Saturday, July 2, 2011

T-Shirt Mod for Mama

I have modified a few dollar t-shirts for my son, but had not gotten up the courage to try one for myself. In fact, until the Silver Dress, I had never worn anything that I had sewn in public, unless it was a costume (which I hold to a lower standard of design and construction). Well, after the resounding success of my last few sewing projects, I finally got up the nerve to try. I started with a grey long-sleeved t-shirt from the Dollar Tree ($1) and some navy- and white-striped knit fabric from my stash.

Here's the shirt I started with and the fabric I used for my modification. It's important when
working with a stretchy knit that you pair it with another stretchy fabric so you don't get
too much rippling.

The first thing I did was add cuffs. I used my serger because it works better with stretchy
fabric, but you could also use a zig-zag stitch in a regular machine.  The cuff is doubled
over so with the seam on the inside. The key is to stretch both fabrics to the same size when
sewing them together. I also cut off the bottom of the t-shirt so that it was a more flattering
length for me, leaving the hem raw. (knit won't fray)

It needed some sort of ornamentation implementing the striped fabric to tie it in with the cuffs,
so I made these button-centered rosettes. I hand-sewed them on while the shirt was on my
dress form so that I could make sure the placement of my appliques would work.

Here's a close-up of the button detail. I cut out circles of both fabrics and layered them
together with coordinating buttons in the center. I tried a couple configurations first,
placing them on a flat surface until I found something I liked. Odd numbers work best
visually, so I have five button rosettes. I left the edges raw, referencing the hem.
This is my shirt for the day. I think it turned out pretty cute (although not quite as cute as the girls' summer outfits), and these are colors that I wear, so I am pretty excited about this new addition to my wardrobe.

Do you have a sewing project you are particularly proud of? Take a picture and post it to my Facebook page!

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