It's Friday!!!! You know what that means? Yep, it's time for another instalment of Refashion Friday. Today I want to talk about using existing T-shirts to make the vest/camisole/singlet pattern I recently released for free download. I've made a few of these vests using old T-shirts now and it's been a lot of fun making this super-quick project out of garments that were otherwise heading to the textiles bin.
I love the idea of taking a big old T-shirt you no longer wear and making something useful from it, possibly to sleep in. Or maybe even use an old T-shirt that your partner or family member used to wear that reminds you of them or has a nice memory attached to it. I'm now wishing I hadn't chucked out my old Nirvana and Newman & Baddiel T-shirts! Anyways, on the practicalities of this project.
Once you've downloaded the pattern and instructions, it's time to select your raw material. Plain T-shirts are great for a clean simple look (particularly if you want to wear it under other garments that might be a bit sheer) but lots of fun can also be had incorporating existing prints or features into your final garment.
To illustrate this post I selected an old Quiksilver T-shirt and a grey marl T-shirt with a little pocket detail. Both T-shirts are mens garments, the red one a large and the grey one a small. At risk of stating the obvious: the larger the original garment, the easier it is to position your vest pattern pieces onto it. In fact I could only squeeze out a vest a size smaller than I would have preferred from the small grey T-shirt. It's easy to forget how slim hipped some guys can be. Even if you are a petite chica, it might be tricky to get your vest out of a particularly small or slim mens T-shirt.
I'm sure there are plenty of equally great ways to prepare a T-shirt to recut, but I'll show you the way I've found to be quickest. I find it easier to give the T-shirt a quick press with the iron at the start so it is nice and flat. When the vest pieces have been cut, the raw edges have a tendency to curl so pressing whilst it's still in garment-form is simpler. Then I roughly remove the sleeves.
Next I cut up along both side seams.
At this point the shoulder seams and neck hole is still intact because there's no need to cut them, but you may prefer to cut along the shoulder seams and separate the front and back so you are dealing with them separately. I fold the front and back pieces in half along the centre front and centre back. This may sound easier than it sometimes is because often the fabric for the original T-shirt wasn't cut well so the hem might not lie evenly as it does in the picture below. Make sure the hem lays evenly and at a right angle to the centre front or centre back.
When placing the front pattern piece on the front half of the T-shirt, I made sure the pocket was sitting in an appropriate position for the vest. Luckily it sat in a good position and I was also able to incorporate the original hem. You can see in the photo below that I aligned the fold line of the pattern along the bottom edge of the T-shirt because I didn't need create a new hem.
I wasn't quite so lucky when cutting out the vest from the red T-shirt. For the red T-shirt's logo to sit in a good position, the front vest pattern piece had to sit too high on the T-shirt to be able to incorporate the original garment's hem (see below). You win some, you lose some. I'd like to find another T-shirt with a big printed design and try cutting out the vest so that only part of the design ended up included in the vest. I think that would give a cool effect and really play off the fact that the vest used to be something different in a former life.
Is anyone planning on making their own version of the vest/camisole/singlet pattern this weekend? If so, what fabric or garment do you plan to use? Happy sewing lovely peops.