Thursday, 6 November 2008

Re-use your old clothes

Kathleen Mclaughlin a innovative product designer has come up with a concept to re-use your favorite tired old garments that you don't want to throw away, by giving them a new lease of life and bringing them back as contemporary candelabra lights.

I think this is a fantastic idea as we all have old favorites that we don't want to part with but no longer wear. This idea has great scope and can be a framework for a variety of customising or re-incarnation if you like services.

There are sites such as Thread Banger offering step by step tips and tricks to update and customise your existing wardrobe... the one below is one of my favorite:)


**Jumper Skirt Tutorial**


1 XL (Extra Large) T-shirt

1 pair of scissors

1 sewing machine
1 good sewing hand

1 set of straight pins
1 set of glass tipped straight pins (recommended)

1 Iron

1 Yard stick, ruler or measuring tape

1 piece of tailor chalk, crayon or water soluble pencil (in a contrasting color)

1 Seam ripper, nail scissors, or cuticle remover

Depending on your experience, this project should take from one to two hours at the most.

NOTE!!*** Each step that instructs you to "sew" use a number 2 zig-zag stitch to retain stretch in the T-shirt. ***
Okay lay out your shirt, we are going to divide the shirt into three pieces: the skirt, the straps and the waistband.

The straps will be the first to be cut.

First, you will need to remove the stitches from the bottom hem of the shirt. Do this by using either your scissors or seam ripper

Once you have removed all the stitches, it will look like this.

Press open the unstitched hem with your iron.

Measure and mark 5" from the bottom of the newly opened hem and measure and mark 14" across.

Cut this rectangle out from both sides of the shirt.

Do not cut the fold.

Fold in half, pin, and cut.

Now fold each piece in half, pin and sew raw edges together.

When finished cut off the excess.

With the straps you can do one of three things:
1 You can leave them as they are and not turn them inside out.
2 Press the straps with the hem in the middle
3 Turn the straps inside-out and press seam on one side.

If you decide to turn the straps inside-out:
Attach a safety pin to one end of the straps.
Guide the safety pin inside of the strap as if it were a casing for elastic.
Keep guiding it through until the entire strap has the seam on the inside.

Pin down with glass tipped pins and press flat with iron (starch is recommended) with seam on one side.

Right now your shirt bottom should look something like this:

Next is the waistband.

You cut two separate parts from the shirt, one from the bottom of the shirt, another from the top of the shirt.

First measure and mark a 5"x10" (the 10" should be what is left of the bottom).

Cut that square off, do not cut the fold.

After the cut you should have a 5"x20" rectangle.

For the skirt measure and mark an 18"x21" rectangle from the new bottom of shirt, cut.

Reverse the rectangle and pin only the sides together.

Sew the pinned sides.

For the waistband, cut off sleeves from the leftover of shirt, open at seam.

Lay your first waistband piece on top, pin and cut around.

*Each person's size is different so "pinch and pin" sides of waistband to get desired fit, mark and sew.*

Pleat the skirt to the waistband, remember to pin the side seams of the waistband and skirt together first, to get an even match of pleats.

Pin pleats, and sew.

To finish the raw edges, sew a 1/2" hem at both ends (bottom of skirt, and top of waistband)

Attach straps to waistband: about 3" from side seam at the front.

Adjust the strap length to your desired fit, pin straps ends to the back of waist band 3" from side seam, pin.

Sew each strap end at top of waistband seam with a box stitch (a continuous stitch that creates a box with and X on the inside)

Try on, make and size adjustments (since this is made from a T-shirt, there should still be stretch when fitting on the jumper skirt, if not, adjust waistband with an elastic band or a zipper)

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