A friend of mine teaches ballet to students at our local university, and they bought her this hooded sweatshirt and a black tee shirt with ballet logos. She appreciated the thought, but wanted to know if I could alter them for her. She wanted the hoodie to open down the front, and the t-shirt more her style in some way. Now I’m no Gianni, but it was an opportunity to play!
I started with the hoodie. I unpicked the seam and seperated the overlapping hood sections, then I cut it open straight up the middle and overlocked (serged) the raw edges. I measured and bought a 24″ seperating navy blue zipper. My only experience of fitting one of these was when I made my Quattro Bag (www.studiokatdesigns.com) but I felt confident! I am an ex-zipperphobe!
I lined the bottom of the zipper up with the hem and ran the excess up the seam with the hood and pinned everything in place I sewed the zipper in, then sewed across rejoining the hood, and then cut off the excess zipper. I hand stitched the end of the tape down to make sure it lay flat. (One side worked better than the other, as the hood had overlapped at the front and one side was bigger).
I used my beloved walking foot (Even-Feed foot) for all the stitching, including inserting the zipper. My Janome can swing the needle to one side or the other to get the needle up close and still keep the fabric firmly under the foot . Here it is top-stitching the front after the zipper was in place.
Here it is with the zipper installed on one side, the end tucked into the seam with the hood. I reconnected the other side of the zipper and pinned it in place then seperated it and stitched it in the same way.
The join to the hood was messy, and a bit lumpy. I tried living with it, but I kept coming back to it. Eventually I looked through my collection of braids and trims.
I cut these daisy shapes off and hand stitched them over all that mess. Now I’m happier!
Here it is, finished. I think she will be happy with that. On to the T-shirt challenge!
The t-shirt was an XL square – very unflattering. It had a ballet logo on the front, so I couldn’t cut it open like I had the hoodie. I decided to turn it around so that the logo was on the back, and turn it into a waistcoat, (like my recycled denim one) and add pockets. I like pockets.
I started by cutting off the sleeves (which I will use to make the pockets). I cut the new shape armholes, neckline and front using the waistcoat pattern pieces. I’m keeping the original hem. I used my overlocker to tidy up all the new cut edges.
I stitched the shoulders together, then pressed them open and top-stitched them down. I went round the armholes turning under 1/4″ and stitching it down. It looks rather grey here, but it is black!
I made a jersey facing by pieceing together bits cut from a blue tee shirt, added some fusible interfacing and used the overlocker to neaten the outside edges. Then I attached it to the neckline with the overlocker, turned it right side out and pressed it.
I fitted my new twin universal needles to do double row topstitching. I’ve been itching to try this since I bought the twins! On my Janome I have to fit my spare spool holder to hold the second reel, then thread them both together, dividing them just above the needles.
I top stitched the facing next to the neckline, and then again near the edge of the facing. I didn’t want to go over the logo, so that was the outer limit. It looks great!
Next I got on with the pockets. I made them from the sleeves of both the black and blue tee shirts, using the hemmed edges as the top. I sewed them right sides together round the other 3 sides with the overlocker, then turned them right side out and pressed them.
I used the twin needles to topstitch across the top of the pocket, closing the opening. Then used them to sew the pockets to the waistcoat. I really like the effect!
Finished. Here it is from the front, with just a flash of colour round the pockets. Loose and casual. I love being able to put my hands in my pockets. However, I am feeling guilty about not putting a facing round the armholes. There simply wasn’t enough of the blue tee shirt to do everything, so now I’m going to pick up some black bias binding and see if I can use that instead.
I didn’t want to unpick the original stitching, so I hand stitched the binding to that row of stitching. Then I flipped it over and topstitched alongside the first row.
I used my Chaco chalk pen to run a line down where I could feel the edge of the binding on the outside. Then fitted my twin needles and stitched the other side down on the outside. Now it appears to have the same two rows of twin stitching as I gave the facing. Hopefully it will act as stay tape and stop it pulling out of shape.
Here I am modelling it. I did say I like having my hands in my pockets! I hope she likes the new look, and her students approve of the makeover!
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