Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Upcycle: Long Jammies to Layered Tee

A few weeks ago, I cut off my son's favorite pajama bottoms and made them into shorts to solve a specific problem.  He look adorable in them!  But I'm not a girl who wastes a perfectly good set of matching leggings with knit cuffs, so I had to come up with something for the scraps. 

How about a faux layered t-shirt?  My youngest wasn't into it.  His delicate sensibilities couldn't handle putting his pants on his arms, but Big Boy was jazzed at getting a new tee with trucks on the sleeves.

The offending jammie pants get a trim.
Word to the Wise:  If you buy any new materials for this project, just be sure to pre-wash and dry them in the manner that you will the final creation since these clothes will be abused and washed repeatedly. Otherwise, the different fabrics could shrink differently, which would jack up your awesome creation.

First, tuck the leg remnants inside the sleeves.  Be sure not to stuff too much in're going to follow the two existing lines of hem stitches on the tshirt, but if you stuff too much in the sleeve, the seam allowance can get doubled back under the needle, making it sloppy and bulky inside.  (Ask me how I know...)

Pin in place, again, taking care that the long-sleeve layer doesn't get doubled over inside the short sleeve.  The pinning and sewing process on these sleeves is a little tricky.  Since they're small and already have cuffs at the "wrist," the only way to grip and pin them is by sticking your hand through the opening at the neck or bottom of the t-shirt.  Just be sure to pay attention to pinning them in straight.

Next, you have to top-stitch the layers together by placing the entire body of the t-shirt around the machine's free arm.  I even had to stretch the sleeves a bit to get them around the free-arm.  So long as both layers are stretched evenly, this isn't the end of the world.

Oh, and unlike Bitty's cut off jammie shorts, where I used a contrast color thread, this time I picked a thread color that would blend in.  Starting at the underarm seam, top-stitch those puppies with your stretch stitch of choice.  I used a short, narrow zigzag stitch.  (Width set on 1.0, Length at 1.5)  Go over the stitch line closest to the neck of the shirt first.

Once you've done that, remove your tee from the machine and check the inside.  If you have excess seam allowance, trim it down to 1/8 inch from the line of stitching.  If a piece got turned under the needle, you may need to pick out a few stitches and re-secure that section.  (Despite being very careful, I had a little section that doubled over and caused a little gap in the seam.)

Next, repeat your top-stitching on the line closest to the sleeve.

Ta-da!  Pretty cool how that narrow zigzag just kind of fades into the existing stitches on the shirt, huh? 

Show me those muscles, Big Boy!

We're not done yet, though...this t-shirt needs a little something else to make it spectacular!