Saturday 3 May 2014

Trying out a Tee shirt - Top Transformation!

After a few years of making bags, soft toys, book covers and even a quilt I am starting to get to the stage where I should try making clothes. Most people already seem to think I can and it would be a welcome challenge. I think this is also the feeling of those around me as I received two books with clothes patterns in for my birthday. My main concern about making clothes is that they need to fit. If I make a bag and it turns out bigger or smaller than I planned then I can just pretend this is what I wanted to do. Clothes are harder and I worry if they go wrong I waste a lot of fabric.

I am, however, planning to make myself a few things as then I can check the fit throughout and I am not working to deadlines. I decided to start with a major alteration as opposed to a patterned piece. This was because
 a) I found a fun looking pattern and method
 b) It used a tee-shirt that only cost me £3.50 
 c) It felt a bit like the Great British Sewing Bee 

I found the pattern on a fun blog. It has really clear instructions and photos of each stage. There are also extra blog posts that show different variations. I would really like to play with the idea of using lace as a trim. although I feel I would need a pastel tee shirt as the red is too bold to take lace without looking over the top, or giving too much contrast between delicate lace and a block colour. 

Me in my XXL tee shirt 

The method is simple and the fact that you can keep putting it back on and measuring it all again is great.I used an XXL tee shirt for mine to give me length to work with and plenty of space. Tee shirt fabric is nice to work with in that it does not fray, however it is stretchy which is a challenge especially if you want to add hems. In a lot of the ideas on pinterest the fabric is just cut and there is no hem, but I decided to do a small hem around the neck as I preferred the finish it gave. Sewing in the elastic is also difficult as you want to aim for quite an even gather. I am pleased with the end result and I might be tempted in the future to experiment with different sleeve styles. I could have made the elastic under the bust tighter and I would be tempted in the future to look for tee shirts with thinner fabric.

My transformed top.
It is quite obvious that I hate having my photo taken but the coat hanger really does not show the shape in the top.

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