I recently did a makeover to this basic T-shirt. I tried to wear it the original way but the neck felt too constricting and I wanted this purple T-shirt (for my sons high school marching band) to have a more feminine touch. So, out come the scissors and sewing machine and some creativity!
This project is very easy and requires basic sewing skills, a sewing machine, 1/8 or 1/4 inch wide elastic and a T-shirt.
Here are the steps to makeover your basic T-shirt:
Cut off neckband (ribbing), sleeve hems, and lower hem
Use a chalk pencil and mark each center sleeve, lower side seams and front center down 4 1/2 inches on wrong side of shirt – draw a straight line with chalk from edge of shirt to this mark – this will be your sewing line for the elastic
Cut 1/8 in. (or 1/4 in.) wide elastic into 3 in. long pieces – you will need to cut 5 of them
Use a sewing machine set on straight stitch – start at the marked point and stretch elastic and sew to the end
Repeat step 4 for all marked areas: sleeves, lower hem and neckline
Your T-shirt is Done! Put it on and take a photo!
I also did this to another shirt a while back that is navy. It is harder to see the work in this photo but I love the look of the finished shirt and how it adds something to a plain T-shirt. This navy shirt is actually a mens shirt from Target.
I made this bathing suit top a year ago using McCalls 3566 pattern. I have had the pattern several years so I am not sure if it is still current. It was simple to make but I never wore it due to the fact it needed more support. I had tried various bra inserts you buy at JoAnns or Hancock Fabrics but none of them seemed to work out well. So, the top got set aside in a sewing to-do pile meaning I intended to figure out a way to fix it one day.
Then, about a month or two ago I was on pinterest – doing some daily pinning – and found this pin on making a bathing suit top from a bra. It was intriguing to me and also something I had considered doing before and even had set aside a couple of older bras with the bathing suit top I had made. I had just not had the proper motivation to fix my top until I saw this on pinterest. Of course I pinned it to my sewing board and also immediately went to the site to see how to make this work.
So finally, a few weeks ago, I got my project out and went to work with my sewing machine. This is what it looks like finished:
Since I was working with an already made bathing suit top I had to rip out some of the top stitching. I hate having to do that because it is a pain but it had to be done. I had an old strapless bra that I had kind of wore out in the back but it worked great for this project. I cut it off at the side seams – figured out where the center of the bathing suit top was and centered the bra in there. I had to do lots of pinning and stretch the top elastic area over when I sewed it in. I used a narrow zigzag stitch to sew the top elastic casing area to the top of the bra. The bottom area I stitched mainly by hand to the underwire area – wrapping the elastic area that I ripped out over the under wire bra.
I had a little of this fabric left so I made a 3 to 4 inch long tube about 2 inches wide and sewed it right sides together then turned it right side out. I wrapped this piece over the center of the bra-top to create the cute gathered front area. I stitched this down and tacked it to the bra by hand.
I am so pleased with how this turned out and glad I finally have a top to wear with the bottoms that fits well and has support. The first time I wore it my husband asked “Where did you get that bathing suit?” I told him I made it and he seemed impressed. The photo below is of me wearing it – this is after I have been swimming in it and done my water workout. It held up just fine in the water.
So, what sewing projects have you done lately? Let me know by leaving a reply.
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Years ago I learned of this pattern storage method from a book I read called Confessions of an Organized Homemaker by Deniece Schofield. I have been using this method to store my patterns ever since as it is much more efficient than keeping them in the original small envelope.
To Store your patterns you will need:
10 x 13 envelopes
Glue or Glue Sticks
Bankers Box or Plastic Storage Box
Here is what you do:
Remove all pattern pieces and instructions
Cut envelope down one side and the bottom so it lays out flat
Glue this cut pattern envelope to the front of large 10 x 13 envelope
Place all pattern pieces inside large envelope
Now your pattern pieces fit neatly inside this larger envelope and do not get so squished up and wrinkled. It is also easier to read the pattern yardage and see the front view without having to flip it around. The patterns store perfectly inside of bankers boxes or I recently found this plastic storage box at Office Depot that has a lid and stores the patterns perfectly. The photo above at the top is of the plastic storage box. I have used the bankers boxes for years as you can tell by the wear on my box – it still has tape marks around it from when we moved 7 years ago and places where labels fell off.
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