Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A T-Shirt Makeover X 2!!!

I love our church!!!  T-Shirts and jeans are the outfits of choice most of the time, and since that's the case they give out or sell T-Shirts for all kinds of occasions.  And they're very inexpensive.  Most of the time we have to pay $5 per T-Shirt and that's any size, so we have a LOT of church T-Shirts.  Inevitably when wearing a T-Shirt to church you end up being twins, triplets, quads...you get the point.  And they're unisex and I like to feminize mine.  So that's what I did...on T-Shirt #1

T-Shirt #1
 Another thing I love is the music we play.  It is very contemporary and loud...apologetically!!!  One of my favorite songs is "Manifesto" by The City Harmonic.  We had a chance to see them at a 4th of July celebration in our city and they had a T-Shirt that had the lyrics to that song...score!!!  Problem was...their largest size was much to small for me, but I wanted the shirt sooo bad!  So I bought it with grand plans to expand the shirt to fit me...T-Shirt #2!

T-Shirt #2
So back to T-Shirt #1...I decided I wanted to frilly up the sleeves.  So I chopped off the edges and ruffled them up by zigzag stitching the edges.

Then I wanted to open up the neckline and add something girlish to it.  It's not the easiest thing to open up a neckline without cutting too much or letting it stretch too much.  To keep it from stretching I added a binding I made of left over t-shirt material from another project.

I then top stitched it down to keep it from rolling to the front of the shirt.  That's the way it stayed for a couple of weeks while I decided what Pinterest-y way I wanted to dress up the front. 

I decided to use some black tulle and cut out a bunch of circles.  I wanted 3 circles for every little flower or puff on the front of the shirt.  I wasn't sure how many I needed, so I cut a lot.  I folded the tulle over accordion-style a bit larger than the circle I was going to use as a template.  Then I cut a bunch at one time.

Then I took 3 at a time and folded them up in thirds...kinda...I didn't really want them each perfect.  I wanted them different and not cookie cutter shape looking.  Then I hand stitched the ends of the piece and then stitched it to the edge of the neckline. 

I ended up with 13 poofs on one side and 13 on the other side.  I didn't do the whole neckline because I didn't want it to be scratchy on my neck and honestly it didn't need to go all the way around anyway.

Now my T-Shirt will be a one-of-a-kind and very much ME!

Then there's T-Shirt #2.

This is honestly one of the softest, most comfortable t-shirts I've ever owned and so to enlarge it I had to be careful what kind of fabric I put with it.  I've been working with a screen printing company closely for our PTSA so I decided to see if I could order another shirt the exact same brand as this t-shirt.  Thankfully he was able to get one, and in the same size as the one I bought...less altering!!!

To start with I measured the t-shirt I wanted to alter with a t-shirt that I knew fit me the way I liked to determine how much I really needed to add.  Then I took the blank t-shirt, marked and cut the sides and arm holes at the seams using the measurements from the other t-shirt.

Next I had to remove the seam from the original t-shirt.  I started by ripping it out, but soon decided that would take me WAYYYY too long!!!  So I just cut it out...very carefully!!!  I'm enlarging this thing, I don't need to cut out extra!  That would be very foolish.  So I cut the seam slowly right along the stitch line.

Once it was opened up I matched the extension right sides together with the original t-shirt.  It wasn't just as easy as lay it down and it matches up...when is it ever!  I had to ease things in especially in the chest and underarm area.  AND...the edge of the sleeves didn't match up.  Ok, did I tell you I've never enlarged a t-shirt before?  This is learning as you go at it's finest.  I'll explain how I fixed that in a minute.  Once I matched up the edge...one at a time mind you...I stitched them carefully using about a 1/2 inch seam. 

I repeated that with all 4 seams then used a zigzag stitch to "serge" together the seam allowance since I don't own a serger!!!  Then I cut off the excess sleeve and the cuff of the original sleeve.  I used the same zigzag method to finish off the sleeves that I did with the black t-shirt.

