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Glanvillia, Saint John, Dominica
i am a mom/wife/textile designer gone haywire. I love to sing(music/arts AA degree), craft, exercise, and be goofy. Just living life outside the norm. And the norm thanks me for it. Oh yeah, and I like me some haikus. . . . . . . . . . What are we up to currently? Aaron recently started medical school at Ross University on the island of Dominica in the Caribbean, and the kids and I are along for the crazy ride :)

Ruffle Shirt Makeover-Crisis Averted!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I was doing laundry yesterday and set aside one of Megan's favorite shirts that I've been meaning to get rid of for a while. Afterall, it's xs (4-5) and she's turning 8 in November! I told her we needed to give it to goodwill and she was so sad! I said to her, "Megan, it's too short" and she said "mom, can't you add a ruffle or something to the bottom so it can be longer?" (Who's daughter is this? ha ha JUST like me)  I said, "Megan, it's too tight! Why don't we make a headband out of it?" Megan just got this really sad look on her face and cried, "But I want to wear it on my body!!"  ok, ok, I knew I had seen a tutorial online once that turned a shirt into a cardigan or jacklet (I made up that word- like a jacket but short sleeved. Jacklet) Anywho, thinking this would buy her maybe a month or two more in this shirt, I went to work....
Just fold it in half and cut right up the middle (only cut the front or you'll have two halves of a shirt and you're on your own. LOL)
This is the shirt I decided to use for the ruffles I was going to add.. I really liked it, but it started to fit differently and I didn't like it.  Also, it seemed like the right kind of thin material I needed for the ruffles.
 Now go ahead and cut it into 2" jersey yarn.  If you don't know how to do this, just cut strips in your shirt but stop 2 inches before the end....DONT cut all the way across!
Now put your arm inside and open the shirt up
now lay it out so that the intact side seem is in the middle

Now cut just the top layer from one incision to the previous one on the other side in a diagonal line... like this:

It should look like this when it's spread out a little

Now wha -la! you have one long continuous piece of jersey yarn.  I only ended up using half of this yarn for this project, just so you know (you would cut it thinner than this if you were using it to crochet or knit, though.  It more closely represents yarn when you stretch it- it rolls up).

however, do not stretch your yarn! you want it to lay flat so you can sew it!  I just took the strip and stitched on the longest straight stitch available on my machine.  I did two running stitches down the middle of the strip seperated by a sewing foot's width

you can choose to trim it now, or after it's gathered. if you trim after it's gathered you'll have to snip touch up later cause it doesn't cut exactly straight. but it's not a big deal. I cut mine after and it looks great.
 Gathering......  it's up to you how gathered you'd like it- I ended up doing a minimal gather and it still looks really gathered and it was easier to sew since there wasn't as much material to get through.  I also should let you know that I gather the two sides at the same time. I just held both threads.  If you have never gathered anything, see this tutorial by Ashley at Make it and Love it
trimming........  Now measure how long you need it and cut.  Pin it to the front of your shirt- make sure that the edge of the shirt lays between the edge of the ruffle and the first ruffle seam.  I just made sure that first the seam was on top of the shirt material so when I sewed over it, it would actually attach to the shirt :)

Pinned... now just fold the ends under the bottom and sew along the gathering stitches again but with a shorter stitch this time, back stitching at the beginning and end to secure it.  Dont worry about folding the beginning of the strip over the neck part- it's going to be covered by the neck ruffle. you can leave it raw.

yay! repeat with the other side and the neck....  When pinning the neck, be sure to  fold the edges over the side..
sorry so blurry!  Now is the time if anyone wants to give me a better camera so I can deliver better tutes.... just sayin! Free advertising... I may have to look into this theory that advertising gets you free stuff.....
Oooh much better....  Ok, now I just cut two 1" x 12" strips for ties at the front.  I put it on Meg to see where we wanted the ties and pinned them on. 

These, you may stretch.. see it starts out like this:

And streeeeeeettttch..... ala kazam. yarn. sweet.

Now just hand sew these babies on making sure to only go through the shirt and not the ruffle....

Final product.....

Cute Cute Cute!
and see how cute it is on her?! 
still a tiny bit small... hee hee

She did NOT want to get her picture taken- it's was bright outside!  well, what do you expect in AZ?

Granted it is still a very small shirt, but it'll last at least a few more months until the next growth spurt.  She's had it since she was 4! Lawl! Oh man we are so ghetto. I love it.  What we mothers do to avoid breaking our daughters' hearts....
side by side:

yay! now I need to go sew some ruffles on something for myself! 


Court said...

Totally cute and its ok if the new style is a little short the cami underneath can compensate!

Lacey said...

AWESOME! I think it looks great on her!

Flutterby said...

Great idea. And I do photographs with a really great camera. If you are ever interested.

Karen said...

You are amazing! That is so cute, way to go!