Friday May 3, 2013
As I hack and slice my way through t-shirt transformations, I'm often left with these lovely little piles of sleeves and hems. Aspiring to be the hoarder my mother has always encouraged me to be, I've saved these scraps. For years. Well, the time has come for action. That and the husband is threatening me with a beautiful fabric-fueled bonfire in the backyard.
I've come up with a way to turn fabric scraps, like the sleeves of my new Trident Braided Racerback t-shirt transformation, into adorable baby roses. Or large ones, depending on the scraps you've got to work with. Check out the complete step-by-step photo tutorial, where I deftly turn scraps into beautiful flowers, before my husband has the chance to put the scrap box to the torch!
Thursday May 2, 2013
For my next trick, a t-shirt transformation that doesn't have to look punk. I love turning t-shirts into new creations, but let's face it. The jersey material doesn't exactly scream 'sophisticated'. Sometimes it even howls, 'I don't fit very well'.
That's why I've tried so hard to make all of my T-Shirt Surgery designs a good fit. I've seen way too many tutorials out there that proclaim to be a cool upcycled t-shirt project, but produce what I can only describe as hanging rags. Yes, that is a legitimate 80's look, and I have some t-shirt skirts that hang in the best of raggidy ways. But I don't always want to look like I've climbed out of the bowels of a White Snake video.
To make a T-Shirt Surgery project a success, or any clothing project for that matter, the fit needs to be right. This was my main focus for my latest t-shirt transformation design, the Trident Braided Racerback. Kind of a mouthful, but stick with me, here. Using a t-shirt braiding technique, this design pulls in all of the extra fabric cut from the arms and back of the shirt. This way, the shirt is sized to fit your body as you're working on it.
The three-pronged racerback is braided individually and re-stitched to the collar to further tailor the shirt to your body. This isn't sophisticated sewing, either. All of the sewing involved is a simple straight stitch. We won't have to hem anything, here, the braiding does the work for us.
Here you can see that we are cutting away a large chunk of the t-shirt. When we braid these edges, it will give the shirt a polished look, and prevent the edges from looking flimsy and unfinished. Get the step-by-step tutorial for the Trident Braided Racerback t-shirt.
Tuesday April 30, 2013
One of my favorite go-to pieces of clothing is a fitted t-shirt. Shaped for women, these shirts look and feel great... for about a year. As much as I pamper my fitted shirts in the wash (cold water only, always hang dry), they slowly shrink, threatening to choke out my armpits with their deadly baby sleeves.
To save my fitted t-shirts, I've experimented with a lot of t-shirt transformations
. However, those that I've made so far start with a regular boxy t-shirt, not those that are already fitted for women.
Tomorrow I'll be posting more on my latest design that works with fitted t-shirts, the Trident Braided Racerback. Here is a preview of the before and afters:
With three textured straps at the middle of the back and braided sides to gather the fit, this is a t-shirt transformation that doesn't look like 80's punk. It has a smart, finished look to it. Stay tuned tomorrow, when I post the full tutorial for this shirt, as well as the t-shirt scrap rosettes trimming the collar.
Sunday April 28, 2013
I usually start thinking about making my own swimwear while scowling in the dressing room mirror, well into the first hour of shopping. Finding the right fit for a suit is the biggest challenge that swimwear presents. This leads me to wonder whether or not making my own suit is folly or complete and sparkling genius
On one hand, if the people at Speedo, with their years of experience and what I assume to be a thorough study of the human body, can't make a suit to fit me, then what hope do I have? Am I really going to be any better at making this spandex material transform me into brazen beach baby? Preposterous!
On the other hand, if something isn't working in the store, then my usual go-to is to make it myself. Maybe the Speedo guys have been in this market for years, but they don't know squat about my body and what I feel comfortable squatting in. Not that I do a lot of squatting on the beach, but there are those castle-building moments that call for a lot of graceful framing of the booty. Or awkwardly clambering on top of an floaty tube. I'm not sure anyone can craft a swimsuit that makes mounting a giant Cheerio attractive.
But if you'd like to have a crack at it, I've done a bit of research and found these best-bets for those more adventurous than I. For now, I'm going to settle into the 52nd swimsuit I tried on and hope it lasts me the rest of my life.
Good luck out there, and if you make a suit and take it for a swim, we'd love to see the finished result!