Hot! A Common Thread Project: Introduction




To introduce this project, I’ll quote the email I sent about a month ago to the ladies I invited to participate:

I’m writing to you all because you (1) are all women who I’ve been reading since I started documenting my sewing at The Sew Weekly and I’ve been inspired tremendously by your blogs (2) You’ve left a comment on my blog, joined my newsletter or corresponded with me via email (so I know you know The Sew Weekly).

You probably know that I’m constantly getting these awesome deals on thrifted and vintage items. I’m lucky to spend a $1 and get 400 yards of lace. Or, maybe I’m not that lucky, I’m just obsessed with the hunt. Who knows? :)

Anyway, I had an idea last night while putting some new items of my stash away: I’d love to create a project where my favorite seamstresses and/or members of my community all sew something unique with materials from the absolutely same source. For example, for the project I’m asking you to be a part of, I have some beautifully dainty ivory lace. I will send each of you a card of 5 yards of that lace and you’d make something with it.

I just love the idea that we’d all have garments that were all joined with this element. It’s kind of like organ donation* (in the sense of one source, different recipients) meets The Sisterhood of the Traveling pants. But not really at all. :) I’d love for you guys to be part of the first project!

*but of course, not at all as important as organ donation.

I was quite excited when each of the gals I invited agreed to participate! So after I received their postal addresses, I sent them a little card with the 5 yards of lace.


That was a month ago. This week, the project officially starts with this introduction and the first application of the lace — my own creation. Then, for the next seven weeks, we’ll see a different project from each of the participants.

Want a peek at the next seven weeks? Here’s our schedule:


  • March 9: Introduction & my creation
  • March 16: Lauren from Wearing History
  • March 23: Sarai from Colette Patterns
  • March 30: Casey from Elegant Musings
  • April 6: Sunni from The Cupcake Goddess
  • April 13: Tasia from Sewaholic
  • April 20: Charlotte from Tuppence Ha’penny
  • April 27: Gertie from Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing

And now, to get things started, here’s what I did with the lace:

The “Let’s Turn It into Pajamas” Pajamas


The Facts

Mccalls6141 Fabric: Lightweight cotton, thrifted – $0.25
Pattern:  McCall’s 6141 (free from pattern swap)
Year: c. 1978
Notions: The Lace! Elastic ($0.25)
Time to complete:  2 hours
First worn: March 2011
Wear again? Yes.
Total Cost: $.50

I had every intention to make this into a top to wear in public. However, when it was complete, it couldn’t be anything other than a pajama top. Maybe if I was in a hazy field with a side ponytail, it would look all romantic country. But on me in non-hazy light, it looks like a pajama top. So, without any regret, it became a pajama top and I made a pair of matching shorts to go with it.

image from

Now, if the fabric was a bit more substantial and darker, it could probably be an outside-in-public top. The fabric  I chose (and I don’t know why I didn’t see this when I was choosing fabric) screams “wear me in bed!” The only thing that makes me a bit hesitant to wear the top in bed is the waist tie. I, of course, picture it becoming untied and strangling me as I sleep. That probably isn’t going to happen, but just in case, I’ll double-tie the thing.

The lace worked great with it. My favorite part is the lace detail on the straps.

image from

As far as construction, it was beyond super easy. I’m not sure if I’ll be making this up again anytime soon but at least this creation forces me to put my XXL conference shirts away for a night or two.


Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.


Comments are closed.

  1. Wow! What a great deal for the washable and breathable fabric– I enjoy the supportive cut of the top, is it a tie back or elastic? I can’t wait to see the other projects!

  2. I’m new to the site. Can I still participate in the contest?

  3. This is ADORABLE!! I love the use of the lace, and the fabric print and texture are so pretty. What a great project idea! And I recognize all the ladies you selected (and I also love their blogs!) so I look forward to seeing their creativity at work :)

  4. I love this idea, and I love all of those blogs. And how exciting, you got that pattern from me! See, not all patterns from the 70’s are bad! It looks lovely as pajamas. Sweet dreams of wearing a side-pony in that hazy field!

  5. this is so exciting! im excited to see each participants’ creations.
    btw, your romper looks so cute. your fabric choice was a perfect match for the pattern:)

  6. These are so very cute – I love the fabric and the lace sets it off beautifully.
    The Common Thread projects is such a wonderful idea. I too love the idea of various people sewing with things in common, and sharing the same origins. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s creations.

  7. This is such a wonderfull idea . Wouldn’t it be good to extend it to the whole of the sew weekly challenge, everyone from all over the world. I love your PJ suit, as ever you look beautifull and an inspiration to us all. x x x

  8. Lovely lovely lovely
    Charlotte Tilley

  9. What a fantastic idea! And those pajamas are absolutely adorable. :-)
    (Side note: does anyone using WordPress know how to get your name next to a comment instead of your blog link? It just isn’t working for me! Argh!)

  10. what a lovely sleep set. I read several of the bloggers who are participating, so look forward to their creations!

  11. I love this project idea, and I love this pattern. Mena, I hope you try this again with a “wear in public” fabric. Super cute, and the lace details are gorgeous.

  12. Hey Maureen — It’s a tie back. The back does have elastic, but just a bit at the top.

  13. Hi Krista — There isn’t a contest going on. I just asked some ladies I know to participate.

  14. Thanks, Amanda! I’m looking forward to seeing their creations as well!

  15. Thanks, Erin! I’m glad to know where the pattern came from. I know where it was on the table but wasn’t sure who brought it!

  16. Thanks, Chie! I’m really looking forward to seeing their creations as well!

  17. Thanks, Debbie! I’d like to do more of these projects in the future — hopefully this one goes well!

  18. Thanks, Charlotte! I wanted to include a lot of folks but that would have involved me mailing out even more lace. I knew what my own limitations would be :)

  19. Thanks, Charlotte!

  20. Thanks, Tamsin! I’m sure all of their creations are going to be great!

  21. Thanks, Amber! I think when it becomes a bit warmer I might tackle it again. I do think I’d do the view with the sleeves, however.

  22. Mena, so cute… Look forward to seeing the next weeks. Know it is exciting for you see where and how the lace gets used.. Happy Sewing.

  23. Absolutely darling! I love this so much! All your darling little details, and the fabric/lace match is perfect!
    Very excited to see what everyone has done :)

  24. What a great idea and a clever name for the project! Did you design those little “a common thread” lace cards yourself? I love your attention to those kinds of details.

  25. Very excited to see all the creations! I love your pajamas!!

  26. I love this idea! Such an awesome project. You look adorable in your pyjamas.

  27. So adorable! I love the fabric you chose! :) Isn’t it funny how projects just kind of end up one thing, rather than the intended garment? I think it makes a cute pj top! (I got a chuckle out of your comment about being strangled by the waist ties… That would totally cross my mind too! haha!)
    Can’t wait to see what the other ladies are concocting (and this is a kick in the pants for me to get my project started this weekend!)!!!
    ♥ Casey

  28. I think this is a fabulous pajama top – the lace detail is exquisite! I love the idea for this project – I’m so excited to see all the finished items!

  29. This is such a cute little outfit!! The lace matches perfectly, and I love the fabric. I would absolutely want to wear the top outside, but would definitely need the undershirt. It’s so cute, though! Well done. :) Totally jealous/need to make it for myself now. ;)

  30. This is such a wonderful idea, I have loved all the posts so far, so unique even with the same element. Thanks for doing this and keep it coming :)