In honor of “me-made May,” here’s a fun way to spend a few precious Saturday hours, making something for yourself.
Take a printed t-shirt that you like because it’s clever or holds a good memory, but that looks awful (because it’s a generic, factory-made t-shirt), and turn it into a t-shirt that you do like, very much.
Photo by Hayes Carll; t-shirt from the Bitter Southerner General Store.
If you have one of these books—Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns or Alabama Studio Sewing + Design—then you already have the paper pattern that you can use to cut a generic, unflattering t-shirt down to a lovely shaped one. Or, if you’re full of piss and vinegar and bravado and such, just get the scissors and cut off the sleeves and the neck ribbing, and maybe the hem, of the t-shirt, without using a pattern. It’s sure to be an improvement.
Then, use the excess fabric that you’ve cut away, or some spare cotton jersey if you’ve got an old t-shirt stash, to make bindings for the neck and sleeve openings, and leafy appliqués for decoration. You hand-sew all these things on, using a needle and thread and a simple running stitch, until you are happy with the shirt. And then you’ve got a customized shirt like Allison’s. It doesn’t take more than an afternoon, and it’s really fun.
Some say this style of sewing is addictive, but I can quit any time I want to. I just don’t want to.
Thanks, The Bitter Southerner, for the worthy starting t-shirt, and thanks to Allison, our lady of mad skillz, for the inspiration.
P.S. For those who insist on entertainment that you can knit to, you cannot go wrong by dialing up Allison Moorer on iTunes or YouTube. Enjoy!