book reviews, crafts, cheap things…

No-budget DIY t-shirt upgrade!

I’ve gotten into the habit of primarily posting book reviews. But the thing is, I make things too, and always think about how I should eventually get around to posting them here. I’m not planning to break into the world of detailed tutorials any time soon, but here’s a quick description of what I did to a t-shirt that I found in the street (and washed!) a week or two ago.

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Here’s the shirt. It’s one of those 50/25/25 shirts from American Apparel. In my size. I scored!

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Here’s the bag full of jersey knit (t-shirt fabric) that I keep in my closet, mostly for this sort of thing and for making homemade underwear. It’s full of old t-shirts and jersey knit scraps from Scrap and Fabrix.

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[Sewing machine glamor shot: on and ready to go!] By the way, my machine of the last two years is really awesome and makes sewing a pleasure. Plus, it has that amazing flower print in the corner.

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So I cut up pieces of jersey cotton, arranged them into a picture, and pinned them into place onto a piece of tracing paper. With the tracing paper still pinned to the pieces, I sewed the applique together. Once the applique was securely in one piece, I tore the paper off the back (it comes off easily), positioned it on the shirt, pinned it in place with a layer of tracing paper under the shirt fabric, and sewed it on. And then tore the tracing paper off the underside of the t-shirt fabric. So what’s up with the tracing paper? It keeps the stretchy jersey cotton from stretching while you’re sewing it, and therefore allows all the pieces to maintain their intended shape. I bought mine online from Nancy’s Notions (I originally intended it for tracing patterns).

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