achievement unlocked: milk bottle tee

All right, let’s do this thing.


A word about photos: I have been trying to get Jared to help me take photos of the things I have sewn this month for over two weeks. It seems like every time I mention it, he wants to take a nap instead, or he has to do laundry, or Ramona needs something. It just hasn’t happened. I looked into getting a remote & tripod for my camera so I could just take my own photos, but my digital camera dates back to the olden days of 2009 & doesn’t have an input for a remote. I’d have to replace the camera altogether, & I don’t really have the funds for that right now. So I finally just took pictures myself by setting the timer & propping the camera on a pile of books. The photos don’t look great, but they exist, which is a step forward.

So this is a little black peplum tee based on the pattern for the Miz Mozelle dress, which I have made previously as a woven dress & a woven sailor shirt. The pattern is specifically designed for knits, but you know. It clearly works for wovens too. This was my first time making it from a knit–nice opaque black cotton jersey with some spandex in it.


I changed a lot of things. Obviously, I cut the skirt off to be a peplum. I didn’t alter it at all. I just made it shorter. I also eliminated the keyhole. The front of the shirt is designed to be cut on the fold, & you cut a half-oval in to make the keyhole. I just ignored the half-oval & cut in at the neckline instead. I also drafted band finishes for the neckline & sleeves. I just always prefer band finishes for knits. I hate folding knits under & hemming.

& since this shirt was inspired by the Monthly Stitch “cheers for the New Year” challenge (make a garment inspired by a beverage), I added little milk bottles to the sleeves.


I snagged a couple of little wooden bottles from a dollhouse dish set I got for Ramona. I painted them white with red caps & labeled them “milk,” which in retrospect, was probably unnecessary. The ribbon is 1/8″ double-faced satin, stitched very carefully with a narrow zigzag stitch (in order to maintain some stretch in the sleeve band). It was very fiddly to stitch it into place without letting any stitches sneak outside the bounds of the ribbon, but I nailed it & was super-proud of myself!

Then I tied a little bow around the neck of each milk bottle & trimmed the ends to a length that seemed well-scaled. Then I very carefully hand-stitched the bottle to the sleeve as tightly as possible, sliding the stitches through the knot of the bow to hide them & to make the bow un-tie-able.


Tattoo design is based on a drawing by Cindy Crabb of “Doris” zine.

I admit, it remains to be seen how these little decorations will stand up to the wash. If I end up having to clip them off, it’s probably not the end of the world, as right now Ramona points to them & exclaims, “Those are Mommy’s milk jugs!” I didn’t not foresee that, & obviously I don’t really want her to say it in public. Ugh.

The whole thing was an absolute pleasure to sew, but I do regret not doing a bit of an FBA. I knew from making this pattern in wovens that it was a little small through the bust for me (I’m a D & I think the pattern is drafted for a B) & therefore the elastic waistband has a tendency to ride up & annoy the shit out of me. I had hoped that the stretch & drape of jersey would fix the problem, but it didn’t. So the waistband is always riding up & trying to be an empire waist & it’s super-irritating.


A bit of rolling on the hem here. This is why I prefer banded finishes, but obviously that doesn’t work on a more skirt-like silhouette.

As for how this ties into the Monthly Stitch challenge, seeing as how it might seem like a bit of a punt to make a tee & just sew miniature milk bottles to it: I interpreted the challenge as “make a garment inspired by your favorite beverage,” which was probably a bit off the mark, looking at what a lot of other people have made. But the fact remains: milk is my fave. I love it, guys. I don’t know what I’d do if I ever developed a dairy sensitivity.

My first thought was some kind of white blouse with all kinds of lovely pintucks or a long row of like thirty covered buttons or something really feminine like that. Maybe with some red ribbon (because I prefer whole milk, which comes with a red cap). But I was like…I have a three-year-old. I do not wear white. I found a great milk bottle print on Spoonflower, but I didn’t really want to drop $25+ a yard on fabric just to make a t-shirt. I considered pajamas (because I basically live in pajamas), but that would require even more yardage, & I was nervous about using such expensive fabric on an untried pattern.

Ultimately, I remembered that I had this jersey in my stash, & I had been meaning to make a black jersey Miz Mozelle tee for months, & then I remembered these little milk bottles & decided I could use them the same way I used the enamel pig buttons on my bacon dress. They also bring in my newfound obsession with miniatures.

So that’s that! Now to get all anxiety-ridden over tackling my UFOs for February’s Monthly Stitch challenge.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

4 thoughts on “achievement unlocked: milk bottle tee

    1. It’s sewn to the outside of the sleeve, so it doesn’t touch the skin at all. It can be annoying if you lean against a wall or something though.

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