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A Girl and Her Dog: Living, Loving, & Enjoying the Little Things

Sewing

DIY T-shirt: Part Two

DIYAngelina OberdanComment

Ready to serge? Ready to wear!

Okay, now you actually have to sew your shirts. I originally aimed to create six shirts; my learning curve meant that I only ended up with four. Not bad if you ask me! 

This article on the 10 Best Beginner's Serger Tips helped me a lot. Most importantly, remember that threading the serger is the most intimidating part; you are going to have to learn to do it sometime so don't procrastinate. Keep the user's manual handy, and don't get frustrated. 

Remember that when you're sergering, you cannot backstitch because it's literally cutting the fabric as it's sewing it. Since pins can get badly (gasp!) caught in the serger and ruin its scissors, I started as close to the seam allowance as possible. That way I knew that the fabric was fully held together and that I could go back and serge in slowly to where I wanted my seam. 

Also, here's the order I went in:

1. Sew the front and the back of the shirt together across the shoulders. This is a good place to start because it makes you feel accomplished quickly. 

2. Then sew the sleeves. These are the worst! You'll get the hang of it, but there will be ripples in the seam as you get used to serging and the fabric and the thread tension. 

3. Sew the side seams. 

I also have a few tricks. I didn't do collars or hems. My shirts were to wear for fun, not to wear for work. All of my stripes are diagonal; that way I don't have to worry about whether they're actually straight or not. I also learned that sometimes it's best to stop when you're happy. If you mess with something too much (especially if your using a serger which is literally cutting your fabric smaller and smaller with each seam), you might ruin the whole project. That being said, about halfway through I went back and redid a lot of the seams on my first few shirts. 

So here's what I ended up with! I only have three pairs of shorts so I chose patterns/colors that would mix/match well with the shorts and my two favorite pairs of sandals! 

Fabric- girlcharlee.com, Shorts- J. Crew Factory, Shoes- Seychelles, Necklace- Bijoux Box. 

Fabric- girlcharlee.com, Shorts- J. Crew Factory, Shoes- Seychelles, Necklace- Loft, Hat- ?. 

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Fabric- girlcharlee.com, Shorts- J. Crew Factory, Shoes- Nine West, Necklace- J. Crew Factory. 

Fabric- girlcharlee.com, Shorts- J. Crew Factory, Shoes- Nine West, Necklace- ?. 

And as you can see, I can easily mix/match these! So I guess now it's time to start thinking about fall colors and patterns! 


DIY T-Shirt: Part One

DIYAngelina OberdanComment

Earlier this summer, I was browsing around Anthropologie, and there were so many fun summer t-shirts that I wanted but didn't want to pay for. Thus began the DIY T-Shirt Project. 

Luckily, I have a wonderful friend, named Karen, who has a serger or overlock machine (and who refuses to be pictured). The machine creates (look at the seam on the inside of your shirt) an inside shirt seam, actually overlocking the stitch around the fabric. And together, Karen and I started a Sewing Night. We invited our friends to join, eat dinner, and drink wine with us while we worked on our sewing projects. 

What You Need to Do Before You Even Start Sewing: 

1. Order fabric and thread

It turns out that knit fabrics are difficult to find! I ordered my fabric from Girl Charlee, and Karen ordered hers from Harts Fabric

Fortunately, thread isn't as difficult to come by, and it's fairly inexpensive; you can order it on Amazon.  

2. Make a pattern from your favorite t-shirt

Once my fabric arrived, I got really excited about sewing, but even when you have your fabric, there's still a lot of prep to do. 

Most importantly, you need a pattern. I used One Little Minute's tutorial to create two t-shirt patterns: one from a basic v-neck J. Crew tee and one from a flowly Anthrologie tee. 

3. Cut your fabric 

Make sure that you have good scissors for this! One tip I learned that helps a lot is to spread out your spare change on top of the tracing paper and fabric to hold the pattern in place. 

And, of course, you need to make sure you're gracious to your host if you aren't using your own serger. Stock up on his/her favorite variety of wine.