Friday, September 9, 2011

Upcycled Tshirt Fall Cardigan Tutorial



It has been nothing but dreary rain here in Kentucky, and I've had to break out my light sweaters to keep the chill off. Here is fun and easy tutorial for you to create your own cute cardigan to wear this fall using a tshirt! I love to wear mine paired with jeans or a dress for a casual and comfortable every day look. When choosing a shirt to cut up for this project I like to find one that just about fits (a little big or little small is okay too) doing so will help keep the cardigan fitting and lend a flattering shape.

I started with this medium weighted long sleeve shirt from Coldwater Creek. It was comfortable but I didn't like the length in the tummy area. (Remember I had two babies!?) I'm a firm believer in the fact that I should be able to raise my hands up above my head and not show any stretch marks.
 
 1) Hack off the bottom of the shirt. It looks like I took off about 4 or 5 inches here... Remember theres no right or wrong way to the design, so feel free to make variations along the way.

2) Crop your sleeves to preferred length.
 3) It looks tricky but I promise you its not. Fold you shirt so that its creased in the center front (and back) Tip: line up the seams! Feel free to use pins and chalk here- I tend to create on the go so I just went at it with the cutters.  Chalkers: From the bottom you want to draw a semi circle on the font center. Heres how it looked after I cut mine:
 
Your shirt should look something like this after you've made your last cut. 
*I went back and cur the remaining bit of neckline, which could've been taken care of in step #3

Head over to your dandy sewing machine and lay down some thread.You'll finish all of the edges with this lettuce edge. You do not need a high dollar machine, additional foot, or mad skills to pull this off. Creating a lettuce ruffle is simple! Adjust the zigzag stitch width to about1/8 inch. Adjust the stitch length so that all the stitches are close together so no fabric shows through. Remember every machine is different- so don't jump the gun- be sure to test on practice on scrap before you go for it. (Trust me!)

To create the "lettuce" look to the edge you need to stretch your fabric.  You have to use fabric that stretches. (Pssst! tshirts stretch!) If your fabric doesn't have a good amount of stretch to it, forget about a lettuce edge. It isn't going to work.

Now, you need to stretch from both sides of the fabric. When I say both sides, I mean in front of the presser foot as well as behind. That means you need to use BOTH hands, no drinking coffee while sewing ruffles.You want to stretch the fabric as much as you possibly can while sewing and gently guiding the fabric through your machine.

Finished up and still have time clean. Yay. (or not)
Thanks for reading along, be sure to let me know if you have any questions. I hope you'll take some time to check out my other tutorials that I hope will encourage and inspire you to consume less and recycle more.

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