Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Parade of Projects Part 2. Leggings from a T-shirt.

On the first day of my first sewing class, the instructor had us all introduce ourselves by stating how long we've been sewing, what kind of machine we had and what we liked to sew.

I likened myself to a helpless infant in terms of my sewing experience, told them I had the machine my mother in law (who knows sewing) thought was a good idea and that I really wanted to be able to sew so that I could do a lot of "repurposing".

That got a squeal out of my jolly, plump instructor.

"Ooooo isn't that sweet! These modern girls these days with their new sewing ideas.. what did you say it was called dear? Repurpo....?"

Uh... re-purposing. It's when you take old things you don't use anymore and turn them into something new that you will use. Kind of like the the other three "R" (reduce, reuse recycle)." I smiled.

I think at that point she wanted to pat my head (and perhaps if I'm really honest, I wanted her to too.)
But she clapped her hands to her ample bosom and sighed,

"oooooh so sweet and modern, these girls these days"

I kept thinking to myself, "Modern?" I thought that was a pretty old-fashioned idea, borne out the generations before us who "repurposed" so many of their things simply because they had to. It wasn't trendy it was thrifty. And back then I guess thrifty was in.... very very in.

But I really do get caught up in the thrill of what I like to call "Upcycling". I love creating new things out of old things and putting my twist on them but I especially love when I can turn something formerly unnattractive into something cute and useful.
It makes me want to clap my hands to my not so ample bosom and give some "Ooooohs" of my own.

Here's how I "upcycled" or "repurposed" a grotey old T-shirt from my father in law into some leggings for Ava Grace.

I started with this free "Mining Expo" shirt from who knows when.... I think it came from some special even Opa had to attend as a manager in his days at Syncrude Oil.... Mining rescue Expo maybe... 1992???? I'm just guessing... and I digress....

I felt like telling the shirt not to worry. Help had in deed arrived.... in the form of my scissors...

I used this patter my mother in law gave me. ( I believe it is discontinued, sorry) I used the size 4 pattern and traced it onto the black T-shirt placed right side out.
NOTE: To hide the big blue logo on the back of the t-shirt I decided to make the right side of my leggings the wrong side of the T-shirt. So I traced it on the T-shirt lying right side out.

I cute out my two pieces from the pattern and sewed up the inside seam of the legs. I placed one leg inside the other (right sides together) and matched up the seams of the crotch and sewed those together with a serge stitch as well.

I flipped the top over by about 2 or 3 inches and pressed it down and then folded it under again at about 1.5 inches. to make a casing for elastic. I stitched this down with a small zig zag stitch and threaded a piece of elastic through the casing. I stitched my elastic closed and then closed the casing and left the leg cuffs unfinished with the hem from the original bottom of the T-shirt. It kind of looks edgy and cute.

Anyway, it looks a whole sight better than a giant retro Syncrude T-shirt... so "upcycled" it is!

Ooooohhh How sweet and modern is that?!

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