Thursday, July 19, 2012

short sleeve drape-y t-shirt cardi upcycle thing-y. Yep. We're going with that.

So I don't wear tank tops.  And although that usually works out fine here in the frigid tundra I live in, right now it's pretty abominable.  Heat index of 110 degrees?  Wonderful!  (We're just not equipped to deal with that, biologically speaking)
But I do have a point.  A point that will bring me to a tutorial, so bear with me on this one.
I found a super cute tank for the 4th of July, and because there have been many (MANY) fourth of July's that found me huddled under a blanket wearing a sweatshirt due to cold AND mosquitos, I figured there'd be no problem in throwing a cute cardigan or zip-up hoodie over it.
Enter THIS 4th of July.  This 4th of July that found me cowering in my house because of air conditioning.  This 4th of July that was the hottest on record - I swear.  (note: that's not official, but it's the hottest one I remember.  And I'm old.)
I couldn't possibly wear a cardigan in that heat!  What was I going to do?!
Well, I grabbed a red and white striped t-shirt I had and cut it right up the middle - with very little thought for the end product.  I put it over my tank, looked in the mirror and thought, hm.  Now what?

And thus was born the:

For this drape front "cardi", you'll need:
two knit V-Neck t-shirts of the same pattern/color in your size
optional: rotary cutter/cutting mat
two buttons
a bit of double fold bias tape
needle and thread
sewing machine

Find some inexpensive t-shirts.  Like the one I had from walmart (and then ran out and got another quick):

 1.  Fold your first t-shirt in half.  With your scissors, cut right down the middle of the shirt, starting at the point of the v-neck ONLY ON THE FRONT.
2.  Fold your second t-shirt in half horizontally
3.  then, using your rotary cutter, cut the shirt completely in half.  (you'll have quite a bit of this shirt left over for rolled flowers and stuff.)

4. Cut along the shoulder seams of this second shirt.  (close up in the first picture, full view in the second).
5.  Open this shirt up and cut from the shoulder seam down the length of the shirt.  The blue dashed line shows where to cut.  Basically, you cut in a straight line starting at the point where the neck binding meets the cut shoulder seam.  

6.  Lay this piece of cut shirt right side down so it lines up perfectly with the other side of the shirt (which is right side up).  So, with right sides together, you can cut another piece from the other side of the shirt that exactly matches the piece you already made.

7.  Take the piece you cut from the RIGHT side of the SECOND shirt and line it up with the cut edge of the RIGHT side of the first shirt, with right sides together.  Line it up so that the neck line is actually at the BOTTOM and the neck binding lines up with the hem line of the first shirt.
8.  Pin all along this straight edge.  Do this with the left sides as well.

 9.  You will notice at the top (which is where what WAS the bottom of the second shirt meets the REAL neckline) that the cut strip of the second shirt overlaps in a somewhat awkward way.
10.  Fold the strip over, so you are looking at the right sides of both pieces.  Use your scissors to trim away the top of the strip at an angle, so the neckline extends down onto the strip of fabric.
11.  Lay your other side down, wrong side up.
12.  Lay the side you've already cut on top - right side up.  Cut along this line so that the angle on both sides match.

13.  Use a straight stitch to sew on side together.
14.  And sew the other side as well.
15.  Trim as needed.

16.  Now to finish off the bottom.  Technically, there aren't unfinished edges down here.  But I wanted the red line to continue all along the bottom.  I used bias tape.  I cut a piece that was exactly as long as the sides and back of the first shirt.
17.  I sandwiched the shirt in between the bias tape, folding the end of the bias tape under. I pinned all along.
18.  Starting all the way at the tip of the KNIT binding, begin your stitch.  You want the contrasting stitching to run all along the red, to tie it all together.  Continue to sew with a straight stitch, sewing the bias tape to the shirt.
19.  Sew one stitch down the bottom of the bias tape.
20.  Finish by sewing another stitch along the top of the bias tape, for a double stitch look.

Now you'll finish the unfinished edges down the front.
21.  Begin where the neck binding ends.  Roll the front to the back and sew across this.
22.  Continue sewing down this edge, using a zig-zag stitch.  Stretch the fabric as you sew - one hand stretching and pulling the fabric back and the other hand stretching the fabric forward.
23.  This will give you a nice ruffly little lettuce edge hem.  If you want a real tutorial on how to do a lettuce edge, check out this post on Googiemomma.  She explains it much better and has full pictures.

24.  Try your drape front cardi on.  Just above your belly button, gather the front drapey parts together and pin them in place.  Really, they are just bunched up until they look good (and look the same on both sides.)
25.  Sew the bunchy part together where it is pinned.
26.  It will look like this.  Do this on both sides.

27.  Cut two pieces of your bias tape that are double the side of the stitched together bunch.
28.  Lay the bias tape on over the stitching.  Start on the back side of the bunchy part.  Lay your bias tape right side down.
29.  Fold your bias tape over on itself.
30.  Flip your shirt to the right side and fold your bias tape over the edge and over the stitching on the front.
31.  Fold the end of the bias tape and tuck it under.
32.  Sew the bias tape down over the stitches.
33.  Sew two lines on the ends of the bias tape, top to bottom, close together.

And this is where my $4 jar of vintage buttons paid off.  It was worth it for these blue buttons alone.
34.  Pick your favorite buttons.
35.  Hand stitch the buttons onto the bias tape, over the stitching.

And you're done!  

You can dress it up:
 With a pencil skirt, a skinny metallic belt, sexy red t-strap heels and a silver bauble bracelet...

OR, dress it down (which is much more likely, let's be honest):

With a pair of jeans.

Or you could do what I did and wear your frumpy shorts since they are lightweight and it's 600 degrees out.  That's cool too.

A cute little drape-y cardi upcycle for only $6.  I think that's doable.  I may make another.  So I can wear more tank tops.

*Be sure to check the right sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!

1 comment:

kellystar said...

I am NOT a seamstress (nor do I portray one on tv) so there is no way that I am going to be able to reproduce your very, very, very AWESOME idea. Now, if you can think of a way to copy it just using a hot glue gun instead of sewing --I am there. This is awesome!

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