Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cute Upcycled Tank--tutorial

My next project served pretty much no purpose.  Em has more than enough summer clothes to make it through 10 months of summer, but I just could not help myself.  Yesterday Emersyn wore this cute little tank--from Carters--and as she sat in my lap I thought....I can make that.  Of course I could not get it out of my head, so here is the result of such a useless thought.  Here is the shirt that started the whole ball rolling...
Simple and cute...right???  Here is what you will need to make one for your little one---or yourself.
1. an old t-shirt to up-cycle
2. ribbing--1/4 yard was enough to make two 2T tanks
If you want to make the applique you will also need...
3. scraps of fabric--I used old t-shirts
4. buttons

And let the fun begin...

First I took the shirt that I wanted to copy and layed it out on the bottom edge of my old shirt (I wanted to keep the bottom hem). 
I traced the shirt with chalk about 1/4-1/2 inches away from the edges of the shirt (so that I would have seam allowance). I traced the back of the shirt first because it was higher than the front. You could also fold the shirt in half and cut it on the fold, but I did not think that far ahead:) Then I cut out just the top layer of fabric.  If you do not care about the slight dip in the front part of the shirt you could just cut through both layers of fabric and then have a shirt with no front or back.
Next I folded my shirt in half and trimmed them up so that they were exactly the same---I did not want my sleeves to be 2 different sizes:)

To get the front part of the shirt traced I folded it and layed it along the edge ( I also folded the bottom shirt and layed the top shirt along the fold of the bottom shirt).  Again I traced it and cut it out.

This is what you have so far.  I put an F on the front part so that I could tell which was which.

Now for the ribbing.  I cut a strip 3 1/2 inches wide by the length of the fabric.

Fold your strip in half and iron a nice crease down the middle.

Fold one side in to the middle crease and iron it down.

Fold in the 2nd side to the middle crease and iron it down.

Next I measured the top of the shirt pieces that I had.  Mine measured 6 and 7 inches so I cut 2 pieces of ribbing 7 and 8 inches long (just to be on the safe side).

Sandwich your t-shirt piece in between the ribbing strip aligning the top of the shirt with the middle crease.  Pin. You will be sewing the wrong side of the shirt first.  SOOO in this picture the wrong side of the fabric is facing down to the table and the right side is facing up.

Sew close to the edge of the ribbing (this will be the inside of the shirt).

Next, fold the ribbing over and pin it to the outside of the shirt  Sew along the edge of the ribbing.  I do not have a serger ( although that would be sooooo awesome), so I used one of my decorative stitches that sort of looks serger-ish.  I would probably use a straight stitch in the futre---keep it simple:)

Repeat these steps for the other shirt piece.  Then trim the ribbing to match up to the edges of the shirt pieces.
Now here is what I did to make the applique....
I wanted to make an applique similar to this Carters pajama shirt.

I traced a glass onto an old white t-shirt for the gumball machine.
I freehanded the bottom of the gumball machine.  For the little top part I traced the glass again to get the rounded edge.  Then I cut off the very tip of the circle.



Next I used a water-soluable glue stick to put the applique pieces onto the front of the shirt. I use glue sticks when I applique on quilts too.  It works great because it is not TOO sticky---if you mess up you can pull it right off.  I would glue down the base and then the circle---then sew around the circle applique on your sewing machine.  Then sew around the base. Then glue on the top part and sew around it.  I did it in another order and my applique sewing looks a little wonky.
Now you should have this.  Getting cuter right????

Not quite as cute as my little helper, but not much is:)  She was decorating some freezer paper---I had thought I would use freezer paper and paint a design on the shirt, but changed my mind---that would be cute though.  ANYWAY....back to making the shirt.
NOW BACK TO THE SHIRT DIRECTIONS!!!
Now you will want to measure the straps on a different tank or measure your child in order to cut the sleeve ribbing.  Mine were about 9 inches long.
Ok---now to hook the front and back of the shirt together.  Take your front shirt piece and pin your ribbing onto the sleeve holes---just like you did on the top.

Then attach it to the BACK shirt piece also.  You want the ribbing attached to the WRONG side of both pieces.  I started at the bottom of one sleeve---pinned until the neck hole.  Then started at the bottom of the back sleeve---and pinned up the the neck hole.  The part in the middle will be the strap.  Sew the ribbing on---just like you did on the neck hole.  I sewed from the bottom of the sleeve to the neck hole---picked up my needle and then started at the other neck hole and continued to the bottom of the sleeve.
Then flip the ribbing over to the right side of the shirt pieces and pin it.  Sew your ribbing onto the right side of the shirt---just like you did before. I used a straight stitch along the edge---you have to sew ALL the way along the edge so that you sew the two raw edges of ribbing together on the strap.
Now pin your side seams together and sew the two pieces of shirt together---I used a 1/4 seam allowance. Make sure you match up the ribbing on the sleeve and the bottom hem (I did not do great at this and it looks a little wonky along the bottom).
Then I sewed on my button-gumballs AND.....
Guess what????  Now you have a super cute little tank---I know that was a lot of steps, but pretty simple right???
A certain little someone liked it!!! 
If you happen to make one---let me know how these directions read out (good, murky, ridiculous).  I would love to hear feedback on this ORRRRR you could send me some pictures of some cute tanks.  How fun would that be???  Happy Summery Weather Everyone!!!!

6 comments:

Leslie said...

That turned out darling! I have had all the supplies on hand for awhile to make a gumball machine shirt and I keep putting it off! I am definitely going to make it after seeing how cute yours turned out! Thanks for linking up to Hoo's got talent!

Andrea @ TheTrainToCrazy said...

That is so cute! Love that style of tank on little girls!

Jen said...

Adorable shirt. I don't think I am advanced enough to pull that off, but it is so cute!

Melanie said...

cute! I had put down my gumball shirt project to browse some blogs, and found this cute tank! I love the wide ribbing. I need to try it out :)

Jill from Women Who Do It All said...

Very cute! I'm featuring this :)

janimal said...

Oh I love T Shirt refashions! Very Very cute. The directions for the neck and arms is similiar to te directions of the Popover Dress (free pattern on Oliver and website) except you use knits and ribbing, which is awesome! I bet if someone didn't have a tank like this to trace, the Popover pattern pieces would work. I am SO going tobuy some ribbing now and do this your way. Thanks!