New Life for Old Shirts

One of the best things about summer is that I have more time to do something with all of the creative energy I’ve been storing up over most of the year. Thanks to Pinterest, all of the creative energy has been taking form not only in words but also with fabrics.

Lately, it seems like at least half of the things I find on Pinterest are related to refashioning clothes, which has started a terrible itch. Last week, I decided to do something with it.

I don’t have many t-shirts, but one I’ve kept around since high school is a green Legend of Zelda one. Originally, it was a unisex medium shirt, which meant it was huge on me. And sometime last year, I decided I didn’t want it to be huge anymore, so I tried to cut it down. Unsuccessfully. It went from an adult medium to a child large.

Also in my drawer was a yellow tank (also slightly too small) that I never wear but couldn’t bear to rid myself of because I liked the color.

These were the first two victims of my summer sewing madness.

Old tank top + old t-shirt = something new!

The first thing I had to do was open up the side seams of the Zelda shirt that I’d made too small.

Here, I opened up the seams on the sides and then decided that I wanted to cut about two inches out of each side. This way, more of the yellow tank is visible when I sew the two together.

Here, I opened up the seams on the sides and then decided that I wanted to cut about two inches out of each side. This way, more of the yellow tank would visible when I sewed the two together.

Next, I cut off the sides of the tank top, carefully ensuring that I cut the same way on both sides. (The  easiest way to do this is to cut one side off of the tank top, lay it on top of the other side, and use the already cut side like a pattern.)

I cut a little extra to ensure that the t-shirt would be comfortable but still look more feminine than its original form.

I cut a little extra to ensure that the t-shirt would be comfortable but still look more feminine than its original form.

Next, it’s time to pin the two together.

This is perhaps the most delicate part. My suggestion: Start by pinning the top of the tank to the bottom of the sleeve. Once this seam is pinned, it’s easy to line up the sides and pin them together. Be sure to feel the seams since fingers can usually detect if there are lumps or places where the seams won’t lay flat.

Lots of pins to ensure it stays in place!

Lots of pins to ensure it stays in place! Most of my pins are designed for quilting, so they’re long and have a wide, flat plastic head.

Now, it’s time to sew those seams together.

Go slow and leave at least a pressure foot's width between the new seam and the edge of the fabric.

Go slow and leave at least a pressure foot’s width between the new seam and the edge of the fabric.

After trimming up the extra threads, it’s all ready!

DSC_2356 (Medium) DSC_2351 (Medium)

My sewing itch still hasn’t been satiated, so don’t be surprised if there are more such posts in the near future.

What do you like to do with your creative energy?

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5 responses to “New Life for Old Shirts

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