I did very little sewing during last week, as I have been waiting in anxiety for my new (well, secondhand) sewing machine I purchased from Ebay to return from the local sewing machine repair guy. It was a machine made by a famous Swiss company and it was the last mechanical model they ever made…I can’t keep it no more, it is a Bernina 1008! Hooray!
The machine needs quite a bit of works to be done in oder to return it to full working condition – new foot pedal (so expensive, sigh…), new bobbin case, new press foot, new light bulb and a couple of other parts, overall it will cost me around £200 plus some extra to buy the Bernina feet (as the machine does not come with any). BUT, Bernina is Bernina and I bought it rather cheaply so it is still a pretty amazing deal. I have been sewing on an entry level Toyota (yes, they do make S/M beside cars) which has served me well but it is the time to upgrade. I am hoping the new machine will improve my sewing skills from “happy-go-lucky” home sewing to couture sewing (just kidding, no machine can really do that) and serve me many years to come.
While I was waiting, I picked up a small project to work on during the weekend – refashioning an old T-shirt. In this blog I have enunciated my love to Megan Nielsen’s Breakwater collection, so far I have owned the Tania Culottes (blogged here), the Cascade Skirt and the Crescent Top (yet to be blogged). There was another pattern that intrigued me which is the Briar top. The tin says “The stylish alternative to a basic t-shirt or sweater. A high scooped front hem, & low curved back hem combine to create an incredibly flattering silhouette & comfortable fit”. I didn’t buy it, because, once you got the concept, it is pretty easy to do it w/o a pattern. Hope Megan will not mind…
I owned an Uniqlo Cotton T-Shirt with bird print which is way big and too long for me, it also has a V neck which I hated. The feel and print were so lovely that I couldn’t bring myself to toss it. I feel it’s feasible to convert it to a cropped version of Briar Top due to the length of the hems. The transformation was not that breathtaking but definitely makes me wanting to wear it more.
The original Tshirt looks “meh” on my Gladys and the re-fashioned one looks almost passable in a city pub!
So here is what I did
1. Removed the neckband by a seam ripper (you dont have to do it all the way, just 3/4 of it at the front and sides), reshaped the neckline and reattached the band with my overlocker. This is probably the most onerous part of the whole process. I also needed to redo the joint seam of the band (2 secs). You will find the band a tad shorter than the circumference of the neckline due to the now round shape of neckline so you need to stretch it slightly when you sew. I used clover clips instead of pins to hold the band in place at strategic points (being the front, and the side seams). Do you know sewing over your pins present huge hazards such as breaking your machine and flying broken needles towards your eyes? I just found out the other day and was absolutely horrified as I have been doing it since the first day I sewed. Not have to worry about breaking needles flying to my eyes is so much better. Ladies, never sew over pin!
2 . Folded the shirt at the centre, aligned the left side seam with right one, drawed a double curve continuing from the front to the back, let the highest point to be the centre of back hem and the lowest point at the front centre (French curve and water soluble pen are your best friends). I then opened the shirt up to check the shape and adjust the curve before cutting.
3. Once I was happy, I then cut the extra pits off from the front hem and back hem.
4. Re-hemed the front and back. I turned about 3/8 inches up and used a simple zigzag stitch to hem but twin needle would be nicer.
5. Cut a pocket shape from the left-over fabric which was cut-off from the front hem. I utilised the original hem line as the new pocket edge, which saved me some time to recreate a new edge. This mean the bird pattern on the pocket will be up-side down OH WELL. Ah cannae be arsed!
6. Use pins or fabric glue to attach the pocket to the shirt front and try it on to determine the best location. I used the fabric glue as it is quicker and less likely to get pinched at the boob area (Ouch!). It is a bit messy though, make sure you do it over some old newspaper.
7. Slowly stitch the pocket to the Tshirt
8. Viola. Admire yourself in the mirror
Leggings: Papercut Ooh-la Leggings; blogged here