Working On More Clothes For Me

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A ‘Designer’ Shirt


A while ago I showeď you a catchup post with a wrap around skirt I’d made last summer, to wear when doing my little bit of gardening. I’ve got an old, warm, jacket I wear out to the garden when it is cold, but it is a little bit too warm to wear when weeding or watering my pots, etc., in the summer. But, because I have a bad reaction to insect bites, I like to cover up as much as I can if I’m going to sitting out and working in the garden.

So this year I decided to buy a lightweight denim shirt for myself.

I don’t know what it is with clothes manufacturers, but when making clothes in larger sizes the sleeves are never wide enough to be comfortable over the upper arm or to button at the cuff. It’s like the manufacturers have a job lot of sleeves and then use them in several different sizes of the same garment. The shirt that arrived was nice and loose around the body, which is what I’d expect having bought the correct size for me, but the width of the sleeves were a smige too narrow so, although the shirt went on me fine, the sleeves were a bit too tight to be comfortable when weeding my pots, etc.

So, rather than go throught the whole busines of packing it up and sending it back, I decided to have a play with it and add a little bit of material to make the sleeves more comfortable.

Rather than going for denim material I decided to go bright and use some more of the bright red material with white stars that I’d used to make myself a pair of shorts – here.

I got out my 2.5 inch AccuQuilt strip cutter and cut two strips from the material.  I then set to unpicking the seam of the sleeve – then I thought why not go the whole hog and unpick the whole seam from wrist down to the hem.  Make it a real ‘designer’ shirt. I know the body wad already quite loose and comfortable enough for me to work in, but a little extra wouldn’t make it too huge.

So I unpicked both seams from wrist to hem!

Then prayed that my idea would actually work in reality!

So it was time to put my sewing machine to use and sew a strip into each opened seam.

And it worked!  The sewing in was a straightforward job. After doing the straight stitching I went over the four new seams with a sort of overlocking stitch to give the sewing added strength and stop the two materials fraying too badly.

This is what the strip looks like when inserted in the seam.

It was a little cifficult to get the stripes to show on the sleeves when hanging therefore I decided to tuck th cuffs into the neck so this is the whole shirt hanging up.

Then I had another idea!

What if I jazzed it up a bit more by screen printing something on the pockets, perhaps something in red to match the inserted material.

I don’t have a huge amount of screens for printing with, but in the end decided on a floral wreath for one pocket and a letter G stamp using the same ink and the stamping adapter plate that fits in the Screen Sensation frame on the other pocket.

It was a bit of a fiddle getting the positioning of the screen right for the pocket, and the fact that the pocket was sewn onto the shirt giving a raised area didn’t make it an easy task, but I didn’t want to unpick the pockets to do the printing and then have to sew them back on again. (If I’d been prepared to do that I’d have chosen to applique a flower of something in the same material as the stripe onto the pocket rather than screen printing.)

I don’t think it’s perfect with me, but it’s quite good enough for me to have a “designer” shirt to garden in.

This is how the additions to the pockets look. looks in the end.


So that’s it for today. I’m working on a few more different projects at the moment, so expect to see those appearing on my blog in the not too distant future.


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You can see the cards I’ve made using design sheets from CUP in my “Crafter Showcase Area” on – here
(Just scroll down past the top boxes to see the cards.)

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