Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Time for a tank top

I was going through refashion withdrawals! We’ve been so busy getting Jemimah (and ourselves) ready for our big vacation that I haven’t had time for refashioning. But today I just couldn’t stand it anymore. I decided that instead of taking care of laundry I would turn this way too big, thrifted top into something useful.

(My 7-year-old took this picture. Not too bad!)
I liked the squared and gathered neckline, so I wanted to keep that intact. I decided this was going to be a tank top, and I wanted wide shoulders, so I started there. I tried the shirt on inside out and figured out how wide I wanted the shoulders to be. I added an inch for a hem, then marked that spot on each side.

From there I just followed the curve of the existing sleeve to mark where I was going to cut. I cut that sleeve off, then folded the shirt in half lengthwise so I could use the cut side as the guide for the other side.

I tried the shirt on again (inside out) and determined where I needed my new side seams to be. I pinned a few places down each side – gotta love taking clothes off with pins in – and marked those spots with my disappearing ink marker. When I laid the shirt back down on the table and flattened it all out I was able to connect those dots and see a nice almost-princess-cut taking shape.
On the first side I added a half inch seam allowance as I was cutting (because the line I had drawn was my desired seam line).

Once again I folded my shirt in half lengthwise and used the cut side as a guide for the second side. This time I didn’t have to add the half inch seam allowance because it was already figured into the first cut.
Now that all the cutting was done it was time to start stitching. I did the armholes first. I’m a risk-taker (Open-mouthed smile) so this was eyeballed.

Stitch, talk with kid, stitch, referee yet another disagreement, stitch. It took a while to get this part done because most of the 9 kids that were in the house at the time had to come running to me to complain about someone else.
I went around the armhole once very close to the inside edge of the hem, and then went around again about a quarter inch from the outside edge because I like the finished look of the two rows of stitching.

After both armholes were finished I did the side seams – they were superdy-duperdy easy because they were just a straight stitch with no complications. All done. Time to try it on again.
I didn’t get a shot of it at this point…I think this was when I had to stop my toddler from running down the hall with a fork in his mouth.
When I tried the top on I found that it needed bust darts. I’d never done them before, but it was obvious that they needed to be there. I also saw (as I had expected) that the armholes were too low for modesty. Both problems seemed easy to fix.
Bust darts – worked like a charm.

I needed to put a bit in each side for modesty, so I grabbed one of the sleeves I had cut off because it had a finished hem. To get the right size I just laid the sleeve piece over the armhole and traced about a half inch beyond the existing hem. Does that make sense?

I just felt along the hem and drew my line about a half inch past it. Then I cut that out, pinned it on, and flipped it over. I wanted to sew it on the right side because I wanted to sew along the stitching that was already there – I was hoping that would make it a little less obvious as an addition.

After those pieces were added on each side, the top was done. Time to try it on and rejoice! And rejoice I did – it came out exactly as I had hoped! What were the chances of that?? This was my first time refashioning a shirt, and my first time creating my own refashion completely from scratch. So happy!

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  1. Great work! It's must better! Thanks so much for sharing the great tutorial! Would love to have you visit me sometime.
    Have a fabulous weekend!
    Hugs from Portugal,

    Ana Love Craft