Thursday, December 29, 2011

Upcycled Ruffly-Sleeve Top

When I first started teaching myself to sew (though in the interest of full disclosure, I did take a home ec course in junior high, during which I sewed a few pillows), I was not a fan of upcycling.  I had enough hurdles to jump through, just figuring out how to put together a basic pattern.  I didn't need to deal with fabric that wasn't perfectly flat and ready to be manipulated.  However, now that I've been doing this for a couple years and have gained some confidence, I love the idea of reconstructing articles of clothing that would otherwise be at or near the end of their lives.  It's fun seeing something useful and new coming from something old.  It tests my ability to look past the surface.  And if I'm using my old clothes, the project becomes super cheap.  Add to that the fact that it's GREEN, and voila!  You have a winner.

For these tops, I used old shirts and-- ready for it?-- ruffle fabric!  I love me a good ruffle, so I'm slightly addicted to this stuff.  Sure, for someone who tries only to buy fabric when she has a gift card or a coupon, it can be a little on the pricey side, but look at these adorable results!

I made this top for the little peanut out of an old t-shirt of mine that I had stained.  I actually had stained it quite some time ago, but I held onto it because I thought it was pretty fun and maybe-- just maybe-- that stain would come out??  It didn't.  But now the shirt has a new and better life anyway!

 After I uploaded this picture, I realized the shirt had some paint and chalk on it.  Those aren't the stain I was referring to.  Nope.  Those are courtesy of the art room at Monkey Bizness. :)

On the hem, as you can only kind of see, I did a lettuce edge, one of my new favorite things to do with knits.  And I thought the purple popped nicely with the green.

Then yesterday,  I grabbed a shirt my father-in-law had given me to use and started cutting.  The shirt itself, as you can see, is a peachy orange.  I had some electric blue ruffle fabric that I thought would be fun.
(After all, it had yielded these adorable leggings!)

I cut two sleeves and threw them on. 

But as I was sewing, I caught a glimpse of some orange ladybug buttons I had bought on clearance a while back.  Riley loves animals (and bugs kind of fit in that category, right?), so  I decided to spice up her top with those.  And one more ruffle couldn't hurt, so I backed them up with that.  Turned out pretty cute, right?

By the way, I tried using my new Photoshop software for this last photo, but I haven't looked at any instructions, I've never really used editing equipment, and I have no idea what I'm doing... It shows, don't it. :)  And don't you love how Riley's being so fashionable and posing with her super-cool flip brush?  She's so chic, that one.

Back to the shirt...
Riley-girl was a huge fan of the result.  She likes orange; she likes ladybugs; she really likes that she can say she's wearing one of Papa's shirts.  Win-win-win.  And she can wear it to cheer on the Wheaton College teams.  Even better. :)

**tutorial coming soon!

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