Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I need to keep it short this evening...typing is a real challenge with bandaids on multiple fingers! I was more than a little clumsy at the machine tonight and stabbed several fingers with pins while I worked! But, I thought I would share a couple of quick tee refashions that I have done for Belle in the last couple of weeks. Both are reasonably simple if you are adept at working your sewing machine.

The first is this adorable bow tee. It was made to match the patchwork pants that I shared a while back. It doesn't take much explanation if you are familiar with ruffles. If you would like step-by-step directions, just let me know.

I created the bow by turning 2 long strips of fabric right sides together and stitching down the long sides. Next, I turned the tube right side out and top stitched both sides. Finally I cut the ends on the diagonal, turned the edges under and topstitched. Once the long strip was prepped, I tied the bow and hand-stitched it in place. I think next time I will attach the bow to a large pin so that it can be removed for washing. I was, of course, making this at the last minute the night before Belle's preschool program. And wouldn't you know that there were no appropriate pins in the house...oh well!

The ruffle was made by cutting a long strip of fabric approximately 4.5" wide by twice the length of the bottom edge of the tee. First, I sewed the short ends together to form a large circle. Then, I folded the circle in half the long way with wrong sides together and ran a gathering stitch (longest stitch length your machine will do) close to the edge. I pulled the top thread to gather the fabric, flipped it up over the tee right sides together and pinned it in place. I sewed the ruffle to the tee and finished the raw edge with a zigzag stitch. Finally, I flipped the ruffle down in place and topstitched along the edge of the tee approximately 1/8 of an inch above the seam. I really like the way this tee is long on Belle, but if you wanted the tee to hit right at the waist of your pants, then just cut a few inches off the bottom of the tee before you add the ruffle.

I don't have a pic of the second tee refashion, but it is really basic. I needed a tee to match a pair of capris that I made for Belle to wear to her birthday party (MY BABY IS 3...Where did the time go???). I couldn't find anything in her size that matched the pants, but I did find a tee one size too big. I figured I could make it work with some redesign.

My goal was to add ruching at the hip to shorten the tee and bring in the waist a bit. To achieve that I cut 4 pieces of ribbon (about 12 inches long) and 2 pieces of felt (about 6 inches long and wide enough to cover both ribbons plus seam allowances). On the inside of the tee at each hip, I placed 2 strips of ribbon side by side, one on each side of the side seam. I made sure that there was about 6 inches of ribbon hanging below the hemline of the tee. Then I placed a piece of felt over the ribbons (see diagram - it's rough, I know...but, I wanted to sketch something out so you could see the set-up). I started by sewing across the top of the felt and ribbons to hold everything in place. Then I sewed the felt to the tee on the outside edges and between the ribbons, making sure not to catch the ribbon in the seam. By scrunching the tee up and tieing the ribbons I ruched the side seams and shortened the tee by several inches...enough for it to fit Belle quite nicely. For a little added oomph, I used the same ribbon to hand-stitch a small bow on the top of each shoulder of the tee. I'm not entirely sure that I would use felt again because it added quite a bit of bulk (once again, it was a last minute improvisation). I think you could use extra wide bias tape or a piece of fabric (be sure you fold the edges under to prevent fraying). But, if felt is what you will work just fine.

Dark line - bottom edge and side seam of tee
Dashed line - stitch lines
Shaded Area - ribbons
Rectangle with thin outline - felt piece

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