Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My First T-Shirt Refashion: Long Sleeves Became Ruffles

Boy, am I proud of myself! Last night I finished up my first "refashion" project, which involved turning a long-sleeve t-shirt into a cute ruffled tank top. (Here's the tutorial.) For anyone who has more than an extremely rudimentary knowledge of sewing and sewing machines, this shirt would be a breeze. But for me, it was an exercise in patience. I'm very pleased with the results, but it was a project filled with heavy sighs and lots of practice with the seam ripper.

I started the shirt refashion on Sunday and was cruising along just fine until it came time to sew my first-ever ruffle. I tried the technique in the tutorial, but my sewing machine kept getting jammed; all the top thread was repeatedly getting caught in the bobbin area. (See, I don't even know the proper terms!) After multiple tries (and lots of those aforementioned heavy sighs) I Googled another way to make a ruffle. This method involved sewing down the edge of the piece as normal, then pulling the thread at the end to bunch up the fabric. Yes! Success at long last! Oops... I just pulled the thread all the way through and out the other end. Heavy sigh. Start over.

Other than pinning the ruffle on to the tank top (damn, I poked myself; ouch, not again!; ugh, heavy sigh) I gave myself a break from the project on Monday. Last night I finally got up the courage to attempt to sew on the ruffle. It wasn't quite as fraught with problems as I expected, but I still managed to sew the front and back of the shirt together. Hello, seam ripper!

So after reading all that, you can probably understand why I'm proud of myself. This is by far the most complex sewing project I've ever undertaken and it was definitely a learning experience. That's great, because I love to sew and I hope to devote more time to developing my sewing machine skills. And, most importantly, I really got to know my new best friend, Seam Ripper. He helped me through some tough times and I know we'll have a great relationship henceforth.


  1. Really neat shirt you've sewn for yourself. I'm proud of you for persevering. You can wear it proudly. Very unique!

  2. OMG So cute! I love love love it!


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