I had so much fun with my last upcycled bleach t-shirt makeover that I decided to do it again.
I was inspired by this project. I love the idea of using song lyrics for the bleach design. My problem was which song to choose. So I settled on some of my favorite lines from some of my favorite songs which all center around the theme of Carpe Diem (seize the day in latin.)
Shall we get started?
I must apologize for this first picture which is horribly out of focus but unfortunately it is the only photo I had of the shirt in the beginning. Not sure how that happened. Oh well.
At least you can get the general idea. It was a men's basic t-shirt with grey trim a few flaws.
Quite a few flaws.
You know I like a challenge. :-)
I had this red shirt that I wanted to use for a pattern. It fit easily inside the men's t-shirt so I decided it would probably work. Most of the flaws pictured above only showed on the outside of the shirt so I decided early on to flip the garment inside out for my new t-shirt.
Step 1 - Deconstruct shirt by cutting off collar and sleeves and by opening sleeve seams and garment side seams. Leave shoulder seams intact.
Step 2 - Fold and pin the shoulder seams and armholes of the front of garment together. In my case I had a size label screen printed on the inside back of the old t-shirt which turn out to be out the outside of my new shirt so not only did I turn the garment inside out I turned the back into the front.
Are you completely confused yet? Maybe this next photo will help clear things up. What I am trying to accomplish in this next step is cutting the front neckline. So I have folded and pinned my shirt to be cut and then I make the same fold on my "pattern" shirt and lay it in place on top of the shirt I am going to cut.
Step 3 - Cut the neckline curve and stay stitch around entire neckline. As you can see the screen printed label is cut out and no longer a concern.
Step 4 -To cut the side seams of the garment fold and pin the shoulder seams as in step 2. Let fold down the center of the garment be determined by the shoulder seam. The garment should be smooth and lay flat without any wrinkles. Ideally the side seams would line up too but knit has tendency to twist when it is cut and sewn particularly at a factory level where many units are being cut at the same time. You can see from the picture below that the side seams do not match up at all but the pattern shirt still fits and the excess will be trimmed away. The new shirt should hang straight off the shoulder seams when sewn back together. Lay the folded pattern shirt on top of the folded front piece.
Step 5 - Cut the bottom and side seam allowing for seam allowances.
Step 6 - Use a disappearing marking pen to mark the top and bottom of the armhole seam.
Step 7 - Draw the armhole curve from point to point.
Step 8 - Cut along curve adding a seam allowance.
Step 9 - To cut the back sides and armhole, fold the back in half and keep the shoulder seam pinned together. At the shoulder seam fold the folded front on top of the folded back (again the side seam may not match up.) Just make sure the garment is smooth and flat.
Step 10 - Cut the bottom hem, the side seam and the armhole of the back matching the front.
Step 11 - Pin side seams with wrong sides together and stitch.
Step 12 -To make the sleeves, measure shirt pattern from point A to point B and from point B to point C.
Step 13 - This might be a little confusing but I wanted to keep the grey trim on the sleeve and the bottom hem so I cut it off and made the sleeve hems smaller to equal the B to C measurement from the pattern shirt and then cut off the bottom of the sleeve so the longest distance from the crown of the sleeve to the bottom equaled the measurement of the pattern shirt from point A to point B. Then I stitched with a basting stitch on the top and the bottom of the sleeve to make the gathers and sewed the sleeves back together.
Step 14 - Baste everything together. Baste grey cuffs to bottoms of sleeve gathering as needed. Baste sleeves in place gathering as needed. Baste grey bottom trim in place at hem. I left the raw edges of the trim out since they were serged and just basted them on top of the t-shirt pieces. I needed a longer piece of gray for my new larger neck line so I used a hem piece from another shirt that is part of my 20 Upcycled t-shirts challenge. Once it was all based together it looked like this.
Step 15 - Machine sew together replacing all basting stitch. I actually did this step last because I was afraid that I might ruin the shirt when I did the bleaching.
Step 16 - I recommend having a sketch or template for the lay out of your design before you begin. This is mine.
Step 17 - Use the scraps of fabric to practice your technique and design. I used actual bleach (not a bleach pen) and several different sized paint brushes. There are a few other tips for bleaching technique on my first project.
Step 18 - I also recommend doing a mock layout on the actual shirt to see how it all fits on the actual shirt. Once you have practiced all of your text you can cut it apart and lay it out on the shirt. I used a piece of yarn to roughly define the shape and space for the butterfly.
Step 19 - At some point you just have to dive in and do it. I left the layout in place and just removed a piece at a time as I worked. I also used a ruler to help keep my writing straight.
Step 20 - Carrry on. Work slowly and carfully.