Thursday, June 11, 2020

Lagenlook Paganoonoo "Ellie" t-shirt refashion hack

I bought a unisex t-shirt at one of my favorite seafood eateries, Phil's Fish Market in Moss Landing, CA.  I love a black and white graphic T, but found myself not wearing it because even with it oversized on my shoulders, it would hang up on my generous hips. This is a common issue for me. 

The solution is to add flare at the hip.  I used my Paganoonoo "Ellie" refashion instructions with a few hacks and adore the results.

The illustration above shows exactly how a unisex T fits me when the shoulders and bust are the right size for my shape - way tight on the hips and belly.

I chose to make a modified version, more of a Lagenlook profile, to go with some of my palazzo / bloomer pants & pencil skirt.

The hacks to the original design include:

1) added bust darts,

2) the front is cut high making a very high-low hem,

3) added ruffle on the hem,

4) made a horizontal tuck in the sleeves and stitched in place to give a cuff-like effect, also shortening them,

5) and added appliqu├ęd circles (from a felted wool sweater, also used on the pants), and bird panel.
The t-shirt also pairs well with my upcycled vintage linen tablecloth bloomers (modified Tina Given's Jacqueline pattern.) See blog post on bloomers here.

And with a pencil skirt upcycled from a tank top

Here are some in process shots.  I honestly did not think it would turn out at this stage.  The ruffle seemed too shallow, the bright red too disconnected from the rest of the shirt, the black of the base shirt too dull.  Balancing out the color by adding embellishments solved the problem.

I hand stitched the bird patch on.  It had the perfect combination of colors to make the lower back tie in with the upper back.  It was purchased from the Eclipsee Etsy shop (no affiliation or kickback.) Unfortunately this particular bird is now sold out.

I am Michelle Paganini, the designer for Paganoonoo, a company I started that specializes in designing "refashioned" clothing and providing DIY tutorials for home sewists. The "Ellie" is only one of many flattering Paganoonoo designs.  Visit the full collection at

Friday, May 22, 2020

Upcycled Palazzo Pants - Michelle Paganini

Hi, I am Michelle Paganini and I love to upcycle clothing.

I've been craving comfortable wide-legged pull on pants.

Really wide, along the lines of palazzo pants/ bloomers wide.

The fall 2014 Magnolia Pearl collection featured a pair of super oversized upcycled patch-worked jeans.

They have been on my mind since I first saw them and they were my inspiration.

I started with a modified Tina Given pattern, the Jaqueline pants.
I laid out the paper pattern (front and back are exactly the same) and layered bits of denim from old jeans.  The layering overlaps by at minimum 1/2" and often much more than that. As much as possible color and texture are mixed up, with pockets and circles added in at times.
I've collected different colored cast jeans off for just this reason.  I prefer 100% cotton for the beautiful fraying but sometimes work with blends as well.

 There are a variety of different stitches holding the pieces together, some fancy, some just random back and forth. In all cases the seams are a least double sewn to reduce the chance of breaking down over time as most of the edges were left raw and will ravel.  The top 5"  use a lighter shirt weight denim, reducing the bulk around the waist.

I've been sewing for over 40 years and had to laugh when I discovered I had made 3 left sides and 1 right side. Darn!

The pant seams were sewn together with a simple straight stitch, pressed to one side, and top-stitched down making mock felled seams.  Elastic in a casing makes them pull on.
Are they comfortable? Yes! Paired with a top that is fitted across the shoulders&bust and flared over the waist&hips I think it makes an adorable combination.

The t-shirt was modified to "fit and flare" using Paganoonoo "Ellie" upcycle sewing instructions.  The refashion makes plenty of room for hips, bellies and bottoms.

The Paganoonoo collection of upcycle / refashion sewing instructions contains very flattering and comfortable designs for all body types. For more information about fit visit, the "Getting Started" tab.
The Paganoonoo Boro-Style Jean Jacket has a similar vibe to the pants and contains artistic design tips on combining various colors of denim.

See additional blog posts on this jacket here.

