the sofa, I probably won’t bother.

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Tuesday’s Tip and a Video: Ants and Cap and Trade

Tuesday’s Tip: Ants, aka why NOT to drink diet soda.

For months now we’ve been fighting HUGE ant hills along our curb and front walkway. We’d rather not spread tons of chemicals on our lawn to get rid of them, especially with our aging dog, so we’ve tried baking soda and spreading ashes on the piles. I’d read baking soda worked (it did NOT), and I thing the ashes were just an idea Chris had while cleaning out the smoker. The ashes just caused them to move their hills a foot over.

Then, about two weeks ago I remembered hearing that Equal (aka Aspartame, NutraSweet, the blue packets, etc.) will kill ants. I found a few packs of Equal that we’d gotten from McDonald’s or someplace and sprinkled one each on three of the biggest ant hills in the yard.

We’ve been so busy lately that I’d forgotten to check on them until today while I took out the trash. To my surprise all of the ant hills are GONE. Not moved, not shrunk, totally gone!

This leads me to 2 conclusions:
1. I need to buy some NutraSweet to have on hand for future ant infestations.
2. Never EVER consume anything that has aspartame in it. I already knew that if I have it in a higher quantity than is in a stick of gum that it can give me a headache. Seeing such a small amount take out a giant ant hill, though, has brought it to a whole new level of scary.

Now for the video: My sister shared this catchy little music video on Cap and Trade with me. It’s almost as good as Schoolhouse Rock.

Have a great Tuesday!

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Tuesday’s Tip: Ceiling fans

With summer coming, anything that can help you keep cool and save money doing so is a great thing. If you have ceiling fans, now is a good time to make sure they are dusted and in working order.

Most fans also have a switch that can reverse the direction the blades spin. In warmer weather, you want the blades to turn counterclockwise to circulate cold air into the room. When the cooler air comes back in the fall, switch the fan to rotate clockwise to help warm the room.

By doing this, you can save energy and cut costs since running a fan requires less electricity than your heating and cooling system.

While we’re on the subject of saving money, I’m having a sale in my ArtFire studio. All the soaps listed in my shop are 10% off. Prices are already marked down for easy checkout.

If you’d like to join the SubEarthan Cottage mailing list, you can use the quick form at the bottom of this page or send me an email with your name and preferred email address to

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Tuesday’s Tip: Starting seeds

For cheap and easy seed starters, save egg cartons, fill with soil or seed starting mix and plant your seeds in them. If you get the paperboard egg cartons rather than the Styrofoam, you can just cut the sections apart and plant the whole thing once your seeds have sprouted.

And yes, I probably should have posted this tip a week or two ago.

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Tuesday’s Tip: Threading bobbins

Today’s tip is probably another “Duh!” for more experienced sewers. I’m just starting to use my sewing machine on a regular basis, though, so bear with me.

There is little that’s more annoying to me than running out of bobbin thread mid-seam. In my case, it tends to happen after dealing with a few other problems. Then finally I get a good rhythm going and the bobbin thread runs out.

My solution for this is to wind at least two full bobbins of the thread I’m using on a project. That way if it runs out, at least I won’t have to completely shift gears to wind the bobbin again.

I know, simple, huh?