Showing posts with label t-shirts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label t-shirts. Show all posts

Monday, July 9, 2012

Quick T-shirt Nightgown Tutorial

This is my daughter's favorite type of nightgown, and lucky for me, it's quick to make! It's also a great scrap buster and a fast repurposing of an old t-shirt. What more could you ask for?

After selecting a t-shirt to use (looser fitting tees work better, as you will come to find out in this tutorial), choose coordinating fabrics for the bottom, or even another t-shirt. Madeline selected all of the shirts and fabrics for her nightgowns. You can use one large bottom piece or combine prints, as we do here.

Measure your trim fabrics and sew the pieces together, if using two. Be sure to press the seam open. Since this is a nightgown, and she just HAD to have them right away, I used a lot of cheats. Instead of taking proper measurements, I just held the folded piece of fabric against the hem of the t-shirt and added a bit for the seam.

Another cheat here - instead of measuring and sewing the bottom piece into a tube, I pinned the right side of the bottom fabric to the right side of the t-shirt hem, inserting a pin exactly where the two open ends should come together to form a seam.
I unpinned the piece around the seam, pulled the t-shirt fabric back, and sewed a seam.
I pinned the t-shirt back around the seam and made a seam around the entire bottom of the gown, where the two pieces attach.
I pressed open the seams and added a hem. I zigzag my seams to finish them, but if you have a serger you could do that as well. I would, at the very least, pink them, since nightgowns get washed frequently.
This was our final product, but because the t-shirt is quite fitted, it was too tight for comfortable night ware. Lesson learned - loose t-shirts are better! A refitting was in order.
I cut the bottom part of an old t-shirt that I recently hand dyed, and then cut off the original gray t-shirt a few inches below the waist. I seamed these two pieces together to add ease ( and both are jersey, so no need to finish the seams!), then added the patterned bottom to the new blue panel.
Now the nightgown was loose enough for comfortable movement.
This t-shirt had more ease, so I simply added a slit to the bottom fabric for easier movement. If you use an old t-shirt or two for the bottom layers, as we have also done in the past, you should have enough stretch to skip a slit. With old tees this project takes about a half an hour, with fabric strips about an hour for the first one. A quick and frugal refashion!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Ruched Maternity Tops

I love the look of ruched maternity tops. I am carrying all out front, so if I put on a regular maternity tee, I look like a linebacker. The ruching defines that tummy, so it's obvious that you're pregnant, not fat! However, I had several regular maternity tees (they are usually cheaper and often what you find second hand) that I wanted to wear, so I brought out my favorite sewing trick - elastic thread. Yes, you could use regular elastic for this, but I find I get more consistent results with the thread (I sew on a vintage Bernina, which I adore, but it does not have that nifty three step elastic stitch). I have a more detailed account of how to sew with elastic thread on this post, but here's the quick and dirty:
I started with a plain Jane maternity tee. Sewing on the RIGHT side of the fabric, I made three rows of elastic thread next to each side seam.
I ran the stitches from just above the hem line to three to four inches below the armpit. Once you have sewn both sides, spray with water and then steam iron the stitching. It cinches up like magic!
That's all there is to it! Of course I couldn't stop with just one...
I had total pregnancy brain with this red shirt, and accidentally added my rows of stitching to the back, not the front of the shirt. So, to fix my mistake I just did three rows on the front side of the seam, and three rows on back. It works just fine and gives really nice gathers to the back of the shirt. Instead of a mistake, I prefer to call this a style detail.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Red White and Blue (and the sewing machine, too)

We had a lovely Fourth of July, and I hope you did, too. We had to have some patriotic shirts to go with the sparklers, didn't we?

This is what the dining room table looked like on July 3.

Some patriotic appliques...

An image cut from a favorite too small t-shirt and appliqued on to a new larger one.
This plain white shirt was bought for a school concert last year, but of course Miss M won't wear a plain white shirt! The petals were cut from some very small fabric scraps - it always feels good to use every last bit. Then again, it just encourages me to keep every little bit, so my closet overflows. I just cleaned out my fabric stash last week and could not believe how much I had accumulated and forgotten about (including these last two t-shirts waiting to be appliqued!) Half of me wants to save every little bit for future use, and half of me wants to get rid of it before it becomes clutter. So I save until I run out of room, and I purge. Then I watch one of those shows about hoarding on Discovery Channel, and purge again!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New Yudu Shirt

Ten school days until the end of the year - nine for the district my kids attend. Is your life as crazy as mine right now? While ten days sounds great, the amount of things I need to accomplish in those ten days seems insurmountable at times. It will all get done in the end.  The blog posts may be short and spotty for the next two weeks, but I did manage to run a new t-shirt design:

You'll have to excuse the chipmunk cheeks - I had some dental work done that day. I so love that she still wants to match with me. I know that all too soon the idea of having matching clothes with mom will be on par with math homework and flossing her teeth with sandpaper. So I'm enjoying the moment while it lasts.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Yudu Success

My second attempt was much better than the first.  I made a run of t-shirts with a sketch of Max's most beloved friend, Piggy. A few things I learned about the Yudu for this run:

*Use a lot of ink. The instruction video shows just a squirt along the top, but you really need a big, thick goop.
*When rinsing the photo emulsion film off after burning a screen, let the water sit on the screen for a few minutes. After rinsing for a few minutes, use soft pressure with a sponge on the emulsion side on spots that haven't rinsed out.
*I made extra platens from foam core, by simply tracing around the plastic one. When I loaded it on the machine, I just stuck an extra platen underneath, or a stack of magazines to make up for the lack of foam. I simply tightened the fabric around the platens with masking tape.
*The $4 foam core worked just as well as the $20 plastic platen.

Now the orders are coming in from friends and family. That's okay. They can wait for the Etsy shop like everyone else;)