The last thing I wanted to change was the neckline (again...I am not a fan of the tight t-shirt necklines that come standard in unisex t's).  I cut off the collar right along the stitching just to get that cuff piece off.  I stitched it with a straight stitch about a 1/3 inch in to keep it from stretching too much.  Then I added a white piece of tulle and a piece of blue t-shirt fabric about an inch wide each and left the edges raw.  I stitched them together straight down the middle and then attached them to the raw neckline of the t-shirt about 1/2 inch in from the edge. 

Now I can wear my T-Shirt I love without it being too small!!!  It worked out great, not perfect, but good enough for me!

I can't wait to find some other ideas for T-Shirts since I know I will end up with another 2 or 3 church shirts by the end of the year.  Another reason I love Pinterest and blogging!!!  It's such a great way to get ideas and turn my Pieces into Treasures!!!


I'm wearing the T-Shirt #2 today and had to change the collar.  I'd added the tulle and it was horribly itchy...completely driving me crazy (NO COMMENTS NEEDED ON THAT STATEMENT!).  So I ripped off the previous collar gently and grabbed my extra shirt leftovers to make something new...and SOFT!  I cut 4 strips out of the body of the extra about 2" wide, stitched them together to make one long strip then basted them down the middle.  Then I gathered them all up tight.
To prep the shirt I zigzagged around the edge of the t-shirt at the collar before adding the ruffle.
I then stretched the gathered strips out to fit around the t-shirt collar, spread the gathers out evenly and pinned it down.  Then I zigzagged stitched through the center of the strip attaching it to the shirt.  Using the zigzag vs. a straight stitch I kept the stretchability of the neck of the shirt.  I was lacking that with the previous alteration and since I had to change it anyway...can't have an itchy neck...I went with zigzag over the straight stitch.  Trust me, it's much more comfortable!!!



Blogs I'm Linking Up With:








Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Life of a PTSA Mom

Bear with me as I attempt to catch up for a sec...literally!!!  I have the life of a PTSA (Parent, Teacher, Student Assoc. for those not in the "know") Mom.  It is chocked full of activities right now.  I am co-chair of the sweatshirt committee and we sell them at schedule pick up (4 days sitting in the school all day long 8-() !!!)  I am also Secretary.  But it's this first one that has me swamped lately.  Now that the schedule pick up time is over I have to get all the information together and that takes a ton of time. 

I am squeezing a craft in here and there and have posts planned for later, but for the moment...yeah, this is all you get!!!

Thanks for sticking around...till next post!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Wristlet and a Phone Case

A couple of months ago in my pre-blogging days my son's school PTA had a craft fair.  Being that kind of mom, and a craft addict, I worked the whole show...set up to nearly tear down (ok, I did leave a bit early).  Since I was running around all day and there were a LOT of people going in and out I didn't want to bring my purse.  So I grabbed the wallet, keys and phone and headed out the door for a long day.  But then I had a problem.  I could hide the wallet in the car, but needed the phone and keys.  So I threw the phone in my pocket and gave my keys to my son to carry (not the most comfortable feeling knowing how well young teens take care of things).  After that experience I decided I needed a different solution.  I plan on spending a lot more time in the future working this craft fair as well as many other PTA functions.  I'm not going to want to carry my purse.  I'm not going to want to hide my wallet every time.  I don't always want my phone in my pocket.  My son won't be there every time to carry my keys, and in all honesty I'm not going to want him to do that every time either.  So I went to Pinterest for a solution, and I found this little gem by Missy at Missy's Homemaking Adventures. She had made a couple of different phone cases, one with a pocket, that could be attached to a lanyard.  That looked like the thing for me.  It would take care of the phone, a little cash, the driver's license, and perhaps the keys as well...if you have the right lanyard.  So I went and got some pretty fabric, did some measuring of my phone, and of course adding my little touches to it I made my own case.

It turned out my measurements were a bit off for my phone with the cover on it and this particular case didn't fit...but it did one of my friend's phones.  So I gifted it and made another.  It fit great and the pocket worked wonderful for my needs.  But then my friend came in to church carrying hers on a wristlet type lanyard and suddenly I was jealous. (very unChristian, I know!!!)  It was easier to carry for the every day, run out of the house type thing.  So for a couple of months I've kept my eye out for a wristlet I could purchase.  That was till Mandy at Sugar Bee Crafts posted her tutorial for a Ruffled Keychain Fob, or as I called it a wristlet.  Suddenly the answer to my jealousy problem had a solution...and I had left over material from my phone case.  PERFECT!!!

