Tuesday, November 16, 2010

T-shirt Upcycle

Grosgrain's embellished knits month has inspired me to try some upcycling! I headed over to a local Goodwill and picked up a yellow 3/4 length t-shirt and a pink cable knit sweater.  I really lucked out-the t is from Talbot's and the sweater is from the Gap!

The Talbot's shirt was a misses size medium, so I also needed to take it in.
I chose to convert the shirt to a cardigan before I took in the sides. To start the conversion, I laid the shirt out flat, found the center and cut!
I used a strip of Kate Spain's Fandango to encase the raw edge. To start with, I cut the strips to 1.5" x WOF. One strip was enough for both edges of the cardigan. Next I cut the strip in half so that I had 2 strips at 1.5" x 22". I then folded one long edge of each strip in (wrong sides together) by 1/4" so that my strips measured 1.25" wide.
To apply the strips to the shirt, I pinned the strips down the raw edges with right sides together and sewed a 1/2" seam. It's important to keep your strips at least 1" longer than your shirt and leave some overhang on each end. This photo shows one of the strips sewn down.
Next I pressed these seams towards my printed fabric. Then I folded the fabric strips to the inside of the shirt and pressed again.
To finish off the ends of the fabric strips, I unfolded all of my pressing and folded the top and bottom raw edges of the strips inward. After the top and bottom were pressed nicely, I folded my strips back up to encase all of my raw edges.
I pinned my fabric strips down and sewed close  to the edge.
In the photo above, I am stitching my fabric strip down with the INSIDE of my cardigan facing up. On the outside of the cardigan, you should just see 1 line of stitching on each side, about a 1/2" in from the edge.

Once my shirt was a cardigan, I needed to take in the sides. I chose to use another shirt as a pattern, so I headed up to my closet and found a sweater that I liked the fit on. I cut the side seams of the cardigan starting at the hem and going all of the way up the sleeve.Then I laid the new cardigan flat and put my "pattern" shirt on top.

I drew a chalk line around my pattern, checked to see that the sides looked approximately even, pinned along the chalk line and sewed my side seams back up.

To finish it off, I added a hook and eye closure under the bust.

I used the same process to convert the pink sweater to a cardigan, but I used a larger seam allowance because I was worried about the sweater unraveling.

I linked up this project over at Quilt Story. Check them out!


Karen said...

I love it! I am going to give this a try. I have a question ~ how often do you change your rotary blade? Mine seem to go dull really fast.......

Erin said...

That's a fantastic change. I'd never have thought to do that.

Kristie said...

Looks awesome!

Prada Shirt said...


love all these ideas and the recipes sound great, too. thanks for sharing

About me ... said...

Love this! Great work!

Quiltstory said...

So cute! Love the idea and it turned out great, very creative! Thanks for linking up, we'll see you next week!