Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My crazy DIY dress project!

 
It's done! It all started with a pile of conference T-shirts, plus a couple of others.  Each year, I get a voucher at my annual conference to spend at the 'conference store'.  The voucher is a perk of teaching workshops at the conference, and I use them to pick up a conference T-shirt.  But here's the problem.  I don't EVER wear these T-shirts.  They don't fit well.  My hips are too large for a small, but a medium is huge on my shoulders.  And I despise the necklines.  So I cut out the necks and made them into scoop or V-neck shirts figuring I'd wear the ill-fitting shirts to the gym or tromping in the woods.  But  I discovered that, even though they looked a little better without the hideous necks, the cheap T-shirt fabric is hot and scratchy, definitely not gym-wear.  So they sat in a drawer, until I decided to do something with them.
After much deliberation and experimentation,  I made this dress/tunic, using quotes I found on the shirts.  I hope that Cassie Stevens is proud of me for this sewing project! 
 This piece on the back is from a T-shirt that I got, I swear, probably 20 years ago, when I renewed a subscription to School Arts magazine.  It was softer than the conference shirts, and I wore it until it was getting yellowed and threadbare.  This was a good way to rescue it.  Here's a close up of "How to be an Art Teacher".
 Got Art?, anyone?
 My sleeves!
 For the first time, I was actually able to use my duct tape dressmaker's dummy, Violetta, to help fit the garment, and it worked like a charm.  I was able to narrow the shoulders and shorten the torso, while getting the loose-fitting shape that I wanted in the body.  In case you don't remember, here's Violetta:
My original plan was to cut the shirts in to rectangles and piece them together like a puzzle, but that just wasn't a workable idea.  Instead, I selected a comfy very deep violet knit fabric, and cut out the various parts of the tunic.  Then, I used WonderUnder to adhere the random odd shaped quotes onto the dress pieces, and I zigzagged around them to give them a more finished look.  Once that was done, I was able to sew together the whole shebang!

On the front of my tunic:
 A close-up of the front:
 Look carefully on the table next to me, in front of the clock.  If you really  LOOK, you will see a little stuffed Adirondack black bear.  His name is Nelson (he was named after Nelson Mandela), and he has traveled to South Africa and back to live in my home.  You can read the story of how he came to live in my house, and the saga of his travels in this post I wrote in March 2011!

11 comments:

  1. Rock on Phyl! Fabulous work! Violetta saves the day!

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    1. Thanks, Rina! I felt very 'Project Runway' when I did this project!

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  2. Definitely Project Runway worthy!!!!! Look out Tim Gunn and Mood Fabrics, here comes Phyl!

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    1. Thank you Christie! You put a smile on my face!

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  3. This post, and one other, have been receiving a LOT of spam comments. I delete them immediately upon seeing them, so it's really a waste of the spammer's time, but still so annoying. I decided they attracted spam because of the title of the posts, so I just changed the title here. Everything else in the post is the same - let's see if it works! I removed the word 't-shirt' from this post title, and also changed the title of the post about renovating a bedroom into studio space. I removed the word renovation. We'll see if that works, too. Do you have certain posts that attract the spammers?

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  4. That's really cute Pyl, and you're a very photogenic model. What's wonder under? Is that the iron-on fusible stuff? Regarding spam, yes, and it's annoying.

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    1. Haha Thanks Barb! Meanwhile, I just removed another spam comment on the other post! Grrrr.

      Yes, Wonder Under is two-sided iron-on fusible stuff. It's really easy and worked great even on the knit fabric. I talked to someone a bit at Jo-Ann's to figure out what would work best.

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    2. Nice. Now Wonder Down Under is something entirely different, right? Which do you think is more annoying spam or punching in all those numbers when trying to post a comment...to me it's a tie. Are you getting hit with vampire stat and adsence...I wonder why they hit every new post 75 times and what that is all about. Any idea?

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    3. Hahaha! Wonder Down Under! Definitely NOT the same thing!!

      But I have no idea what vampire stat is, and I haven't been bothered by Adsense, as far as I know.

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  5. I LOVE THIS!! And I have a mountain of artist//artsy t'shirts that I've had in my "give it to Goodwill" pile forever...but somehow just can't part with. Now I know what to do with 'em! Yay, you did an AWESOME job, I definitely give you a thumbs up! And I agree with your friends, you are very photogenic! AND spam. Sigh. I've been getting it here and there in my comments too. So annoying.

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    1. Thanks, Cassie; that means a lot coming from you!! I must tell you, I searched like crazy for a pattern that was really simple, so I didn't have to figure out how to piece the quotes over darts or tucks. And it had to be Simplicity because they were on sale that day! The pattern wasn't my size (they were out of my size, and it didn't come in petite anyhow) but with the basic framework and Violetta to fit it on,I I it worked great. Easiest pattern I ever sewed; not even a facing anywhere. I'm going to adjust it for some simple knit shirts, since it's so easy and has a neckline that isn't too high or too low.

      Thanks again! Now I just need to figured out where to wear it....

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