I've made Leyla a gorgeous new top out of two tshirts she couldnt really wear. The pink stripy one I just didnt like how it looked on when she wore it by itself. The other one was short sleeved so she rarely wore it without the first tshirt underneath anyways because its just too cold here to wear short sleeved. It was also just about barely covering her big toddler belly so I decided I may aswell take both of them and make them into one longer tshirt :)
From tshirt 1 (pink stripy), I cut a bottom panel. I just cut the entire bottom of the tshirt off in a big loop, I made it 3" tall but I forgot to add seam allowance. I also had to cut the hem off as it was wonky so shouldve really cut 4.25" to account for seam allowance on the top of the tube and a hem on the bottom. My bad. I then took the sleeves and cut them off right under the armpit, I did this for both sides. They ended up 8" long which wasnt really long enough, I measured against another tshirt that fits her well and it was too short by about 2.5" so I added a ruffle on the end. To get the ruffle, I cut another 4" off the bottom of the tshirt, all the way round so I ended up with another big loop, then I cut the sides off to give me two long pieces, roughly 1.5 times the size of the sleeves. This includes 1/2" for bottom hem and 1/2" for top hem. From the bit I had left, I cut off the neck ribbing and the sleeves to use at another time. Waste not, want not! :P
Then I took tshirt 2, the one I was adding to, and laid everything out where it should end up to get a good idea of how it would look and to make sure I had all of the pieces cut right. It turned out I needed to cut a tiny bit of each sleeve to make them fit and I also had to take maybe 1" off the width of my bottom tube to make it the same size as tshirt 2. I didnt change the ruffles since you can make those any size you need to. Make sure when youre cutting that you add a 1/4" seam allowance otherwise theyll end up too small.
I took my bottom tube and made a new seam to replace the one I'd just trimmed off. I did a straight stitch then overlocked it but if you dont have an overlocker you can do a zigzag next to the straight stitch to make the seam stronger. I stitched the sleeves up in the same way but then when I came to do the ruffle I had to unpick it all again so I wouldnt advise you do the sleeves just yet :facepalm:
I then serged the bottom hem of the bottom panel and folded over a skinny hem, I wouldve normally done a bigger hem to make it more professional looking but as I cut it too small I had to make do. I pinned the bottom panel all around the bottom of tshirt 2, matching tshirt 2's hemline to the top of my panel to make sure it was even and that I caught the material underneath as I wanted to sew blind to make sure it looked nice on the outside. I stitched two rows around the hem, using a small zigzag to make it more stretchy. It didnt turn out as long as I wanted it, must remember next time to add seam allowances!!!
Next I made my ruffles. I took my long pieces I'd cut from the body of tshirt1 and made a 1/2" hem on the top and bottom of each piece. I didnt bother to do the short edges since they end up inside the sleeve seams anyways. I was going to gather them to make the ruffles but after stitching my long stitch and carefully pulling each side to make ruffles I felt like I was going mad trying to get them to lay nicely on my sleeve piece. So I gave in, unpicked my line of stitching and broke out the elastic thread instead. I stitched one long line of stitches with my elastic thread in my bobbin, along the top edge of my ruffle. I didn’t backstitch at the beginning or end and after I’d wet and steamed my shirring, I gathered it a bit more myself by pulling the elastic thread to get it to the exact shape I wanted. I had to play around a bit with my tension to get it just right so always practice on a spare piece of tshirt first. I lost count of the amount of times I had to unpick and try again :facepalm:
Then I went onto the sleeves. Having unpicked them, I laid them flat, arranged and pinned my ruffle where I wanted it to sit and then stitched them on. I then decided I wanted to make some little patches for the elbows so I made two little hearts and sewed them on using a technique that I saw on Clutter Punk. It turned out really nice, I love the look. I then folded the sleeves up, right sides together and stitched the long edge. When I got to the ruffle, I angled the stitches to make more of a bell shape for the ruffles. If I'd thought on, I wouldnt have hemmed the bottom of the ruffle until after I'd sewn the sleeves up because the inside stitching is pretty obvious at the end of the ruffle, it really bothers me haha. Must remember next time. Hems last!
To stitch them onto tshirt 2’s sleeves, I used exactly the same principle as stitching the bottom panel on. Pinned all around, lining up to the hemline already on the sleeves, and stitched two rows of small zigzag to account for stretch. As the armhole and the top of my sleeve piece were very slightly different sizes, I first pinned the side seams together, then the opposite side of that seam, then the two points inbetween those pins. I very very slightly stretched my pieces to fit as i stitched. Be careful though, you dont want to stretch too much or your knit will curl. I also had to stitch them on through the neck of the tshirt. It’s a tight squeeze but just go slowly and you should be alright.