Saturday, July 10, 2010

Simple Sewing Saturdays: Volume Eight: Tee Shirt Transmogrifying

This Simple Sewing Hint is embarrassingly simple.  Simple Simple.  But somehow it eluded me for many years.  The thought of altering shirts that don't quite make it for you, with nothing to lose since if it's not right, you won't wear it anyway, right?  So, with that thinking completely in place, it is with fearless wonder, that I attacked another Garage Sale Tee shirt (thanks, Editor Friend!) to suit my many older lady tee shirt needs.
1. Take a tee shirt, preferable purchased at a yard sale. (less to invest)  Preferably all cotton.  The best; soft and breathable in This July Heat/Humidity.
2.  Take it for a Trial Run.  In my case, I wore it on my Morning Dog Walk.  This shirt was a Med but seemed more generous for my L, XL body.  Wrong.  It was a Med; who was I kidding?  Noticed it was a little snug around the neck and, of course, around the hips.  And the sleeves were a bit too long for the heat,even though they were just short sleeves.
3.  During the walk, altered the shirt in my brain, figuring what options I had. 
4.  Remembering the Too Short Cut of the last Tee Shirt Redo, I carefully thought about the suitable length for this shirt before The Fiskars had their way.
5.  Cut 1 1/2 inches off the bottom. Zip.
6. Too tight neckline? Clip way down about 3 inches.  Longer if you are prone to displaying cleavage. Ha.  Fold back the 'flaps' and pin.  Set your machine to one of the decorative stitches that you have on your machine but seldom use, and sew close to the edges so they will not curl up on you. If you don't have the decorative stitch option, use the zig zag; stretchy knits need the stretch.  Voila!  Neckline expanded!
7.  I rolled up the sleeves the width of the hem and did the same thing. Edged with the same decorative stitch close to the edge.  Ditto the bottom hem.
8.  Pop that sucker right back on and breathe deeply for all the comfort that this lovely reconfigured tee shirt brings to you.  Wore it all day, patting it in affirmation, that it was a good thing we did.

When you pass that bargain at a yard sale, you love the fabric or color or design, but there is just a bit off, snag it up anyway.  If the color etc, speaks to you, you can re use it somewhere else.  Or just lop enough off to just make it work.  For 50 cents, take a chance.  Just this week, I got a chance to see this in action with Baby Girl.  Years ago, I had bought a blouse for her at at a Thrift Shop.  I loved the color, design,  fabric content, buttons, the whole enchilada.  Sadly, it was an iron needy shirt, and BG in her High School busyness, rarely got a chance to wear it due to time constraints.  Imagine my delight, when on our visit this past week, she pulls out her Pregnancy Journal, COVERED IN THE BELOVED BLOUSE MATERIAL!  I was thrilled to see the fabric again, and even more thrilled to see that BG had used her skills to preserve our beloved material on a journal that will be around for many,many years.  Her BG will be touching that same fabric long after I am worm food.
If a fabric, piece of clothing speaks to you, get it.  Your enjoyment of it, whether in it's original form or altered, will be worth it all......


  1. I wrote a really long comment and it got erased. grrr..
    summarized...I love the new shirt! Fabulous!!! I need to explore my fun stitches on my machine.

    And I love my birthday crafted journal, I have decided it will be a new birthday tradition for myself. Being born in February it works well to buy a calender because they are all on sale! And i loved spending the day making something special that I would use all year round!
    Wonder who I learned this from??? :)

  2. and I do like the word transmogrifying hehe :)
    It could be the name of a sewing/reusing book your write some day! :-O! :D


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