This tee shirt was very large, but I loved the print on the front. I cut away the sleeves to see what I was left with, and put it aside for later.
This is risky for me - later can extend for years. However, I had a particular project that required a small scale cheerleader's pompom (don't ask) so I tried to make it a sample out of some ribbon left over from something else. Didn't work. But when I looked again, I realised it would look pretty cool as a fringe, and extended it as much as I could. Then the light dawned, and I remembered the tee shirt, which was the same sort of yellow. Fished around a bit, found it under a pair of winter trousers that needed hemming back in April (yep, cold legs again this year), and took it back to the machine with scissors and a pink zip.
Without a plan, and with only 30 minutes until I had to pick up the kids, I dived in. First I sewed the fringe around one side of the neck. Nice, but lopsided. No more fringe, and I didn't want it symmetrical anyway, so I cut the other shoulder seam open, twisted the front and restitched it. The seam looked messy, so I stitched some leftover ribbon over it. I looped the ribbon back underneath at the outer edge, with the thought that I could add a tassel or something later.
Then I thought it looked shapeless. Remembering Trinny and Susannah's advice that ruching can hide wobbly tummies, I pleated one side roughly..... and ran out of bobbin thread. Darn. So I fished around in my bobbin box, and found a salmon coloured thread already wound and loaded it. I figured the contrast colour would add a nice, subtle touch, while relating to the touch of pink in the print. I had way too little time for neat topstitching, so I sewed back and forth over the pleating to hold it. Anyhow, the freeform stitching relates to the hand drawn lines of the hair in the print. I turned under the armhole edges and stitched roughly around several times, with the bobbin thread showing. It's topstitching, but not as we know it.
It still looked a little unbalanced. I grabbed a short chunky zip in pink, and slashed the side seam open for about twice as long as the zip. Then I pleated and bunched it, and sewed the zip on roughly either side, making sure to tuck the ends of the tee under neatly. If I'm playing with deconstructivism (oops, my inner philosophy nerd is showing), I like to keep some details neat, to show that it's deliberate, not that I don't know how to sew. I don't want the unfinished look to be a justification for poor craftsmanship.
Almost perfect, but a bit baggy through the back. It made me look barrel shaped. I figure the small of my back is one part that doesn't put on weight, I should emphasise it, so I grabbed a bunch of fabric right there, took the top off again and stitched exactly what I'd grabbed. These are not neat pleats, at all, but they do the trick and make the back a bit more interesting.
Phew, 35 minutes, kids were waiting patiently outside the office.