Wednesday, December 25, 2013

"Pillowcase" Top Tutorial

Back in August of 2012, I posted a shirt (this one) I had made based on a shirt I saw on Pinterest.  I was recently asked to make a tutorial for that shirt so here it is!  Would love to see your version so please post a link in the comments.

Knit fabric of your choice
A strip of knit fabric of your choice (about 36 inches long or more and 2 inches wide)
Your favorite shirt that fits lengthwise
Sewing machine
Matching thread.

For this shirt, I chose a slate gray jersey knit fabric and black jersey knit for the tie.

 1.  Measure your bust and add 1.5 inches to both sides.  An inch will be for seam allowance and the extra is to give your shirt some room.   I have a size 32 bust and fairly petite so my shirt ended up being about 34" wide after I sized it down from the below measurements.

Take your bust size, divide by 2 and add 3.  For this tutorial, we will be using my  measurements.
32/2=16+3=19" width

For the length of the fabric, measure your favorite shirt from top of shoulder down to the bottom minus 2 inches. 

 Leaving your fabric folded in half, cut a rectangle based on your measurements so you have two pieces.  It is not necessary to cut on the fold as the two rectangles need to be separate.   

Sleeveless hem and tie casing.
2.  Measure 9 inches from the top down on both sides and mark it lengthwise with a pin.  The fabric above the pin will be for the armholes and casing for the tie.  Sew from the pin down on both sides using a straight stitch. 

3. Starting where the fabric opens up to create the sleeveless hem, fold your fabric at an angle towards the middle of the shirt and pin.  The fold should be a slight diagonal.  Do this on both sides for each piece of fabric.  Using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew each hem.  For the beginning sewer, you will be sewing four times so be careful to not sew the folded hems to one another :)

4.  Once the sleeveless hems are sewn, for the casing, fold the top of the shirt down an inch and pin.  Do the same for the other side.  Using a straight stitch and leaving 3/4" from the top, sew across lengthwise.  You want to be sure to leave about 3/4 open for the tie to be pulled through.  

Bottom (banded) hem.
5.  Cut two pieces of fabric about five inches tall and two inches smaller than the width of your shirt.  For my shirt, the width was 19 inches so I cut this fabric 17 inches.

The two pieces needed for the banded hem.

6.  Sew up each side so you end up with a tube.  Now, take the top part of the tube and bring it down so that it meets the bottom part so the seams are inside.

7.  Your banded hem should look like this now. 

8.  Slide the tube over the shirt matching the raw edges together so the tube is "hugging" the shirt.  Pin the tube side seam to side seam with the shirt and center to center.  You should have some loose fabric from the shirt in between the pins.  Using a zigzag stitch, sew the edges together, while stretching the band to "fit" the shirt. 

I forgot to take a pic of the next step so luckily I had a pic from a previous shirt project. 

The banded hem should be "hugging" the shirt.

Once the banded hem is on, your shirt should look similar to this (once again I forgot to take a pic so this pic is from another project).

9.  Using a safety pin, pin one end of the strip of fabric and pull it through both of the casings. 

Tie the ends together into a bow or if you don't like the bow, adjust the length to your preference and sew the ends together and pull it through the casing to hide the seams.

And you're done!

I hope the instructions were clear but if you have any questions, let me know.  It's a pretty simple project but I may have given too much details :) 

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Shirt Refashion: Mod Inspired Dress from a Polo Shirt.

I was cleaning out my closet the other day when I came across some black polo shirts I had used for work before they issued us uniform shirts.  My first thought was to donate them and then my second thought was "wait, I can make something out of these".  Voila!  What came about was a mod inspired dress.  In a nutshell, the shirt was too short to wear as a dress so I added some dark gray jersey knit fabric to add some length, took in the shirt and sleeve some so it hugged my body more and added in a peter pan collar.  It was a fairly easy revamp. 

I am working on a tutorial so I willl hopefully have that up soon.  In the meantime, please do like my facebook page as that will be the first place I will update with the tutorial. 

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Son of a Beach! (in a jar)

After I made my decision a few months ago that I wanted to move back to Georgia to be closer to family, I decided to bring as much of California back with me as possible.  Mainly the beaches because I love being near the ocean (nevermind that I can't swim).  When Ball Canning had their vintage blue mason jars reproduced, I ordered a case because the blue was perfect for my Beach Memories in a Jar and started my research on Pinterest.

For this project, I made two jars: one for me and one for my friend using the shells and rocks she collected.  For my jar, I put in a broken oyster shell, a large flat rock to keep the the shells from being submerged too much underneath the sand and a few shells collected from El Matador Beach near Malibu.  Originally, I wanted to put in a toothpick sign I made but there really wasn't any room in the jar to do so and the signs, well, they sucked.  I ended up using kraft cardstock and cutting a circle template and labeling the beach and year said sand and shells came from and inserted in on top of the metal circle of the lid.  Which, I actually like much better than the original sign idea.

