Tuesday, January 10, 2012

T-Shirt Redo

Do you have any big, giant t-shirts that have a cute logo, but are so shapeless and unflattering you refuse to wear them anywhere but at home?  Alone.  Where no one can judge you.  I am going to show you how to turn those frumpy tops into cute baby t's.  If you can sew, you can do this.  You may have to tweak the procedure a little bit depending on your shirt, but be brave.  This is totally do-able.  I have faith in you.  So you better get ready to add a few more shirt options to your "outside" wardrobe!



  This is my t-shirt.  I got it for a cut-a-thon we did at work.  I have never worn it.  Not even alone in my house at night.  Some of the girls at work cut out the neck and the bottom and part of the sleeves for an 80's off the shoulder vibe, but I wanted a real t-shirt look.  Here's what I did:

I have a dress form.  If you do not, use a friend or yourself.  It is kind of hard to pin this on yourself, but not impossible.  If you want a dress form, watch auctions and estate sales.  I bought three of mine that way when I was in high school.  This one is from JoAnn's.  It was on sale and it ended up costing around $120.

Spread your t-shirt out on your ironing board.  Carefully make sure it is flat including shoulder seams and sleeve seams.  Press each side.  This will give you a nice cutting line.  If your shirt has side seams, disregard this step.

You will now have a crease up each side of the shirt.

Cut up this crease and along the sleeve seam.

Like so.  Repeat on the other side.

You will now have a giant dickie... of sorts.

Put your dickie on yourself, friend or dress form.  At this point I saw how far down my shoulder seam was.
 I made the executive decision to cut the sleeve off at the seam and use the shoulder fabric as a cap sleeve.  Sleeve, removed.

Now pin up the sides, following your own personal shape.  Give yourself the desired amount of ease (extra room) you want in your finished t-shirt.  This is a simple form of draping.  Try to keep the amount of extra fabric even on both sides.  If you do this with the shirt inside out, you won't have to worry about transferring the markings to the inside...  be smarter than me.  It's not hard.

I measured up each side at the same spots to make sure that everything was even.  If one side had a little more, I moved the pins to even things out.

I also made sure my sleeve openings were the same.  Then I stitched up my sides and down the sleeves.  I used my sewing machine, stretching the fabric a little as I went.  Then I used my serger to finish the edges.  This is not a necessary step.  If you do not serge the sides, you will have to trim away the extra with scissors.

Giving you this.

Put on your t-shirt and mark about an inch below where you want it to hit.  Take it off and measure how high up your mark is.  Place additional marks at the same height all around the hem.
I used my serger to finish the edge, but you can cut it off with scissors and it will be just fine.

Turn up the hem and stitch, again stretching, just a little.

I measured my sleeve holes next because I wanted to do a banded sleeve.  Err on the low side.  Jersey stretches and it is better to have the sleeve a little bigger than the band.  If the band is bigger it will just look stretched out.  Not good since we are trying to make this shirt look better.  My sleeve holes were about 14 inches around.

I cut 2 strips of fabric from the scraps I cut off the bottom in to 14-1/2" lengths.  I made them wider than I needed them so they would be easier to work with.

Then fold each in half and sew up the side to make a tube kind of thing.

With right sides together, sew the band to the sleeve.  Turn right side out and press seam toward band. 
Turn part of band to inside.  I left about 1/2" band on the outside.  Stitch along the seam where the band meets the shirt on the shirt side.

Turn to the inside and cut off extra fabric along the stitch line.

You are done!  A shirt any girl would be proud to wear in public!

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