I was asked to help with a workshop a youth group was running locally. The ‘summer camp’ was going to try and combine fashion along with eco-sensibility – by both discussing the negative environmental and social aspects of fast fashion as well as facilitating the attendees to make their own fashion by handing over a fiver and getting them to go to the charity shops and find some clothes that they would wear or upcycle!
I thought I better do some quick sews to show them pieces that can be done with very little sewing and cutting. I found a shirt and tee in the sewing room box (a lot of unsaleable pieces from the attached charity shop end up here so some have holes some have stains….). The big T had some small holes and the design was badly faded, the shirt had a stain to the front.
The front print on this was faded but was not as noticeable on the wrong side – which I used as the right side,
- I cut it up and rough cut a tee-shirt shape from the front and back and shortened the tee shirt
- cut a slight curved arm-scythe. I used one of my own tee’s as a guide.
- I sewed the shoulder seams together
- I trimmed the sleeves into as long a rectangle shape, and joined each to a rectangle made from the front and back trim from the bottom of the tee – with the original hems left intact so they became the finished edge of the new sleeve – I gathered the sleeves and inserted them flat
- and over-locked the sides together and twin needled the neckline and hem.
The hem and neckline were turned over and finished with a twin needle! The sleeves in this are very dramatic, but its a great tee, and I have since tried another with smaller sleeves. The sleeves here were made from the 2 rectangles cut from the bottom of the tee-shirt only.
There are a few upcycles around for this style of gypsy shirt, but I wanted to show shirring as I find it so useful, effective and fast.
So for this I cut the shirt above cuff and placket, and around the neckline (which was just under the yoke of the shirt at the back, and over-locked all edges.
I then did 3 lines of shirring…. which equated to one bobbin full! I later put in some at the hem.
Both took less than an hour each.
The workshop was last week and it was so interesting and so hectic – I did 3 afternoon sessions of about 2.5 hours and it was non-stop. There were 7 attendees and a great mix of ages and fashion styles, and they were all incredibly enthusiastic.
Few had really sewn before and the nice bit about the making were all were happy with making in general and setting a realistic standard (I think sometimes teaching adults to sew is more difficult as some expect to have a store bought finish and feel defeated when it comes out otherwise.) Anyway this was just as well as they all seems to have picked up very tricky fashion fabrics at the charity shops.