Hot! Taffy from the underside of our couch

The Facts
Fabric:  Black cheesecloth from the underside of our couch
Pattern: Taffy by Colette Patterns
Notions:  polka-dot bias binding made from a scrap of fabric from another project
Time to complete:  two hours
First Worn:  January 8, 2012
Wear again?  Yes

Total price:  $0 for materials, $19 for Colette Sewing book

My husband’s Aunt Mary sent me this bead collar for my birthday this year, but I needed a blouse with the right kind of neckline to wear it.  After my Colette Sewing Handbook came, I wanted to make a Taffy.  I liked the neckline and the sleeves, but the question of what fabric to use was a personal riddle.  As a mother of four, I need to be able to throw my clothes in a washing machine stuffed full of other clothes!  My machine might have a delicate cycle, but I wouldn’t know because I have never used it.  So silk chiffon, georgette, spider’s webs were out.  But then our antique, tag sale couch died or rather, exploded from age and abuse, and I began taking the usable fabric off of it.  This black cheesecloth was stapled to the bottom.  It washed up soft, strong and floaty and I knew that it would be a Taffy blouse.  I did, however, have to redraw the sleeves to be somewhat smaller to accommodate the fabric that I had. I had been worried about the binding because I wanted it to be perfect. Well, it isn’t perfect, but it worked a lot better than I had anticipated.  I like the effect of the polka dots and the black fabric-my husband said it looks like a fancy T-shirt.  I am also looking forward to making more Taffys with the full sleeves and perhaps with a more posh fabric, once I check out the cycles on the washing machine.



Catherine is a 34 year old mother of four. She's been sewing since I was 19. This year she decided to challenge herself to sew in a more daring and elegant manner.


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  1. What a creative fabric source! I never would have imagined it was pulled off the bottom of a couch! :) I’ll be making up the Taffy soon, and I’ve been wondering what it would look like with smaller sleeves. Yours is great! I love the idea of it being a fancy t-shirt– who doesn’t need more of those in their life?

  2. Holy cannoli! That is GENIUS! So clever to use that fabric and it is just lovely on you too! The world needs more fancy t-shirts, so this is great!

  3. That’s about the most unusual place to have salvaged fabric – makes me wonder where else it can be found. I do like your Taffy and think I will add it to my list for this year.

  4. Wow! The underside of your couch! That’s amazing, I never would have guessed you could make something so cute out of something like that. You really think outside the box. I can’t wait to see what you do next.

  5. Best. ReUse. Ever. Love the blouse, I’m planning on making this one too!

  6. I so wish I had a couch (instead of a futon) to crawl underneath! Way to reduce, recycle, and reuse and in such a cute manner! I like Taffy with shorter sleeves…

  7. I think you win the award for most creative fabric sourcing! It looks amazing for having had such humble beginnings. Your Taffy makes me want to try that pattern myself!

  8. Damn my sofa only has horrible plastic woven stuff under it, no sofa-t-shirt for me! Fantastic Taffy!

  9. Oohhh, thanks everybody! I had been afraid that old couch fabric would seem incredibly gross to normal people.

  10. So you think we’re normal, huh? LOLOLOLOL