A Tale of Two Shirts

The first one I made to wear for Christmas out of teal and aqua wool knit. I took a pattern I found online at BurdaStyle.com and altered the neckline since I didn't want a turtleneck. I picked it because I liked the unusual sleeves and the gathering at the bust. I accidentally cut it a little too wide. To remedy the situation, I took a leftover scrap of  fabric, gathered it at intervals, and sewed in to the neckline. It needs to be taken in at the waist a little, but since I didn't have time before I wore it I guess I'll have to get around to it later.

The only problem I have with this fabric is that it's so slippery, so I'm constantly re-adjusting the sleeves. I'm pretty sure there's got to be a way to fix that with some adjustments to my seams, so I'll have to work on it. But it turned out well on the whole. Eventually I will get around to finishing the skirt that I made to go with it. I ran out of time before Christmas and wound up wearing a black skirt with it instead.

    I found a tutorial on the website madebylex.com for a cute embellished T-shirt that I really liked. Actually, I like everything about this woman's site. But anyways, I decided to see if I could do it too. So I bought a shirt on sale at Target, in size XXL. I bought it because I loved the color, a bright periwinkle blue. I cut it down to my size and shape, then re-attached the sleeves. The only bad thing about it is the fact that it is (or was) a v-neck. I don't look good in v-necks. Rather than just add a scrap of fabric directly across the neckline, I decided to take a piece cut off the side of the shirt and place it diagonally along it. Then I took scraps of the t-shirt as well as some from other projects I had lying around to make the ruffle, which I swirled into a rosette on the right side. One ruffle didn't look right, so I added another. I had put interfacing along the neckline to help support the ruffles, since the material is so light. But the ruffles weren't long enough to cover it up. So I added a THIRD tier along the bottom. Then I took a strip of dark blue fabric, shirred it, and made a rosette out of that to put next to the first rosette. And then added a length of shirred taffeta because I realized I only had taffeta in two places and it needed 3 to make that nice artistic triangle. It was REALLY, um, ruffly, so I sewed down the first ruffle. It looked less frilly now, but I didn't like the way the stitching was exposed. It looked sloppy.

So, I did the only other thing I could think of: I added MORE trim. MORE MORE MORE! I took a scrap of t-shirt fabric and gathered it in a few places, then sewed in in between my two main ruffles. I took some more scraps, folded them, and sewed them along the neckline like bias binding. It looks much better now but I think I will be fixing that left sleeve. It's just a little bit bigger than the right one, and puffs up differently at the shoulder. I originally intended this to be a shirt I could just throw on a and wear in place of a plain one, but now I'm thinking it's a little too fancy for that. But I can't help myself. I just get really carried away on these things...
And a close-up of the rosette:
This shirt is mostly hand sewing but it was so much fun to play around with the fabric and not worry about following instructions. But I definitely don't recommend using Target shirts. The fabric is way too thin and not well made. I caused a couple of holes in the sleeve from mistakes I had to take out and luckily I patched them so they don't show but still. Anyways, it's something slightly different and unique and definitely me.

Sorry for the crummy pictures. Our camera isn't that good to begin with, and of course I forgot to take pictures on the only sunny day we've had in weeks.


  1. You're very creative and talented. I like the one on top, especially the style. I'll definitely have to check out that website. I've been thinking of you as I pick out paint colors for my family room because I like the colors you picked for your mom's house. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Thanks! Both BurdaStyle and MadebyLex are great websites and I've learned a lot from them.
    And thanks also for appreciating all my hard work in getting my mother's house painted in something other than yellow. I had to fight tooth and nail with the "designer" lady to keep the house from being top to bottom yellow and beige. I feel sorry for my poor mother, caught in the middle, but in the end I think she has a nice house and doesn't regret the greens and purple-blues that are hiding there in the midst of the beige. I hope your painting goes well!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Book of Kells: The Letter G

The Sacramental Keepsake Box

Recital Dress