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Monday, September 26, 2011

Shark Week

So, this just about sums up how my day went. It's mostly this guy's fault.

But I can't be mad. Seriously, what other one-year-old gets such a kick out of having a pair of pants on his head? He's the best.

So here's my project: I took two short-sleeved tee-shirts and a clip art image (because I have mad skills with the clip art) and turned them all into voila! one long-sleeved layered shirt with an awesome shark on it! Now, full disclosure: this was all the result of a mistake. I bought a gray shirt, thinking I would paint the shark on that using my patented* light-box method. (The light box stuff is posted back in September 2010. I'd link it, but that's beyond my blogging expertise.) Turns out, I couldn't see the image through the gray shirt, so I had to go back to Wal-Mart for a white one. Now that I had $6 instead of $3 sunk into this project, I knew I really had to make it count. I had seen this tutorial on Pinterest for how to turn a short-sleeved shirt into a layered-look long-sleeved shirt, so I decided to try it out. I changed up a bunch of stuff, so here are my steps, complete with poor lighting and the messiest work desk ever. Enjoy!

* light-box method not patented
I started out with two same-sized tees, washed and dried.

I took the gray one - the one I was going to cannibalize for sleeve purposes, and cut up each side seam and around the sleeve seam. You really only need to cut off one of the sleeves, it turns out.

Making sure the front and back of the shirt were smooth and even at the bottom hem, I used one of the sleeves as my pattern, and pinned it up as high as it would go on the shirt.

I cut around the curve of the shoulder seam, and extended the sleeve to the bottom of the shirt in a semi-tapered way. It's very technical. (I like how this turned out, because I used the hem of the shirt as the sleeve hem. I'm no good at sewing on knit, so using pre-existing hems is bonus for me.)

And, here are the sleeve shapes I ended up with.

Next is the only tricky part - with the white shirt inside out, I tucked the short sleeve into the shirt, then placed the long-sleeve addition inside the sleeve and pinned it to the seam. (Okay, what I really did was turn everything right-side out and hold the sleeve where I wanted it, then turned things inside out until I could reach the seam. Otherwise, there's no way I wouldn't have ended up with something inside-out. I'm famous for my inside-out stitching.)

I machine-stitched the gray sleeve into the seam of the white shirt. The goal was to try to just get the seam. I was lucky in some spots. Not so lucky in others.

Then, careful to keep the white short-sleeve out of the way, I pinned and sewed down the bottom of the long sleeve.

I repeated the whole sleeve-attachment process on the other side. Duh.

And there it is! Definitely not perfect, but I consoled myself with the idea that the little man who will be wearing this shirt is in a constant state of motion. The chances of someone actually seeing a seam on a shirt he's wearing are slim.

So, these sleeves are probably more 3/4 length than full-on long-sleeves. Which is fine. If I had used a bigger shirt, I could have pinned my sleeve pattern further up and gotten longer sleeves.

And here's my awesome shark image. I was going for something that screams, "The wearer of this shirt is all-boy! He's a man-child! He knows karate! And more than a thing or two about dinosaurs!" without being too obvious. Subtle, right?

Light box engaged.

I just used black fabric paint and a teeny-tiny paintbrush.

Ta-da! Welcome to shark week, y'all.

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