Sunday, June 29, 2008

Little boy's play outfit recon

Today was my eight year old son’s birthday, and I blew my diet so badly that I’ll have to sew and craft like a madwoman for the next few days to keep my mind off of food. The day went really well, and the birthday boy was delighted with his loot.

As an extra gift, I tried to surprise Owen with a sleeveless tank top that I sewed up this morning, but I messed up on the sleeves. I cut the binding a little to short, and it make the armholes pucker. I cut it out really late last night, and I must’ve been thinking about how cuffs and collars should be smaller than the opening---not so with armholes on a tank top! He has been asking for sleeveless shirts, so I’ll try again, and refashion his botched shirt into a smaller version for my littlest guy.

Here is my 21 month old boy's new outfit, refashioned from old clothes and a bit of green jersey. I’m still working out the details, but this is the first try. As I cut out the T-shirt front, I discovered that the printed section was not a perfect circle. I dealt with the wonkiness of it as best I could. Oh well, it's my first muslin and he'll have grape juice on it soon enough. :o)

I was trying to go for something like a bicycle-short length, but they ended up more like capris.

For the shirt, I used an old painting Tshirt of mine, and made a pattern for him from a Tshirt that fits him. My shirt is about 14 years old and has some paint and ink on it, but it made a good practice garment. No worries about wasting money screwing up some good fabric. The little shorts are made from an unloved black turtleneck. They turned out a bit longer than I had planned, but I guess they do protect his knees a bit as he plays. ;o) The next pair won't be quite as long. The jersey made for turtlenecks is wonderfully soft for comfy toddler clothes. I'll be looking for a few more wardrobe rejects to make into playclothes for my little guy. I think I’ll make a black shirt to go with the shorts. Maybe with an appliqué in the green.

The other project here is the top from a sleep set I made for my eight year old son a few days ago. It is made from an old touristy shirt. It was a test pattern. The next ones I make for him will be more boyish; I raided my own wardrobe for a shirt to practice on. The set has shorts made from the green jersey fabric that did not make it into the photo since they are in the washer right now. This outfit has been worn and washed once already.

I’m not entirely happy with how baggy this pattern worked up. I’ll try it again with a men’s t-shirt from the thrift shop, and maybe make it a size smaller.

Excuse the wrinkles: it just came out of the dryer.

I ordered one of the LEKO software patterns for children last week, and I'm eagerly awaiting it's arrival. If the software works out, I should be able to really start stashbusting my kid fabrics. I also ordered the test demo CD for me.

I'll post later on my adventures with LEKO later on this summer. They can't be too much more hit and miss than the big four pattern companies...I hope. :o)

FrankenClothes, round one!

Hi there, I’m new around here! I’ll be blogging about my sewing projects from thrift shop materials, and also some occasional beadwork projects. I’m primarily a jewelry-maker, but I have been throwing myself into sewing with a vengeance lately. I’ll share my discoveries and pitfalls here.

A couple for weeks ago, I saw this great tip over on T-shirt Surgery and decided I had to try it. I'm currently over two hundred pounds and very bored with my clothes, and my clothing choices. I'm trying to lose weight, and don't want to spend much on clothes that I hope to shrink out of, so “frankenclothes” it is! It is proving to be addictive, and I'm really going to throw myself into reconning and post my results here.

I made these shirts from boring solid-color plus-sized shirts, with newly-added raglan sleeves from the tute below. I used whatever printed knits I could find at the thrift shop on the 25 cent rack for the sleeves. I couldn't wait to try it! The size of the shirts I used for the sleeves was not as crucial, and anything medium and up worked great. Now that I've met with some success, I'll look for more fun knits to use on the sleeves. Look for more interesting shirts here soon, as I find the thrifted goods to make them!

Baseball sleeve tutorial here:

I cut all the way up into the collar, since I planned on adding serged-in collars of my own anyhow. (When you cut a collar, make sure it is smaller than the neckhole, so it will not look floppy. I learned that the hard way.)

Without further ado, the shirts! These are my first recon attempts, and you can see the learning process.

Here are my first two victims---an unfinished vintagy sewing project from the seventies, and a nineties shirt with a floppy-looking collar:

The after shot. I think I'm not done with this. I left the zipper on, but I hate it. I think this will reappear later with a v-neck, and I'll wear a tank under it, since it will be pretty low. Lower than bra-line. It fits really well, despite the neckline issues.

This one makes me happy! It has issues from the different weights of knit material used, but I still like it. The sleeves and collar are made from a sparkly lightwieght knit, and the body of the tunic is from an ugly polo shirt in a pretty color. I cut away the collar and button placket, gave it a V-neck and put in a collar with an overlapped front. I used the sleeves from the polo shirt as a pattern for new sleeves. I did not topstitch any of it, because I thought it would get puckery-looking as a result. I still have more of the sparkly knit, and will revisit this idea once I get another shirt to try for the body.

Closer look at the collar. It's not as wonky as it looks. My 21-month old son was helping me by moving the shirt around while I took pictures. :)

This one is a plain cream-colored shirt with a tropical strecth knit for the sleeves. The neckline ended up higher that I like, but it fits. I don't have enough of the knit left to make another palm-tree collar, but may remake the collar in blue, once I dig up a scrap of knit I like.

I really liked this one. Then I topstiched it and ruined it. I used a zig-zag, but it still puckered up a lot. The body of the shirt is a lycra blend, and maybe that is why. This collar is coming off soon. Alas, this shirt ended up too small across the tummy. I'm hoping to fit into it by fall. I'll replace the collar, maybe with a v-neck.

Thanks for looking at my humble efforts!

I hope to have some little boy clothes recons to post soon.