Thursday, June 11, 2009

Refashioning T-shirt

Article cited from Betz White's blog. She is good in re-purposed sewing projects. Check out her book Sewing-Green.

This week my kindergartener put on his favorite Old Navy Halloween shirt from 2 years ago. Yup, it was looking a little shrimpy on him. Three-quarter length sleeves don't really work for boys. I let him wear it once and then decided to do a little wardrobe refashion on it.

That's it on the right, a size 4T. The shirt on the left is a different brand, but also a 4T and close to the same fit. I decided to sacrifice the also-outgrown Batman shirt to save the Halloween shirt. (Shhh...don't tell my oldest!) My plan was to make a mock layered look by combining the two shirts.

First I used a short sleeved shirt as a guide for cutting the sleeve off. I wanted a reference for not only length, but for angle of the cut. I aligned the armholes then cut off the green sleeve, adding about an inch extra for seaming and hemming.

Then I placed the cut off sleeve on top of the other sleeve as a a reference and cut the second sleeve off to match.

I placed the green Halloween shirt and the cut off sleeve on top of the gray shirt. I knew from the last wearing , that the new sleeves need to be at least 2 inches longer. I lined up the cuffs and eyeballed the space: 2 inches of gray sleeve length, plus 1 inch for seaming and hemming. Fortunately the width of the grey sleeve is about the same width as the the green shirt. I cut the gray sleeve off following the edge of the the new short sleeve. Then I copied the length to cut off the second gray sleeve.

Next, I turned the green shirt inside out and put the cut off gray long sleeve inside, right sides together. I lined up the underarm seams and pinned the sleeve edges together distributing the fabric evenly around.

I sewed them together then pulled the sleeve out and pressed the seam allowance (1/4") up toward the green part of the sleeve.

Here's the sleeve right side out. Look, ma, longer sleeves! Ok, now to create the mock layered part.

I folded the gray part back inside the green sleeve and pinned it in place. Then I stitched twice around the opening, about a half inch from the fold, to give it the look of a hem.

I pulled the sleeve back out and pressed.

Now for the shirt tail extension. I placed the green shirt on top of the gray one and flipped the hem up out of the way. Again, I eyeballed about a 2 inch-plus extension and cut the bottom off the gray shirt.

Here is the green shirt inside out with the gray strip/tube/hem around it, wrong sides together. I aligned the edge of the gray part with the original hem stitching on the green shirt and sewed them together right on top of it to hide my stitching.

I flipped the new shirt tail hem down and turned the shirt right side out. Ta da! The 4T grew to a size 6!

Now, my guy is happy to wear his fave shirt again! However, I'm told I "shoulda made a hood". There would probably be enough fabric from the body of the gray shirt, except for negotiating around that batman logo. I was also concerned about restricting the stretch of the neckline when sewing the hood on, thereby making the neck opening too tight. Nothing worse that losing a few ears when you pull your shirt off. (although I suppose it would add to the Halloween theme. eeew, sorry...) Not the best pose here for showing off the sleeves...oh well! :)

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