Happy Upcycling!  Michelle

P.S.  Create simple upcycle sewing projects with free video tips!  I show you how to add a double color to a dress shirt, combine color and pattern with confidence, shorten sleeves to ¾ and add a decorative cuff, and more!  Register for free today!

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Paganoonoo - first online class released!

Would you like to up your refashioning skills?  This is the perfect class for you!

It includes 14 free tips on upcycling, from getting started, to tools, techniques, gifts and more.

Join Michelle Paganini for these short but informative videos.Register Today!

Happy Upcycling! Michelle

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Damask Tablecloth Bloomers/ Palazzo Pants

Vintage linens!  I find them irresistible. A beautiful red/pink damask tablecloth inspired me to make a pair of Bloomers/ Palazzo Pants.  With holes I got it for the bargain price of $2.

 I carefully folded and laid out the tablecloth to take advantage of the selvedges and frayed edges. I used a modified Tina Givens Jaqueline pattern.
I then worked on patches for the holes. A vintage quilt top (poorly sewn together) provided some of the patches.

I hand stitched the patches in place, quilting the quilt top pieces as I went.  The Easter chicks added a bit of fun.

The last patch was from a small embroidered napkin(?) 

Loose fitting and quite comfortable, the waist is finished with a t-shirt drawstring in a casing.
The other parts of the outfit include the rayon top, earrings, bracelet, shoes - all purchased from other artists and a thrifted necklace. 

Happy upcycling!  Michelle

P.S.  Learn how to refashion clothing with my Paganoonoo upcycle sewing instructions - shop here.  We set you up for success!

P.P.S.  Create simple upcycle sewing projects with free video tips!  I show you how to add a double color to a dress shirt, combine color and pattern with confidence, shorten sleeves to ¾ and add a decorative cuff, and more!  Register for free today!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Homemade Surgical Masks - free Paganoonoo pattern and info on what materials to use

Pattern updated 03Apr2020
Covid19 is contributing to a shortage of medical supplies. 

As a very LAST RESORT for proper PPE (personal protective equipment) the CDC recommends healthcare providers use homemade masks.  

For the general public, recommendations are shifting to wear a mask if you are in public. 

When proper masks are not available, homemade is better than nothing. Masks are needed for many types of people: folks working public facing jobs, those who want to protect others from themselves in case they are a carrier, those who work with high risk populations, veterinarians, dentists, and other healthcare professionals.

This blog post is to provide you with information on how to choose materials and provide a free pattern.

I did a bit of research and found a study about the effectiveness of various fibers in screening particles.  The study looked at 2 factors:

1: Breathability
2: Particle Screening Effectiveness

They said both were key.  Vacuum cleaner bags are as effective as surgical masks, but are not breathable, so they are out.  Cutting to the bottom line they recommended:

1: Tightly woven cotton - think high thread count sheets, not quilting fabric
2: Tight knits

Here is a video where I explain in a bit more detail on how to pick a fabric:  

An overview article with links to the original study is here.

And about ELASTIC - there has been a shortage, and medical workers have been complaining about elastic hurting their ears.

A terrific alternative is ties made with t-shirt string.  This "string" is made by cutting ribbons across the body of a t-shirt and pulling it tight.  The ribbon curls in on itself and makes a mostly non-stretchy string.  It holds a bow very well.

I've made a video showing how to make t-shirt string: 

I've drafted a pattern based on the information provided above.  It has 3 sizes, Adult - which covers an N95 mask, pre-teen, and child. 


And here are the pages, sized to print on 8.5" by 11" paper:

Stay safe. Thank you for helping,

Michelle Paganini

If you would like to know about Paganoonoo's green fashion business offering upcycle sewing tutorials to home sewists please visit our webpage or Etsy Shop.

Transform clothes you already have at home. Digital and hard copy available.

P.S.  Create simple upcycle sewing projects with free video tips!  I show you how to add a double color to a dress shirt, combine color and pattern with confidence, shorten sleeves to ¾ and add a decorative cuff, and more!  Register for free today!