Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sewing Clothing--Not Quite Yet

Sewing clothing has, so far, eluded me.  I don't think pajama pants count...they're pretty forgiving.  Having said that, I will say that I've spent a lot of time learning about how things go together...seeing the parts of an article of clothing rather than just the item in its entirety. I am a devotee of Wardrobe Refashion and love how so many people can many something amazing from something that seems so not amazing.  I've begun modifying clothing that we have to make it more usable and it is turning out to be easier than I thought.

Here I modified one of Charming's t-shirts for myself...I wanted it to be more suited to the female shape.  I still use the shirt for my work-outs, but it wasn't good enough for "real" wear.  Still, I was inspired.  Last week, I had the opportunity to do something about it, so I grabbed my cutting mat, my marking chalk, and my pins...I even got a volunteer to play "assistant" and I got to work! 


When Superman sent this shirt for Valiant, we quickly discovered a) it was far too big and b) when it shrank, it shrank up in length, leaving us a very large, very square shirt.  I figured I had nothing to lose, so I tackled making it fit.

I forgot to take a picture before I cut off the sleeves, but it was just a standard man's t-shirt.

Firstly, the shirt needed to be narrower, which meant I'd have to take in the sides.  Unfortunately, there were no side seams, it was just a tube.   Using one of Valiant's t-shirts to get a rough size, I figured out where I'd need to make the cut.  Oh, and I noted that the armholes were much too big for Valiant, so I changed those, too.  (See where the armhole curves now?)  (Using the shoulder seams assures your modification is the same on both sides.)

Then I took the sleeves I'd removed and made them shorter and fit them to the new armholes, cutting off the extra fabric (Valiant's arms aren't as big as a man's so the circumference of his sleeves needed to be smaller.)

Once I'd attached the newly fashioned sleeves to the newer armholes, I just lined up all the side seams and sewed the sides closed.

Now look!  Doesn't it fit Valiant well?  I'm getting closer and closer to trying to fashion something from scratch...

I know it might not seem like a such a big deal, but every time I do something like this, I understand more and more about fit.  To me, that is tremendously useful and worthwhile.  What about you?  Have you always known how to sew or have you learned it along the way?  Maybe you don't sew clothing at all?  I think there is a resurgence, but maybe that is because I am looking for like-minded people.


DarcyLee said...

I think you are learning to sew the right way because you are learning how clothes fit and are put together rather than just whatever a pattern tells you to do. When you actually do use a pattern to sew something "from scratch" you will know how to adjust the fit so that it's just right for you. You did a great job on both of the shirts.

Anonymous said...

Great job! I've been sewing for a very long time (very!) but usually under the tutelage of my mom - it is only in the past year or so that I've branched out on my own...mostly refashioning my old clothes into clothes for Boo which is my favorite. I'd much rather refashion than sew from scratch - something about making something old new again.

Anonymous said...

This is pretty much the same thing as starting from scratch, you just have to cut the stuff out first.

Sewing is a skill you learn as you go. Pajama pants is really pants that can be worn outside, just a little bigger and roomier than pants pants. This modification of the shirt is making a t-shirt, just you didn't cut the fabric or add the neck ribbing/sew the shoulders or hem.

You did beautiful job on these, I really don't know why you let it worry you making something else.