Free Patterns & Tutorials

Saturday, 22 August 2015

How to Rework a T Shirt with a Vintage Scarf Front

I have seen some great tops this year (mainly in Monsoon & Oasis) which have scarf fronts & knit backs.  & I have seen lots of photos on Pinterest which say how easy it is to do this yourself.  WRONG!  It isn't so easy, but I'll share with you the stitching problems you are likely to face & how I worked around them.

I chose this old T shirt top (which had chiffon type sleeves) as I haven't worn it in ages.  I always recommend that for your initial upcycling projects you stick to garments which you won't cry over if it all goes drastically wrong!  



1. Cut away the front leaving approx. 1.5cm of the "old" front still attached to the seams, including the neckline.  This results in a sort of "skeleton" front shown below


2. Use the front as a pattern to cut out the scarf top.  Allow 2cm all round for seams & adjustments.  NOTE you may find, as I did, that the original top is not cut "square" & that one side is differently shaped than the other.  I made the mistake of deciding to try to "square" the top up by cutting the new front exactly the same on each side.  This led to issues with the hemline so I would recommend you stick with the shape of the piece you have cut away, even if it seems a bit wonky!!

3. First, I overlocked the neckline (with the new Juki!).  Then I overlocked down each side seam - I figured that a bit like sewing curtains, it would be best to stitch the side seams in the same direction.  I had a bit of an issue with the hem of the original T shirt being a bit "out" due to my cutting as described above but was able to rescue it.


4.  The end result.  And guess what?  It is too small!  I had forgotten that replacing a stretch knit with a satin with no "give" would make the top smaller!!!  Doh.  So learn by my mistakes fellow stitchers xx  (PS Juki overlocker is still a dream, it made absolute mincemeat of the jersey of the T shirt, even where I went over the original thicker seams, it is such a little workhorse).

The more upcycling I do, the more I learn that manufactured garments are not stitched together perfectly, evenly or exactly!  The worst offenders have to be 80s full long floral or patterned skirts - the hems are never ever even so if you are shortening & measure from the hemline you are likely to get a wonky hem.  But I feel it is important to share the disasters as well as the triumphs so that we can all stitch & learn together.