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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: T-shirts to Shirred Dress on: June 08, 2013 02:34:51 PM
Thanks for commenting. The pockets complicated things a bit for me, but I'm happy I stuck with them.
2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / T-shirts to Shirred Dress on: June 07, 2013 08:11:02 PM

This is a dress I made from 3 old size small T-shirts. It took me several hours to complete--I didn't have a real pattern and it was my first go at shirring--but I'm pleased with the result.

The first thing I did was shirr the waist. I was nervous at first and couldn't get it to gather as small as I wanted, but some patience, adjustments in stitch length and bobbin-winding tension, and more rows finally did it. I tied my threads at the start and end of each row because shirring introduces a significantly higher risk of your threads coming undone. (Case in point: I had to use a crochet hook to fix the shirring on the dress I used for inspiration/measurements (pictured below), and that dress was store-bought.) I used this tutorial to learn how to shir. I really couldn't believe how easy it was, when it was all said and done. I'll definitely be shirring some more of my T shirts here and there.

Here's the dress I used for the skirt dimensions and some upper measurements as well. I made my dress a tad bit longer than this one because I'm more comfortable in it that way.  Wink I even ripped the seam of the original tan T-shirt's bottom hem to extend the length because the bottom brown piece, leftover from this cropped tee, was only so long. Anyways, after I shirred the waist I cut the sides of both my brown T-shirt bottom (which started out a big fat tube) and my tan T-shirt. The front-and-back panels of the two T-shirts were very close in length (within an inch or so) because they were both size smalls, although they don't have the same fabric content so they stretched differently through wear and wash. Then I brought in my third T-shirt. I needed this because I wanted a factory hem around the bottom of my dress and one adult small T-shirt was not big enough around. So I did a little math with the skirt measurements I'd taken from my pattern dress and cut two triangles to insert in the sides.

One final touch before I sewed up the sides of the triangles with the front of my dress was to insert pockets. I'm a firm believer in dresses with pockets; dresses with pockets are like pb & j sandwiches with cinnamon. Or hot cocoa with cinnamon for that matter. Anywho, I used some sleeves to make the pockets, using the pockets of my pattern dress for shape and placement.

I didn't use the top of my pattern dress as a guide for my neck and arm holes because I would've cut through the pattern on the back of my tan T-shirt.

However, after removing the collar and sleeves, I did use my pattern dress's shoulder-to-waist measurement and made a deeper shoulder seam on my tan T-shirt accordingly. I also took in the sides (tapering in from the shirring) so that the bust was the same width as my pattern dress. But as far as the armholes and collar went, I was on my own. I ended up just pinning the raw edges over like I was going to finish them, trying the dress on, and then trimming deeper and pinning again where necessary. I repeated this process several times until I was satisfied. Then, I just sewed them down and I was done.  Grin

The dress is also cute with the shirring covered up by a nice big belt. Although I thought the shirring was really cool and not too hard to do, if you're not comfortable with that you could do the waist with some regular half-inch elastic, sewn right on, or in a casing. Or you could just wear a belt with it as I've modeled, adding belt loops to the waist if you felt so inclined.

It's versatile too. Cold weather? No problem. When fall comes I'll make some of these boot toppers and pull on a pair of leggings to complete the look.

So there you have it. Feel free to leave comments/questions below; I'd enjoy your feedback. I'd like to acknowledge my fabulous mother for taking the pictures of me. Speaking of pictures, it's nearly impossible to take pictures outside without snapping a few of our friendly, lick-your-face-off dog, so here's one last pic for you.  Cheesy
3  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / School Spirit T-shirt Hoodie on: July 17, 2012 07:37:08 PM

This is one of my favorite reconstructions, although not really a recon, more like a bunch of alterations. The T-shirt is a school T-shirt, and I love wearing it to pep band games.
The hood and pocket were from an old T-shirt. Tracing the hood on the hem of that T-shirt gave me an instant drawstring casing--yay! The pocket is just a rectangle with arcs cut out of the top corners. I folded over the top and sides before sewing on but not the bottom because that was old hem already. I left the arcs with raw edges; I love that you don't have to worry about raveling with T-shirts. Although it's hard to see from the pics, There's also elastic around beneath the pocket, to keep it from being so long and blankety on me. To do that I just folded up the bottom hem, sewed 1/2" down from the fold and cut a small slit in the casing to insert my elastic rather than sewing the elastic in.
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Appliqud T-shirt on: July 17, 2012 06:44:20 PM

I was given this plain T-shirt as a VBS helper. I decided to decorate it using cotton fabrics and fusible web, then sewing around the edges for added durability and looks. Ironically, I was the yellow group leader both the year I did the project, and the next year--Bonus.
5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Gigantic Polo Resized on: July 17, 2012 06:28:18 PM

I wear this shirt volunteering. Before I resized it the sleeves hung past my elbows and it looked like a shapeless dress. It was to big to use the conventional method of simply sewing up the sides and under the sleeves. (Plus I would've lost the cuff thing if I'd just hemmed the sleeves.) I had to actually remove the sleeves and cut some of the shoulder off (using a T-shirt that fit for reference). It took longer but I'm pleased with the result, if you didn't know it used to be big you wouldn't know it was altered.
6  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Ketchup and Mustard Reconstructed T-shirt on: July 17, 2012 06:11:31 PM

I started with a red T-shirt and added pieces from a yellow one. I'm not sure why I made it, it was sort of an impulse project. And I always write my & signs backwards. So there you have it. (I'm a mustard person, I don't like ketch-up.)
7  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Cropped Cross-Back T-shirt on: July 16, 2012 07:36:45 PM

Wow, that's a big mosquito bite.  Tongue This reconstruction went faster than I expected. It's one of my favorite reconstructions. The criss-cross on the back came about by accident; I cut the neckline too big for my original plan. (That's why there are a few scattered pleats and gathers as well.) Hope it inspires you.
8  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Ruffle Embellished T-Shirt on: July 16, 2012 07:15:30 PM

The picture distorted the colors a bit, the ruffles are lighter and the design is darker, so in real life they pretty much match. I like how it ended up, and it was pretty easy to do. First I hemmed the shirt (and sleeves), then brought in the sides. (You can see I gave it a more fitted look.) The ruffle and flowers were from a gray T-shirt. If you need the full tutorial, it's here.
9  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / White T-shirt Flower Ring on: July 16, 2012 11:34:27 AM

This ring took me about 30 minutes to make, and I love it. Using T-shirt material for the band was especially helpful because it has some stretch to it (although the thread I used doesn't, I had to use a zigzag stitch for that) which helps for sizing. The flower was just a single strip of T-shirt I gathered into a ruffle and then rolled up. I hand stitched it on and stitched down the end in the center to make it look better.
10  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / T-shirt Earrings on: July 16, 2012 11:26:07 AM

I made these earrings one morning before school (they're very quick to assemble). I like them because they're big, but not ostentatious or heavy. It's funny because when I wear my hair down you hardly notice them, but when I put my hair up your attention is immediately drawn to them. Hope this inspires some of you to consider T-shirt fabric as a possibility with jewelry (and a great way to use up old T-shirts). Instructions for this project are found in this book: Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-shirt by Megan Nicolay.
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