Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I got a sewing machine for Christmas a few years ago. I wanted to learn to sew things like pillow covers so I wouldn't have to buy them. It took me a little while to warm up and gain confidence, but pretty soon I started sewing stuff. One of my first projects was covering the cushions on my couch. What was I thinking doing that as a "beginner" project? Nothing beginner about it, especially since I didn't have a pattern or any idea what I was doing. It turned out OK--if you don't look too closely.

Anyway, I've made an ottoman cover, pillows, shams and curtains for a friend, burp cloths, a crib skirt for the nursery, some drawstring bags, and a few other things that I can't remember. Nothing that required any kind of real skill, just some straight line sewing.

Until lately.

I have been wanting to try my hand at sewing clothes for a while. But I'm scared. Clothes require skills and knowledge of sewing terms and patterns. Eekk! But then I stumbled across this blog and suddenly sewing clothes seemed much less intimidating. Clothes aren't scary. We wear them everyday.

So I decided to try something easy. Adam had just cleaned out one of his t-shirt (yes, I said one, there are at least three t-shirt drawers for him) and I had some old, white undershirts that were stained but not holey just lying around. I had seen this picture on pinterest and thought it would be fun for summer.

The link on the picture led me here. Hmmm...tutorial for a little girl's dress. Not quite what I was looking for, but I decided I could use the same concept just bigger. Plus, I was using a shirt destined for the rag bag, so if it didn't work, I wasn't really out anything.

First I laid the shirt out on the table and used another shirt of mine to give me an idea on size. I chose this shirt because I like the way it fits--not too tight, not too baggy. Then I added some to allow for a seam. In the tutorial she just draws with a marker (probably a fabric marker, but who really has one of those lying around? Not me!) right on the shirt. I busted out my trusty washable crayola markers and went to town.

I used a tank top as a pattern for the arm holes, but I didn't take a picture of that. Once things were drawn onto the shirt, I started cutting. I only drew half so I could just fold it over and cut out the other side. That left me with a front piece and a back piece that were exactly alike. Easy Peasy.

After I had everything cut out I just followed the tutorial step by step sewing the arm holes, then gathering the neck (I learned how to make something gathered!), and adding the colored yoke. This is where I deviated from the tutorial. I cut the bottom off another t-shirt so I had two strips of fabric. I sewed them together to make one long strip. Then instead of doing all the pressing under so you get nice finished edges, I just pressed my strip in half and left the edges raw. It's knit, it won't fray. I didn't have any blue thread so I used lime green and opted to sew two lines to make it more decorative. Look at me going rouge!

And instead of sewing the whole length of the tie, I just left it raw too. I decided it would be too bulky otherwise.

I've worn my new shirt a couple of times already and I really like it. I think I may make another one. Or two.

And the best part of this project was that I could finish it in G's naptime.


  1. Oh man! Great job! I've been kind of wanting a sewing machine, but I have no clue where I would begin. I know NOTHING about sewing, but it's times like these when I think I would figure it out because it definitely seems worth it!

  2. So cute! I really like that a lot. Maybe I should try it... :)