Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Littlest Staffer, or The Tale of the Missing Seam Ripper

Somewhere in this apartment is a box filled with thread, bobbins, scissors, needles, and most importantly, a stich ripper. The box has vanished- I have opened every box I can find marked "sewing room" and no luck. The thing is, a stich ripper is a critical tool for refashioning, not just for taking things apart but for undoing the inevitable mistakes when you're flying without a pattern. As you shall soon see...

Every year, my husband and I are staff at our local anime convention. And every year, I recieve one of these lovely tee-shirts. This one is a small, and though that should have been perfect, it really isn't. So I decided to make a little staff shirt for the Little Man to wear around the next convention. 

I used this tutorial from Squiggly Twigs Designs to make my shirt, so I'm not going to go into a lot of detail regarding the steps. I used one of the kiddo's tees that is still a little big, since the idea is for him to wear it in September. First, I deconstructed the shirt...

Then, I cut out my pieces using his little shirt as a pattern. I preserved the hems on the sleeves, and the collar and graphics on the front and back of the shirt. The front and back pieces are still folded in half here.

I sewed it all together, as you do- shoulders first, then attaching the sleeves, then the underarms and side seams, and finally the bottom hem. Then I tried it on and discovered my fatal flaw...

It didn't fit over his head.

Here is where a seam ripper would have really come in handy. I unpicked one of the shoulder seams using scissors, cutting black thread on black fabric, and what fun that was! Then I used some of the old hem (also used for straps on my t-shirt to tank tutorial) to make a placket for some velcro. I debated using buttons but hand needles are also in the infamous box.

And here is the young model himself! It looks great, but the velcro is actually a complete failure... I'm going to have to go back to the drawing board on this one. I might just cut off the old collar entirely and see how that looks. Fortunately, I still have a few months to figure it out.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Welcome! And a teeshirt to tank tutorial!

Welcome to Sew Long, Wear Well. There's no deep meaning to the title- I just thought it sounded cute. I'm Maia, your friendly blogger; I'm a geek and a sticher, or a sticher and a geek, whatever your preference. I like making cute things for my one-year-old son to wear, and I love reusing nasty old stuff to make cute new stuff.

I'll start off with a one nap project- my favorite kind! This one is for me rather than the Little Man, but I'll be posting projects for him later, never fear. I've been inspired by Marisa at http://newdressaday.com to look through my closets and alter some things I'm not wearing.

This shirt is adorable, but was so tight under the armpits that I never wore it. Now that summer is on the way, I thought I'd try making it into a tank top and maybe getting a little more wear out of it.

I started by cutting off the sleeves. Then I used a tank top that fits me well and cut out the shape of the top, making sure to preserve the picture.

I found some brown ribbon from my stash and sewed it around the raw edges at the top of the shirt. I'm not happy with how this step came out- anyone trying this at home would do better to choose something stretchy for their version. Ribbon was hard to sew and came out looking... wobbly. That's the best word I can come up with.

I was hoping to have enough ribbon left over for straps, but alas, it was not to be. Instead, I used the hem of a teeshirt that I cut apart for another project (that I'll be posting later!) I pinned it in place using a mirror and sewed it down.

Still not entirely happy, I took the last of the brown ribbon and tied it around the straps. That added some cuteness and took care of the pesky ribbon wobble that had been bothering me.

Tadah! The finished project.

I had my husband take a pic for me, but he caught me with one of those facial expressions that you could use for blackmail, so I redid it. I'm pretty happy with how this turned out!