The other day I uttered the words “I’m sooo bored.” Luckily none of my kids heard this. They would have gleefully responded with something like “You could go clean your room” or “If you’re really bored I can find you something to do.”
Of course as an adult I know that being bored is less about not having anything to do and more about not really wanting to do any of the things you have to do. So the solution to being bored is to find something you want to do so that you can go on avoiding that which you have to do (like laundry). I decided to make something.
I wanted something that I could make in one sitting and preferably in less than two hours. I’ve also really been wanting to revamp my wardrobe for the summer. So I pulled out a couple t-shirts that I wear occasionally but don’t love and started to refurbish.
After coming up with a general idea of what I was going to do I put each shirt on and drew where I planned to cut.
I used washable marker but then traced over it with crayon in an attempt to make it more visable.
Then I cut.
I wanted the green shirt to end up as a tank top but didn’t have a concrete plan at this point. I cut the sleeves off at an angle cutting through both layers of the shirt and left the collar intact.
The black shirt I was just trying to make more feminine & stylish so I trimmed the sleeves shorter at an angle and cut a scoop neck. I also cut the sleeve bands and the bottom band off to use in the next step.
This is the sleeve with the band pinned then sewn back on. The non-cut edge of the band is to the cut edge of the sleeve. Stretch it to fit as you sew and you get a finished look to the sleeve. I did the same with the bottom band of the shirt and the neckline. The bottom band is a little longer than the neck hole so it got trimmed a little. Don’t stretch the neck as you sew or it’ll end up quite large.
To finish the bottom of the shirt I used a large zig zag stitch and stretched a little as I sewed. I didn’t want the super ruffle lettuce effect so I didn’t stretch as much as I could have.
And, voila! What was once a boring black shirt is now a feminized fitted tee.
Since I was still unsure of how to proceed with the green shirt I tried it on. The angle of the cut was nice but it bagged out a little too much on the sides where the sleeve had been cut. I played around with it a bit and decided to gather both the front and the back to give it a closer fit.
If you don’t have much sewing experience and don’t know what gathering is I’ll briefly explain.
-find the knob on your machine that changes stitch length, move it to the longest setting
-sew straight across the section you want to gather
-remove what you’re making from the machine leaving a couple inches of thread
-grab one of the threads on one side (top or bottom) and hold it as you scootch the fabric in until the section is as small as you want it to be
-reset the stitch length on your machine and sew over the gathered section to make it stay
I did this on the front & back of the shirt about two inches under the still intact t-shirt collar. The front is about four inches wide the back a little more.
For lack of a better way to finish the shirt I folded the collar over and sewed it down in the front & back. DO NOT sew all the way around the collar because then it won’t stretch and you won’t be able to get it on.
I might play around with the green shirt a little more or try this again with a more baggy tee but for now I’m happy with the results. And I have two fun “new” shirts that I will (hopefully) wear and love.
Maybe eventually I’ll get some pictures of them on me and add them here. Until then…use your imagination. Or, better yet, try these refurb ideas out on a couple of your own shirts. What do you have to loose?