Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sewing weather

This has been a week of epic wind, my least favorite weather for cycling. Somehow on the way home last night my bike got a puncture, incredibly irritating considering it got one last week too. This morning was wet and blustery, so I decided to forgo walking to my knitting group, on the condition that I finally resize a giant t-shirt I was given some time ago. For anyone who doesn't know, The Offspring are my favorite band, as documented by the tattoo on my back. My best friend got me this old school shirt in Glastonbury - a men's XL.
I like resizing t-shirts because, as long as you get your sewing machine to behave (sometimes the knit fabrics can make the tension go strange), the stretchy fabric means the sizing is incredibly forgiving. If you get it roughly to your shape it will stretch or cling to accommodate you. My normal method is to put a t-shirt that fits me well over the shirt I'm resizing and trace it. I couldn't find my tailors chalk today so I used pins.

Then you just sew along the lines the pins/chalk made, cut off the excess, et vĂ³ila! A resized shirt. For the sleeves in this case, I pinned and sewed along to where the sleeves of the red t-shirt started. I then added a few more reinforcing stitches perpendicular to this line of stitches to stop them unraveling when I cut the neckline. I then just cut from where one line of the stitches finished to where the ones on the other side began, to achieve the boat-neck/off the shoulder look I wanted.

This came out exactly like I wanted it to. Huzzah! Another thing I like about resizing t-shirts is that not all the scraps have to be thrown away. Cut a long strip, sew it together at the ends, and you've got a new stretchy headband. You don't even have to sew it if you don't want to.

Cut some shorter, fatter strips, sew together at the ends, add some buttons, and now you have some cute sweatband type bracelets. 

Woo, less waste.
It seems anytime I take out my sewing machine lately, I have to indulge my heart obsession. This time I wanted to make a patch using some of my tartan scraps. I drew out the heart on the reverse side of the red tartan with pen, though I foolishly didn't foresee that this would mean that the heart I ended up with on the right side of the fabric would be backwards. Not that I mind much.
With all that tartan going on, it's hard to tell what the shape is meant to be at all, so I added some emphasis to the outline using fabric paint. I also drew some inspiration from the tattoo on my foot. Please note I know the lines on my tattoo are a bit rough, it still has to be finished. It's been like this for a couple of years, but getting my foot tattooed was so incredibly painful (and I have some idea of what to expect, I have several other indelible marks) that I'm in absolutely no rush. Also I have other things to be spending my money on these days, like the new Stitch'n Bitch book, which I'd ordered within ten minutes of finding out it existed.

Have a lovely weekend everyone. I recommend you follow my example and stay in, with good coffee and good company. It's working well for me.


  1. Love your t-shirt, it rocks. And I love what you did with the left overs scraps too! Great way not to waste the fabric.

    I love your hearts and your tattoo. I've heard foot ones are painful but hopefully you'll get it finished one day as it's amazing. I love it, I'd love something similar!

  2. great tshirt M, it really suits ya xx