Thursday, 24 May 2012

A bit too blobby for your t-shirt? Hand it down to your mini-me!

Come on, admit it: you've got a tonne of clothes that you have stashed away for when you 'lose those few extra kilos'.  Ok, if you won't, then I'm coming out with it: I have loads of clothes that I put away when I became pregnant.  When it came to unpacking them again, it was clear that I would not be wearing them again.  With some of them, it's not even just because I've turned into a blob, but more because they're not really very 'me' anymore.  I love my Coco Monkey t-shirts, but they're quite short and I no longer want to flash my midriff.

The thing I love about t-shirt fabric is that it doesn't really fray.  This quality makes it really easy for modifications to be made with a few snips and no overlocking (and indeed for making tarn ).  I had some grey organza from a posh bunch of flowers that hubby bought me a while back that I've been saving to make a tutu for the girl.  I thought it would look perfect added to the bottom of the grey t-shirt.  As the t-shirts were already quite short (just over 55 cm from top to bottom), I didn't want to shorten them too much.  I cut of the sleeves, the necks, and after cutting off the bottom cut two 2.5 cm strips from the bottom of the grey one to be used as drawstrings for the necks of both dress.

For the pink one, I simply folded each side of the neck inwards and sewed a 1.5 cm channel through which the drawstring would be passed.  I then drew a strip of the grey t-shirt through the channels and tied a bow.  I used a flexible bodkin, but you could simply attach a safety pin to one end and use it to help you ease the drawstring through the channel (a trick my mum taught me).

I took a few extra steps with the grey t-shirt.  After cutting 15 cm strips from the organza, folded it in half lengthwise and stitched 7 mm from the folded edge with my shirring foot, I was lucky enough to end up with a ruffled strip roughly 2 cm longer than the width of the t-shirt (it went from 115 cm to 40 cm).  I made 4 of these strips and sewed them onto the bottom of the grey t-shirt, two staggered on each side.

Obviously, the end size of the sun dress will depend on the start size.  My t-shirt started out as a fitted UK size 8-10 and ended up fitting my rather small 3 year old.  Indeed, you could use the technique to turn hubby's old t-shirts into a top for yourself (go on, poke holes in the sleeves of his t-shirts).

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