Monday, October 12, 2009

what keeps me busy

I have recently fallen in love with sewing. I tried a few times in the past, but never got into it. But I have discovered that I just don't think it's fun to cut into a pattern and turn it into a garment. What I DO think is fun is to look at fabric and create something from it. And so, after wading through several tutorials online, I have found bits and pieces of inspiration all over my house.

My first recycle project was a t-shirt reconstruction. Rachel and I participated with some friends in the Walk4Hearing a couple of weeks ago. My friend Carla had special t-shirts made for our team: Team Turtles. Rachel's adult small was, needless to say, too big. So I turned it into a!

I used one of Rachel's existing dresses as a guide, cut the original shirt down to that size/shape, and sewed the side seams. I then took one of my discarded ribbed tanks and cut out sleeves and a ruffle for the bottom of the dress. I made the ruffle by pulling the fabric as I ran the edge through my serger. I used the bottom hem of the ribbed shirt for the sleeves so that the edges were already finished, and I ran one straight stitch with elastic bobbin thread to give the sleeves some poof. I also ended up having to put darts in the back because the dress needed more shape and still looked really big on her.

I had so much fun doing that, that I decided to recon some others of my discarded clothes.

I had this striped long sleeve tee that I LOVED the colors, but never loved the shirt itself. So, per tutorials I found online, I cut the sleeves and made them into a little pair of pants for Rachel. It was SO easy that I couldn't resist trying to use the rest of the shirt, too. However, not wanting the outfit to be overwhelmed by stripes, I dug through our giveaway pile and found this plain brown shirt that I used to love.
Armed with scissors and a newfound interest in gathering and shirring, I cut a bodice from the top of the striped shirt and sewed it to the gathered bottom of the brown shirt...

Clearly needing sleeves, I employed the sleeve portion of the brown shirt, also adding a line of elastic for fluff. The sleeves landed perfectly at her elbows! The biggest mistake I made was forgetting to add seam allowances in the sleeves, so I had to kind of finagle the armholes to match, which rendered the top a bit lop-sided. Live and learn! Finally, I used the bottom hem of the striped shirt to make a simple beanie(Rachel ultimately complained the hat was too tight...oops.) All told, it was the most fun I've had sewing, hands down.

And now...the finished product!