Friday, April 27, 2012

T-shirt and Dress Upcycle

Upcycles, repurposes...whatever you want to call them, they are kind of my thing.  Alot of folks in the blogpsphere say how frugal or thrifty they are, but I won't tiptoe around it.  I'm just plain cheap.  I love using what I have to make something new for free.  The challenge this week for the Sew Along over on Project Run and Play was an Earth Day Challenge.  And my earth-friendly approach was to reuse what we already have.

I took an old stained with holes in it T-shirt and combined it with a paint-splattered dress. I added to that fabric scraps from the fitted crib sheet I made for Dozer.

Scroll down for details on how I made this:

First I cut off the sleeves and the bottom of the T-shirt.

Then I salvaged some paint-free areas of the hem from the dress, which I fashioned into the bell sleeves.

I cut out part of the dress lining and sewed that into a channel, which I filled with elastic and attached to the shirt, joining the top and bottom pieces of the shirt back together. 

I had this after adding the sleeves and the channel under the bodice. I gathered the sleeves by attaching them with elastic thread. Elastic thread is my cheater method for just about any gathering that I may do. Perfectly spaced gathers every time.

I sewed a circle skirt from my scraps, then placed my top and skirt wrong sides together and sewed them at the waist.  I flipped right sides together, ironed and sewed again so that my raw edge was encased in a french seam. (I also pieced the circle skirt with french seams.)
Now here is the really glorious part:  I finished the hem on the circle skirt with a rolled hem using my brand new serger that I got for my birthday.  I'm so excited to have a serger.  I just can't even tell you.  I never would have bought it for myself, but I am so thrilled that hubby was overly generous this year!  I mean really generous, because we often don't even purchase gifts for one another.  All those pinched pennies usually go toward the kids.

Don't worry if you don't have a serger though.  You can just do a tight zig-zag stitch around your hem for the same effect.  Or use fabric glue to attach a ribbon to the bottom of the skirt.  That's what I did on the little peasant dress here.  If you need help making a circle skirt, feel free to ask, but  I learned here.

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