A Blogcademy inspired T-shirt re-do

I'm good at a lot of things.  I'm a great hairdresser.  I'm an amazing cook.  I'm a spectacular wife. I'm crafty.  I love to teach people things. I'm bad at one thing:  blogging.  I've started several; they're out there floating in the World Wide Web.  I always have the best intentions but always have too much going on.  However, this time around, things need to get real.  I'm confident that I can write good content but I'm pretty lost, and frankly, scared.  I know that the others that I have started in the past probably look bad and I want to look GOOD, I need to look good.  I've started this new business and I NEED it to replace the lost income from cutting back my schedule as a hairdresser because of health problems.  At this point I'm smart enough to realize that I need help.  I need to focus, I need inspiration and I need some tough love. I'm pushing 40 (I know, right!) at this point and I know that watching YouTube videos and reading The Complete Idiot's Guide to Creating a Webpage and Blog isn't going to help me.  I need real people around me struggling with the same issues, I need real people telling me, in a hands on way, what to do.  I need Kat, Shauna and Gala in Chicago on May 17-18 to Headmistress my ass into shape.

I want to win this scholarship to The Blogcademy so bad I can taste it.  I had every intention of just paying my way to go.  Nothing could stand in my way!  I was going to be there even if I had to sell my kidney, or something.  Well, we all know, shit happens, and between a new refrigerator and my decreased schedule at the salon I just couldn't come up with the money.  Now it's right around the corner and my only hope of going is this free ride, so my obsession has changed from what I could sell, pawn or do to earn the money, to coming up with a creative idea for this post.  I was considering the tattoo idea but then I saw that someone already did that (I swear I'll get one if I win).  I have asked my husband what I should do so many times that I think if he hears "The Blogcademy" come out of my mouth one more time he'll divorce me (just wait till I get back and can't stop talking about it!).  Yesterday was the day: the day that I was going to come up with a grand idea, and I thought that I should wear something motivational and decided that I needed a Blogcademy inspired outfit.  I dug through my closet and found my favorite grey skirt, a perfectly colored tank but that was all she wrote.  I needed something over the tank, I needed something white, then I spied a pile of the hubby's discarded undershirts and that's when it came to me, I'll make my own damn shirt!

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So a men's large discarded undershirt never looks great on us ladies, but if you have a pair of decent scissors and a little bit of time, that can all change.  This was supposed to be a no-sew project but I kinda messed up and had to use my sewing machine to add some darts, if you learn from my mistake, you can complete this without it.

You'll need:

-An old t-shirt, preferably plain

-Sharp scissors

-Water soluble marking pen

-Slide ruler (a regular ruler will work fine too)

 

I knew that I wanted the finished project to be shorter in the front and longer in the back.  I put the shirt on and stood in front of the mirror to figure out where I wanted to start cutting.  Using a water soluble pen (found in any craft or quilt shop) I marked the shortest spot.

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I found my bellybutton and then decided how far below that I wanted it to be.   I won't be wearing this shirt without a shirt underneath, but I wanted it to be short enough for the tank to show.  Remember, my tank was the perfect color!  I then took the shirt off and laid it flat on my table, with my starting point marked. Now, I needed to mark the sides so that it would have a nice and even slope to the back.

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Using a handy slide ruler (also found in any craft or quilt shop) I measured where I wanted the length to be on the sides, leaving myself a little room so that it would be longer in the back.  I measured up to the same spot on the other side and using the back hem as the reference point on the back, now I had my shirt ready to cut.

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I basically connected the marks that I had made, adding a nice curve so it wouldn't be too blocky.  I did the same in the back, as I said, using the hem on the back as my longest point.  Now I was ready to tackle the collar.  Now, this is where I screwed up, but I will show you how to fix it.  This way you have two ways to learn from my mistake: either don't make it, or use the fix that I did.  I thought that I wanted the neck to be as wide as I could get it but I was mistaken.  I have made similar shirts many times before, but I guess that I forgot that I was using a men's large this time around, so when I cut the neck as wide as I could so it was WAY too big.  Don't get me wrong, I love the off one shoulder look, but this was just out of control.  My suggestion is this, if using a men's shirt, leave yourself some of the existing fabric between the collar and the shoulder seam, then you can eliminate the sewing step.  You can always cut more later if you want to go wider.

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Using my handy side ruler, marking pen and using the sleeve seam as my starting point, I marked where I wanted to start cutting.  The bottom of the existing collar was my reference point in the center of the shirt.  Now, instead of trying to make both sides even, after cutting one side by just connecting the dots that I had made, I just folded the shirt in half and used that as my guide.

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After I made the collar cut I tried the shirt on for size and realized that I had messed up.  If, like me, you DID cut too wide to begin with, have no fear! Here is my quick fix for even novice seamstresses: I decided to add two darts to make the neck hole a little smaller. It still falls off one shoulder, but not off both, which is a good thing.  I needed to leave the middle clean and clear for the embellishment that I was going to add later. I just eyeballed it and tucked and pinned the darts in place while I had the shirt on.

Extra step sad face.

Extra step sad face.

I carefully removed the shirt and took it over to the sewing machine.  The best piece of advice I can give you when sewing on stretch knit fabric is get the Stretch needles, it makes a world of difference.

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When I took the shirt off, I laid it flat and measured so that both of my darts were the same length and added some extra pins so that it wouldn't move while I was sewing.

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The two things that I was paying special attention to was making sure that they were the same length  (like I said I measured them).  The other thing was making sure that the top matched up.  I just sewed them on the top, getting as close to the fold as I could.

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After I got that finished, I tried it on again just to make sure that my fix had worked.  It made a world of difference!

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Back to the regular steps if you didn’t have to stop to sew your neck!  Next up is the sleeves, and they are super simple.  I just wanted to add a little more shape to them so I marked, measured and cut one sleeve then folded the shirt in half lengthwise and cut the other so they would match.

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Now for the embellishment.  I was originally thinking I'd put a "B" for The Blogcademy, obviously.  Then I realized that wouldn't work cause of the holes in the "B" so I decided to go for a diamond that I saw on Pinterest.  Since I was working with a smaller space than the Pinterest post, right between the two darts, I scaled it down.  I sketched out the design on paper and then I used my trusty slide ruler and marking pen to mark out the diamond on the shirt.

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 Just a tip, the shirt material will roll a little after you cut it so leave yourself a little more room between the triangles, for instance, I left 1/2", that way it has some room to roll.  Once you have it marked you're ready to cut out the triangles and your diamond will show whatever is underneath.  I was so happy to be done and have this brand new, awesome shirt.  I am so ready to wear it on the first day of the Chicago session and show it off to all the ladies and gents there with me!

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Thanks for taking the time to read this post and thanks to the lovely ladies over at The Blogcademy for considering me for the scholarship.  I promise, even if I don't get to go, this will not be the only blog post that I do.  Instead I will be sharing some of the great things that we have lined up at Hip Marry to help you have the wedding or event of your dreams.  

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