Wednesday, August 26, 2009

T-Shirt to Pants - Reconstruction Tutorial

I have been cleaning out my shed/studio for a while, sorting out my stash and all my other hobbies, trying to fit everything into the one space... my husband thinks he got the raw end of the deal... anyway, more about that later.
I came across a t-shirt I couldn't bear to throw out, but know I will never wear again. But I have a 2 year old, and I thought she could do with a new pair of light weight pants.
So today I tried my first t-shirt reconstruction. I took photos as I went to - hoping it would all work out wonderful, and I must say I was quite pleased with the results! Here are the before and after shots:

Here is the basics on how to do it (this took me about 40mins - which included some playdough time):

1) Choose your shirt, and your pattern. Lay out your shirt nice and flat, and position your pattern on the shirt. The shirt I used was one of those shirts that never lay flat with the side seams, or the seams twist around the shirt if you hang it from the shoulders or arm pits (you'll see more on this later).

2) Pin & cut out your pattern. (I use a rotary cutter, as I find this a bit quicker.) The pattern I am using is just one piece. There are no side seams on these pants which makes them quick and easy to make, and makes them a wide leg.

3) Put the 'right' sides together. An easy way to do this is slide the top piece to the side. The slide the bottom one onto the top one - don't flip either of them as you do this. (Or, if you thought about it before you started just turn your t-shirt inside out before you start and skip this step!)

4) Sew to centre front (F) and centre back (B) seams. For those not used to sewing pants these marked on the photo below:

5) Now you need to sew the inside leg seam. Open out the pants so far, aligning the bottom of the centre front & centre back seams. Sorry I didn't take a photo of this. Sew from the bottom on one leg, over the crotch (lay the two centre seams opposite directions), and down the other leg. If you open up the pants and have a look at the crotch point it should look like the above photo (I have overlocked/serged & done a straight stitch on the seams, but just overlocking/serging or even a zigzag would be fine). See the extra seam in white in the top right 'square' - this was actually the original side seam from the shirt that had twisted around the back.

6) Overlock/serge around the top to neaten it up. Then turn over a casing to suit your elastic (and your original pattern!). I turned over about 1", and use 20mm (3/4") elastic. Sew this but remember to keep a little open to thread your elastic! (I leave my gap near the centre back seam.) Use a safety pin to thread the elastic, sew the elastic together (make sure you don't twist it!), and then close the gap.
Ta Da!! If you want you can also sew a hem, but I was after a 'raw' finish.
My little one didn't want to try them on today...maybe tomorrow.

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