Ten Minute Sewing Fix

I wore my slow made dress for the first time the other day, pairing it with a jacket that I love but don’t seem to have the occassion/weather to wear often. I liked the combo, but as the day wore on it felt a little hot. I don’t tend to want to bear my upper arms these days like I did when I started the dress (after all, I wasn’t 20 yet back then) and this dress won’t fit over a t shirt (and would look wierd) so I started fantasising about some kind of shruggy bolero-ey garment I could make out of knit fabric, something easy to wear, lightweight, but would cover my upper arms. But where to find the pattern?

Later, when I turned on my computer a new post by Blanca at
Kleine Kleinigkeiten popped up in my reader. She posts lots of fun simple projects and I always intend to use them as an excuse to get my dictionary out and practise my fairly basic and quite rusty German, but usually I just look at the lovely pictures instead. This time she has posted about how to turn a T-shirt into a shrug and it looked just like what I needed. She even gave me a translation of the instructions into English without being asked in the comments (great for a quick sewing start, I’ll have to start practising my German another day), thanks Blanca.

“just cut off the collar, then cut in the middle of the t-shirt straight up, stitch up the open seams so that you create a “tunnel”, insert a rubber band… and you’re done”

Those instructions and the clear diagram on her blog post are all you need, take a look.

I had just the right t shirt in mind. Short sleeved, dark purple, starting to lose it’s zing a little (as t shirts do after a while), free pattern and free fabric, there really was nothing to lose.

It really was very simple. I cut up the middle of the front of the t shirt and cut the collar off. Then I cut off a small triangle each side to lose the right angles, next time I would round it slightly more.

Cut off the collar and cut up the middle of the front (to make it into a cardigan shape)

Cut off the collar and cut up the middle of the front (to make it into a cardigan shape)

I made a deep hem all along my cut edge, turning it over about an inch and then turning the very edge under for neatness. My machine was set up on stretch stitch with a ballpoint needle at the time but you could do this with a normal needle and straight stitch just fine.

cutting of the right angle at the top of the "cardigan front (I'd round the edges a bit more than that next time)

cutting of the right angle at the top of the “cardigan front” (I’d round the edges a bit more than that next time)

Then I threaded some elastic I had lying around through the channel I’d made with a safety pin (I couldn’t quite bring myself to use a rubber band), played around a bit with the amount of elastic needed, then when I was happy, sewed the ends togtether and quikly put a couple of machine stitches in the two front pieces to hold them together (too quickly, I sewed them together slightly twisted, gah). (This step is harder to visualise, basically the “cardigan fronts” get gathered up with the neck to make one super large gathered neckline that pulls the bottom of the t-shirt up to make the bolero shape).

Over my new dress (the chief photographer had already left for work)

Over my new dress (the chief photographer had already left for work)

And voila, one super easy, super quick, really comfy top to stop sunburnt shoulders. I might try a longsleeve version too…

6 thoughts on “Ten Minute Sewing Fix

  1. That is genius! Thanks for the great tip.

  2. Those of you who sew have my deepest admiration. I never could get the hang of it, lol the threads were always just garbled up in my 1950’s Singer.

  3. Pingback: Prolific Project Starter

  4. Pingback: Prolific Project Starter | Women’s Clothes I’ve made

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