The toothpick signs I ended up not using.

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Peekaboo Lace Web Shirt

It would seem as though I made this peekaboo web lace shirt just in time for Halloween but alas, that is not the case.  Truth is, I have a shit ton of gothy lace material that I've gotten over the years but never did anything with and my brain starting putting together another idea and it just happened the timing coincided with October.  Once again, I'm uber pleased with how this came out.  I used a stretchy knit/lycra blend fabric from Joann's and a webby lace/tulle kind of material that I got from Joann's years ago.  Happy Every Day is Halloween!

Peekaboo Back!

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Panda Pincushion Wristlet

What time is it?  It's Panda Time!  Well, sort of.  I had a custom request the other day for a panda pin cushion similar to the magnets I made but to be worn on the wrist.  It turned out might cute if I do say so myself!  

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Navy and White Bow Shirt

This shirt was inspired by some nautical themed tops that I've been seeing on Pinterest.  As always, what started out as an imitation turned into my own thing.  This was the original pin that I was inspired by.  My version is similar but still different.  I made this from navy and white knit fabric and added a navy and white ribbon bow instead of buttons for the details.   I opted for the ribbon detail because I didn't have enough buttons and was too lazy dangerous to go out to get some.  Going to Joann's is a lot like going to Target.  You never walk out with just the item you originally went to get.

Anyway, I'm pretty pleased with how this turned out. Definitely comfy and a change from all the boatneck shirts I've been making. 

Bow Detail

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Golden Apple Bangles by Eristic Patterns

I just won this really cute Golden Apple Bangles set from Eristic Patterns.  I think I'm in love.  The bangles are handmade with braided fabric and finished with a golden apple and a bunch of golden rings.   Check out her other handmade products.  She has the bangles in other colors and also make other Discordian themed things like rosaries and earrings. 

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Before and After: Botched Pencil Dress to Gorgeous Wiggle Dress

Something must have "clicked" over the last few months when I started sewing clothes again.  This is the second dress I've made within a 7 day period from start to finish with little mistakes.  The latest finished dress is a rockabilly style wiggle dress.  I attempted to make one last year but didn't exactly follow directions and tried to wing it and it came out bad.  Like really bad.  So I put it away and out of sight, out of mind.  I decided to pull it back out a few days ago and try to salvage it.  There's nothing worse than wasting large amounts of fabric on something not finished.  So, armed with patience and a whole lot more knowledge, I have a gorgeous wiggle dress that I can't wait to wear out!

The original disaster dress that didn't fit right because I tried to wing it.
 I didn't like how I made the bodice on the original dress so I used the skirt part to make a new one.  I originally intended for the bodice to look more like the one I made on this dress last week but I ended up changing it into a boatneck.  The scoop neck wasn't working for this dress.  I knew I wanted a wiggle dress of some sort so I did a lot of research on Modcloth and Pin Up Girl Clothing to find as inspiration.  In the end, I used black twill fabric to make the skirt portion.

The gorgeous redo.
I'm so happy with how this turned out.  It's definitely a confidence booster knowing that I can make garments that fit well. 

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mod Circles Dress

This dress started out as a sheath dress and I just didn't like it how it turned out.  Since I had a little bit of fabric left over, I decided to transform it into a 1/2 circle dress.   I found the fabric a few months ago at Joann's in the their Calico cotton section.  It's a dark brown background with circles in various shades of blues.

I pretty much winged it and didn't use a pattern although I did draft my own for the skirt portion.  For the top, I cut out the fabric in a "T" shape, added a couple of panels in the front bodice and added a zipper in the back. Adding darts in the front and back helped to make it more fitted. 

For the first time since I started sewing, I made a full dress with very little mistakes and an incredible amount of patience that I have no idea where it came it from.  It's still a little shorter than I like but I worked with what I had left and I absolutely love how this came out!

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Friday, August 9, 2013

DIY Tunic Top

During my sewing spree the other day, I whipped up this shirt in about an hour with this fantastic shiny, fancy fabric I found for $5 at Michael Levine.  I love that I can wear this two different ways:  belted or loose.  It looks great either way.

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New Tshirt Refashions

I figured out how to set up an in-home photography studio in the tiny apartment I call home.  I now no longer have to wait for a friend to take my picture nor will I need to lay down my latest creation flat to show it off.  It's amazing what white fabric hung up, a step stool, a tabletop tripod and the timer on my camera can do.  Add in Photoshop to clean up the pictures and voila!  I have some very professional looking photos.  Well, as professional as it is to me since I'm just mostly a point and shoot picture taker.  With all that being are some of the t-shirts I remade recently.  These are all made from either a Mens L or XL shirt. 

Rock Steady Tee I found in Phoenix

The XX
Chris Isaak tour shirt with 3/4 length sleeves. 

Same shirt as above but I decided to cut off the sleeves.  I like this version much better.

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