Thursday, June 21, 2012

T-shirt update: fitting and ribbon shirring

I have never attempted a tutorial like this before, but as I was working on this project I started getting excited about my ideas.  I am not guaranteeing that these ideas are original, but as far as I remember I didn't see these ideas anywhere else, unless otherwise stated.

I like having team t-shirts when I go to games, so since I moved to the Seattle area, I needed a few new shirts.  The cute women's shirts are more expensive, of course, and since we are trying to economize with the move I bought a cheap men's shirt to wear to a Mariners game.  It was fine, but after seeing several t-shirt redesign tutorials on pinterest, I decided to give it a try.  Today seemed a good day since I was wearing the shirt to the boys' school for sports day/field day.

I started out by sewing the side seams of the shirt to make it slightly fitted.  I followed this tutorial.  Then I thought I might like a little shirring on the side and was trying to figure out how to accomplish that.  This is the idea I had for adding ribbon shirring by using the existing seam I had just made.

First, I made a little snip in the seam just above the bottom hem. 

Then I started threading the ribbon through.  I took a 2-foot length of ribbon and folded it in half.  (Use more or less depending on the size of your shirt and how much of a tail you want to be visible.  Mine is not very long.)  Then I made about 3-4 stitches in the top of the fold with a larger needle, but did not tie off or cut the thread. 

I used  the needle to "thread" the ribbon through the slit and up the seam. 

I decided I wanted my ribbon to start about 9 inches from the hem of the shirt.  So, I measured up 9 inches and once the needle reached that point, I pushed the needle through the fabric.  I pulled the needle and thread until the top (or fold) of the ribbon reached that point in the seam.  (It took a little work to get my ribbon through the slit but one I got the fold through, it was quite easy.) 

Then I stitched through the seam and the fold of the ribbon several times.  I tied it off once I was satisfied and trimmed the thread. 

Now I was able to pull the ribbon and decide how much shirring I wanted.  I simply tied a bow in the ribbon and adjusted the shirring to make it even.  Not much of my bow shows, so next time I might make the ribbon longer.  Or, I could cut the hem off.  Or I could make the slit a little lower.
You can't really see the bow in this shot, but it does give you an idea of the extra shaping it adds.
You can see a little of the bow in the right side of this picture.

I am still thinking about cutting out some of the neck to make it more of a v-shape.  I am not quite happy with the sleeves, either, but I am not sure what to do with them.  I need to reinforce the side seams on my shirt, too.  But it worked for today and it was really comfortable.  I felt a little more feminine in it, too. 

I hope this tutorial made sense.  If you have any questions or constructive comments, please let me know!


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