So I grabbed up the fabric, and all the tools I needed and got to work.

There were a few things I had to change.  Mandy said she used fusible fleece, but I've never heard of fusible fleece...is there something I'm missing, or is this just fusible interfacing called something else...but the point of the fusible fleece was to give it some thickness (which she mentions and gives alternative suggestions).  I had felt and thought "Why not?!?" 

Instead of fusing I just basted it in with a contrasting color so I could take the stitches out toward the end.  And that was change #1.

My second change was the edging.  Mandy used a serger.  I don't have one (again with the jealousy thing going on here...do you hear the whine in my voice?  Trust me, it's there!!!  Ohh, how I need to learn to control this little flaw!!!)  So I had to figure out which "fancy" stitch would give me the look I wanted on the edge.  This is what I ended up with and it looked pretty cute.  (sigh, jealousy really is a nasty sin...we don't appreciate what we have!)

From that point on I just followed her directions pretty much to the letter.  She makes a great tutorial!!!  And this is the finished product!!!

Now I have to go have some prayer time to get over this jealousy issue...and enjoy my new wristlet/key fob thingy!!!  Trust me, PTA stuff starts Thursday of this week and I'll be putting all these little treasures to great use!!!

Till later...


Blogs I'm Linking Up With:








Saturday, August 4, 2012

Burlap...How I love thee!!!

Has anyone noticed the "new" trend???  Burlap!!!  It's everywhere on Pinterest and it's SOOO ABSOLUTELY COOL!!!  Who knew that this scratchy, neutral, used to be feed sack material material would be the best decorating stuff ever!!!  And I LOVE it!!! 

So last year between Thanksgiving and Christmas...when my Sis introduced me to Pinterest...I spent a ton of time looking at Christmas ideas.  I kept seeing burlap decor...tree skirts, ornaments, stockings, decorative balls, ribbons, flowers...soooo much burlap!!!  And I realized I wanted to make myself a burlap Christmas!!!  I decided to start with a tree skirt and stockings for this year, and then in future years add to the decor.  So instead of putting away my tree skirt I kept it in the hall closet (craft closet) as well as one stocking for a future pattern.  The future has come and the tree skirt is now made!!!

Remember a couple posts ago when I lamented being too busy to craft?  Well, crafting days are here again.  Remember this picture?

It's not calling my name anymore...well, some of it isn't at least.  It's now an awesome Burlap & Muslin Lined Tree Skirt...and here's how I did it!

I started off with my old tree skirt and a couple of yards of muslin.  I laid the tree skirt in half over the muslin folded with the selvages together and traced it with just a plain old ink pin.

I cut the half circle out (keeping it in the two layers of course) then ironed it to remove all those pesky wrinkles. 

I then cut up the center fold line to the middle of the circle.  I'd marked it using the old tree skirt that had a split up the center to go around the tree.  It made it a lot easier than measuring.  Use all the tricks you can!!!

I then used the muslin to measure and cut out the burlap.  I folded the burlap in half just like the muslin and used the fold as the center, then I cut up the center just like I did with the muslin.

I decided I wanted ties on my skirt to keep it together and keep it from being pulled out by kids or cats.  I wanted 2 different ties so it would be good and secure.  To do that I cut 4 pieces of muslin 9" long by 2" wide.  I sewed up one side and closed up one end.  Then using a knitting needle I turned them right side out and ironed them flat. 

I used about a 1/4 inch seam for the ties.

I sandwiched the ties between the burlap and the muslin in the opening I'd cut up the center.  I put the first set 3 1/2 inches from the rounded edge with the second set 3 1/2 inches in from the first set (make sure you measure it carefully on both sides so they will match up well when it's all sewn together).

