Monthly Archives: February 2008

T-shirt refashion

In my drawer are a few Lands End long-sleeve t-shirts that I’ve had absolutely forever. I can’t wear them anywhere but at home, because of the little stains, holes, and tears. I’d been wanting to make some “half gloves” from a tutorial on Stitch Lounge, so I decided to see what I could come up with for the rest of one of my workhorse shirts.

I cut off the sleeves, and made the “half-glove” arm-warmers. Then I cut off the sides and neckline of the t-shirt (including the stains under the arms–bleah.) I added strips of funky fabric to the sides, and then made some double-fold bias tape for the armholes and neckline. The point of the neckline in front caused me a bit of worry, but I sewed that thing flat…

I’d love to report that I did this all very scientifically with measurements and all, but in truth I grabbed another t-shirt from a drawer and used it as a rough guide. I also must be truthful and say I screwed up the hemline of the shirt by (arrgh) cutting the first fabric strip even with the existing hem, forgetting about adding 5/8 to turn under. So I’ll have to put bias tape over that, too.

I’m very pleased with how it came out. Not that I can wear it any time soon, as it is currently 5 degrees F here in upstate New York. I have lots of t-shirts that I can convert this way. Next time I’ll make the armhole binding thinner, and I’ll have a better hemline. I think I need to make the top of the arm-warmer smaller, too. It won’t matter if I’m wearing it under something, but I don’t want them to slide down my arm when I’m wearing them with the t-shirt.


Sweater refashion

One of my second-hand finds was this cotton cable-knit sweater. Though very comfortable and warm, the shape is a bit strange. It’s about 3 inches longer in back than in front, and the sides are very wide. (Perhaps it was a man’s sweater? If it was, it was for a very short man!) I thought it was a good candidate for a refashion.

I was very nervous about cutting into knitted fabric, but finally decided it was ridiculous to be nervous about refashioning a sweater that I can’t wear, however pretty.

I turned the sweater inside out, and stitched a new line from the armpit to the bottom of the sweater on each side, and then tried on the sweater again to make sure of the fit. Then I restitched the same seam with a very small stitch size, so that the sweater won’t unravel.

The bottom of the sweater took a bit of thought. I considered adding 3 inches to the front of the sweater, or adding a fabric band to the bottom and to the cuffs, but figured I would have the devil of a time matching the color and texture. I finally decided to cut the extra fabric from the back, and then add cream-colored bias tape to keep the ends from unraveling. Voilà! A sweater I will wear!

Snow Day!

Say what you like about the climate of upstate New York. The snow…the 60 mph wind that has been battering my house for the last 10 hours…the icy roads…If I lived someplace warmer, would I have had a day off from work today because of the weather? I think not!

After lounging about reading with a pot of coffee at my elbow, I finally got around to some projects sitting in my workroom. My family has recently joined a gym, and I’ve found that my “workout clothes,” formerly known as “sitting around in” clothes, were mostly too worn to wear in public. I treated myself to some new fabric in a pretty leaf green, and set about making a new pair of exercise pants–in the “old days,” we called this sweatpants, though I noticed all the “sweats” at the stores are billed as “yoga” clothes or “workout” clothes.

I bought a pattern, which of course I lost somewhere between the fabric store and home. Perhaps it fell out when I walked along the sidewalk to meet my daughters. Grrr. Arrrrgh. I went through my scanty stock of patterns and found a 20-year old pattern from my college days (Hey, the 80’s are practically VINTAGE, right?)

The pants turned out baggier than is currently fashionable, but since I am baggier than is currently fashionable, they’ll be fine. I’m sure, scientifically speaking, that my figure guarantees my daughters’ wits.