Friday, July 24, 2009

Life Is Good

I have recently stumbled across the vast, talented community of women who generously share their talents and trade secrets over the Internet via their blogs. These women (I have not yet come across any male-authored blogs of this sort) tirelessly take photos, post tutorials, and offer encouragement for any number of projects one might be looking to complete (or, as is often the case with me, to start and leave, forlornly, somewhere in the dining room for several months, uncompleted. But that's another post). My latest find, and my favorite so far, is the blog Made. I was looking for instructions for how to make a child's dress out of a man's dress shirt for Kate, and this blog had that...and so much more. Dana, Made's mom, is creative and friendly and generous with her time and has so many projects I want to try that I'm worried I will begin neglecting my family in my pursuit of reconstructive sewing. Many of her projects are creative journeys of the recycled/reconstructed kind, which is even better than having to buy new fabric and such, since it's cheap and good for the planet.

So speaking of cheap, I do not like buying pajamas for Kate. If I don't really like spending money on clothes she wears on the outside of the house, where people can "ooh" and "aah" over her, imagine how much I dislike spending money on clothes she will only wear to bed. I get most of her pajamas from yard sales or consignment sales; lately, she's started wearing little-girl camisoles (more like t-shirts) and elasticized shorts to bed, because I found them at Walmart and they're comfortable and cheap. But when Kevin went through his dresser and came up with a whole pile of t-shirts for me to give to Goodwill, I couldn't bear to do it. T-shirts can be made into almost anything. Plus, one of them was a Life is Good t-shirt, which I'm pretty sure I bought for him just last Christmas but he said "fits weird." Life is Good t-shirts aren't cheap, and if I paid $20+ for the shirt, I'm going to get more wear out of it than six of seven months. I got to cut it up! They're heavy, quality cotton with cute graphics and they even have that small area of striped "lining" around the back of the neck. So I made Kate...

A t-shirt nightgown!

I am not organized enough to think about taking pictures while I'm doing something, step by step. I usually don't even remember to take before and after shots of the garment I'm altering, and that's definitely true in this case. But if you can picture a standard man's t-shirt, XL, that's what this was. And in a nutshell:

1. I traced one of her old jumper dresses onto the shirt (using a Sharpie) and left about 1/2" for seam allowances on each side.

2. I cut it out.

3. I sewed it up, wrong sides together, and turned it right side out. I didn't finish the seams.

4. I zig-zagged around the neck and arm holes, but this step is not really necessary, since jersey material will not ravel, as it just rolls up, so the seams don't have to be finished. But I like the look of it.

And that's it!

I big shout out to Kate, who seriously got about 10 mosquito bites while she stood outside on the deck so I could get photos of this last night right before it started to rain. She's a trooper. She said she even wants to wear it as a dress, not just as a nightgown, which I think is a cute idea. Plus, it's summer, so why does it matter?

And now we're all happy. What's more comfortable to sleep in than a worn t-shirt? Plus, it was almost free, it was easy to make, and it is cute. I have 6 or 7 more t-shirts in the dining room right now, waiting for my scissors. Let the refashioning continue!

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