Laying out the rest of the muslin/burlap I matched it up all the way around and then pinned it.  It didn't always match up exactly, but close enough worked well enough!  Since I've never sewn burlap before, and knowing how much fraying burlap does, I decided to use a zig zag stitch to sew the layers together.  Using the zig zag ensures the seam will stay strong no matter the material (at least that's my hope!!!)  I sewed it all the way around, but left about an 8" opening to turn it right side out.  Then I ironed it flat to get crisp edges and fold in the opening so I could top stitch it.

Here I used a 1/2 inch seam.

This is the top stitching.  I loved how the thread matched the burlap exactly...and I'd bought it separately for a different project!!!
Here it looks at this point...and where I stopped for the day (Thursday night).

This would be an awesome tree skirt at this point.  I've also seen an idea of stencilling a monogram on the burlap.  That would be cool too, but I wanted a more feminine touch to it.  So I made some muslin ruffles to add to it.  I've seen the ones with layers and layers of ruffles.  They're gorgeous, but honestly it's not practical in my house.  We layer the presents under the tree and so all that work and prettiness would be covered up.  Plus, the presents would end up like Jenga blocks...all over the floor in messy piles toppled by an uneven surface!!!  And I'm sure the cats would be eager to help the tumbling!  So, for me, one row of lovely ruffling works well. 

I decided to go with a fairly wide ruffle.  I cut the muslin in 7" strips.  It was a guess as to how many I needed so I went with 7 (the number of perfection...how can you go wrong!).  I figured if I had extra it would be put to use with stockings later anyway.  Once I had them cut out I ironed them all to get rid of the sharp lines.  But, this project isn't about a perfectly tailored tree skirt.  I wanted it to look shabby sheek (or something like that).  Perhaps it's vintage that I'm looking for...I'm just taking a stab at styles here and hoping I land on the right one.  So once the muslin was all ironed I grabbed it in my hands and ran it up and down one of the pieces to see how I liked it.  I wanted it randomly wrinkly and fraying on the edge.  Here's what I got...

That's it!!! And it was easy to get it that way.  Thankfully my oldest walked in at just that moment...and since it was so easy I put him to work!!!

Doesn't he look thrilled.  I might have given him the starting of a blister...maybe.  Too bad he had nothing to show for it today when he wanted to brag!  But he did an excellent job! 

Now that I had all the wrinkly yumminess I needed to baste the muslin so I could gather it.  I wanted it to gather down the middle so I had ruffles on both sides.  So I needed to baste straight down the middle.  I don't know about you, but my machine doesn't have measurements for 3 1/2 inches.  I find quite often that I need markings beyond what the standard sewing machine gives you...so I made them!!!  Sharpie and ruler and I had what I needed.  Why haven't I ever thought of this before???

Perfect!  I basted each piece at 3 1/2 inches, then began gathering the first one starting at the opening I'd made earlier.  Since I still wasn't sure how many panels I'd need to go the whole circumference of the skirt, I just decided to gather it till I liked the look.  Then I measured the next one off of the first, and so on.  When I started pinning the ruffle on I needed to make sure that I didn't catch or interfere with the ties I'd made, so I measured and lined up the middle of each ruffle 2 1/2 inches in from the rounded edge of the tree skirt.  I pinned on the first ruffle and realized that it ended up reaching a little over a 1/4 of the way around the first half of the skirt.  Having 7 panels I used wise deductive reasoning (or in other words a DUH moment) to figure out that I needed approx. 3 1/2 panels on the one side and it would come out at the end.  It ended up using about 6 and almost half of the 7th panel.  Yep, perfection...almost! 

The blue point is at the edge of the skirt.  So I lined the basted thread up at the 2 1/2" point and it made pinning it in the right place a breeze.  I love having the right tools for the job!!!
Once it was all pinned I sewed the ruffle on following the basted thread as close as I could.  With all that ruffling it's easy to get some of it caught under the presser foot, so I stopped when I removed each pin and used my hands to press and hold the ruffles down and sewed in between.  It worked great!

And suddenly the tree skirt I've been drooling over for months was done!!!  I can't wait to get the tree up this year and add this treasure to it. 

Hopefully soon I can get the stockings done...we'll see what the week holds!!!


Blogs I'm Linking Up With: