Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happy Valentines Day shirt - a tutorial.

So I'm still a complete novice new to this sewing malarkey, but I thought I'd share how I played a little game with a T-Shirt I like to call 'Pimp My Shirt'. Or a refashion as the crafty types would say.
Millie has this awesome black Bonds crew neck shirt that fit like a dream and is SO soft and delicious to have her wear... she just looked like a boy every time she wore it. Mr S requested that I make it look a little more girly. Sure thing!
I went through the Clothes I Don't Want To Throw Out and Surely I Could Do Something With Them pile and found a pair of shorts that weren't really Millie's style and perhaps destined for Vinnies.
We don't really do Valentines Day in our house, but I thought it'd be sweet to make this and take Millie to Mr S' work and show her off.

Step 1: I lightly pressed the shirt and pinned the bows from the shorts on the sleeves. At this point I put a ballpoint needle into my machine, because I knew I'd get distracted and forget later on. A ballpoint needle is essential for stretch and knit fabrics.

Step 2: I cut the waistband off the shorts and cut through one of the leg seams, making one big piece of fabric. I ironed this to make it sit flat.

Step 3: Cut the shorts into roughly 1inch strips using a rotary cutter. It also appears I didn't take a photo of these strips. Run a gathering stitch all the way down the centre of the strips and pull the bobbin thread to make cute little ruffly strips. A gathering stitch is just the longest stitch your machine can make.

Step 4: I wanted a heart shape on my shirt so I arranged the strips into a heart shape just see how it'd look. Cute as a button, that's how it will look.

Step 5: Realise that Millie has decided to only take a tiny nap this morning, not a sleep as is her usual pattern. Bring her out to the sewing room and give her a box to play with.

Step 6: Wonder what that sound is and realise that Millie is eating the cardboard box. Stop pinning, remove box from child's tiny person and give her a Cruskit instead. Back to pinning. Wonder why Millie didn't sleep that long and also acknowledge that you can hear her whinging to herself.

Step 7: I pinned the outer layer of the heart into place, then using a stretch stitch on my machine I stitched through the centre of the heart ruffle all around the shape. Realise baby is wiping soggy Cruskit all over the leg of my jeans as I'm pressing the machine foot.

Step 8: I then stopped and realised I'd sewn part of the shirt together. Unpick and keep going.

Step 9: See how great it looks?

 Step 10: I pinned the next layer of ruffles in place and carefully sewed around, this time taking care not to sew the shirt together.

Step 11: Make sure you use the right needle weight for what you're doing. I learned this the broken bent needle hard way.

Step 12: Have a break because baby has been super patient but now needs a cuddle. Realise she has been whinging because she's come down with a sudden cold. Runny nose and temperature. Sad face.

Step 13: Pin the last layer of ruffles into place and sew sew sew!


Step 14: Hand stitch the bows in place and know that hand stitching is work of the devil.

Step 15: Admire your handiwork. Finish your cup of coffee and wipe the baby's nose again.

Step 16: Ask Millie to kindly model your creation. I understand that there are some babies that sit still? I do not have one of these. Enjoy my blurry photography.

I'm remarkably proud of myself and want to show this off to everyone. I am no longer afraid of cotton knit fabric and will not attempt all manner of knit projects. YOU DON'T NEED TO HEM KNIT FABRIC. I KNOW, amazing right?


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