Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Making a new T-shirt from old fabric

As you may or may not know, I (mostly*) gave up buying clothes. The main reasons for this are humanitarian and environmental. The clothes that I can afford are all made in Asia, probably in terrible working conditions. The environmental impact of these industries is also pretty butts, so if I can make a small difference by not contributing, I will! If I could afford all locally-made things, I would! Luckily, I know how to make a lot of things myself.

Over the past year, I've accumulated lots of new-to-me clothes through swaps and hand-me-downs (thanks to my cousins Carolyn and by proxy, Diana! Oh, and my aunt Lisa!). My closet and dresser feel bountiful in so many ways; I rarely feel the need to buy stuff. 

If you're about to do a closet-purge, get in touch with some friends and have them over for a clothing exchange party. Everyone brings old stuff, y'all go through it, take what you like, and then donate the rest! It's win-win-win. 

Recently, I've been craving a new shirt.

Oh this shirt? I made it!
Back in my teenager days, I sewed a lot. I liked sewing my own clothes so much, that my first real job was at the local Fabricland in Lindsay, ON. (My first "not" real jobs were cutting grass and stacking hay. True story). Working at a fabric store, but being a busy grade 11/12 student with university prospects, meant that I was able to buy a lot of fabric at a low cost, but didn't always have the time to follow through and actually sew it all up. 

Over this past Christmas when I was visiting my parents, I scoured the basement for my old fabric stash. I found these stretch knits! I don't know if asian-inspired Hawaiian prints are in right now, but I like it! I had an idea for a two-toned raglan tee. I'll show you what I did!

I had this old t-shirt that fits me really nicely in the arms/shoulder area. Actually, it fits me nice all the way around the whole thing! It's really worn out, and the stripes/colours aren't my favourite. I decided to use this shirt as a template for the perfect fitting tee.

Luckily I had some tissue paper from a pea coat I bought from Laura Petites in January*. 

Since my tissue paper stash is really quite spare, I decided to make only one pattern piece for front and back. That way I have extra tissue paper for the next project, whatever that will be!

I drew a line where I wanted the contrast top/bottom to happen.

There are two pairs of scissors because one is for fabric, the other is for paper/everything else.
FYI, keep your fabric shears for fabric only! They'll last longer and stay super sharp.

I love cutting out patterns. I think this is my favourite part about sewing!

This was so easy to sew, as it was so few pieces. I attached the yokes to the bodices first, and then front and back. 

I did a simple (lazy) hem around the bottom, sleeves, and neck. Hemming is my least favourite part about sewing. I'd rather be a pattern-cutter any day! 

And it's done! I love the way it drapes over the shoulders, and the neckline scoops and boats!

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