Saturday, September 23, 2017

More T Shirt Alterations...

I have pictures of the process for one shirt...but I haven't taken any 'finished' photos yet.  The second shirt...I only have a 'finished' photo, no 'in process'.  So maybe it averages out? LOL.

We saw the eclipse at Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee last month and, of course, I had to get a T shirt.  And of course, I wanted a purple one...and they were nearly gone.  I got a 2XL, with the intention of cutting it down.

I used a boxy Kwik Sew T-Shirt pattern, and cut it down to size. I left the length; I'd like to be able to wear it w/ leggings so the extra length is a bonus.  I removed the sleeves, cut up the side seams, folded the shirt in half (still connected at the shoulders) and laid the pattern over it, overlapping the shoulder seams and just cutting straight down through the hem.  The sleeves are a little shorter; I put the peak of the sleeve cap on the peak of the (stacked) sleeves and let the pattern hang off below the hem.

Sewing was just a matter of putting on the sleeves, serging up the sides and tucking in the thread tales.  Haven't had an occasion to wear it yet...

For the Sisterhood shirt...well, it was one of the shirts that was in the product area for our recent women's conference.  Sort of.  When the shirts came in, there were a couple that had seams that had slipped when sewn and the fabric hadn't caught.  So I brought them home, unpicked the bit of seam and then serged it back up.  I bought one of I had it early enough to wear it to the first night (one of the perks of being willing to fix things...).  But it looked like a nightgown, I thought, and the slits on the side were high enough that I had to wear a cami under it.

So, after the conference, I ordered some gray corded lace yardage, which arrived earlier this week, and played with it a bit.  I shortened the front 5" to get some hi-lo going on and hopefully making it look a little less nightgown-ish, then put the lace on to edge the bottom.  I zigzagged around the motifs and trimmed away about 1/2" of the t-shirt underneath around the curvy line of zig-zagging.

Good practice for when/if I decide to try some Alabama Chanin

Then I put a bit of the lace on the strip that I'd trimmed away and zig-zagged it down, then put triangles at the top of the slit, to, um, cover them a bit.  That lace is laid right on the hemline and is not trimmed away.   I zigged-zagged along the edge of the hemmed slits, then again along the hem stitching line.

And discovered that it looked slightly askew when I put it on.  Took it off and compared of the slits started about half an inch higher than the other one.  Silly me, not to have checked that.  But, as my mother would say, no one will see it on a galloping horse; you really have to look closely.  I'm just going to call it a quirk of the shirt (after all, I got it because it was defective anyway) and have fun wearing it.

An aside...I looked at it and thought it looked a bit familiar.  I pulled out my Sewing Workshop Eureka Top pattern and laid it over the Sisterhood shirt and...lo, and behold, it matched up perfectly, allowing for the fact that this is tunic-length and the Eureka is a high-hip crop top.  So now I have some ideas for the Eureka


  1. I have always been afraid to attempt cutting down a tee shirt. Thanks for the info/tutorial.

    1. It took me a while to work up the nerve to try it the first time, but that was a case of purchasing a shirt that really was waaayy too big because that's all that was left. So it really wasn't wearable as it was. I cut that one off at the pattern length and then wished I'd left it longer, and I tried to make the sleeves the right length by leaving some of the shoulder seam on the cap. Which was wonky...I took them off and recut them again sometime later. So there was a bit of trial and error.

      I've got a couple of t shirt patterns that I use to reshape big shirts...depends on the fabric, really, which one I use. The eclipse shirt was beefy cotton jersey, so it got the boxy standard-t version.

      I also recut one of my older conference T shirts; that was a bit tricky, because it wasn't really oversized. It was just shaped weird; the shoulders/upper chest were HUGE but it wasn't at all big around the hips. I had to cut the shoulders off of that one because the armsceyes were too loo for the pattern, and I inadvertently cut into the neckband when I was cutting the front out, so I had to find my black ribbing and replace it. But that one fits better now, too.

      Once you do it a time or gets easier. Won't say there still isn't a bit of hesitation before that first cut, but I know I can do it.