Monday, July 20, 2009

the little cami that could

So, that little visit to Old Lucketts Store wasn't just a day trip, it was actually the first leg of a family vacation. We visited Leesburg, Hershey, PA, and Lancaster and Adamstown, PA. Our vacation included stops at outlet centers, junk shops, Hershey Park, Chocolate World, antique malls, and a huge outdoor flea market. I'll fill you in on my second hand finds tomorrow, but today I want to show you a little project my mom, sister, and I worked on last week.

This was taken right after my sister and I finished our second ride on the Trailblazer coaster at Hershey Park. Due to this we are 1. sweaty and 2. rumpled. Please focus only on the cute little cami tops Hannah and I are sporting that used to be XL men's dress shirts.

A little view of the back.
I can't show you step-by-step how we made these because we modified instructions from the book Subversive Seamster. This book is full of great ideas for modifying thrift store finds into cute new clothes. I will give you some hints on things we discovered as we went along.

This is the front of the finished cami. The top is the button side of a man's shirt. It is made by cutting the biggest rectangle you can starting with the buttons, and actually going a smidge past the side seam. See how the last inch of the shirt has a seam running through it? That's the seam that would run down a man's side. Once the shirt's were assembled, we tried them on and decided where to make tucks/darts to give the shirts a more fitted look. Hannah and I ended up with four darts in our shirts. Two starting at the top and continuing half way to the center of the bust. And two more that start just below the bust in the center of the shirt and continuing for about two inches.

The back of the cami is made by cutting another rectangle from the back shirt tail of the man's shirt. The straps are made by cutting strips from the sleeves of the shirt.
1. the more the merrier. It really took all three of us to fit the shirt. One person to wear the shirt. One person to pin the darts for sewing, and one person to stand back and see if the darts looked right.
2. just cut the fabric. We read the directions several times, figured out where to cut, and then ended up too afraid to make the first cuts. Remember that this is just a 25 cent thrift store shirt and it's OK to go ahead and cut it up.
3. plaid is good. Measuring and cutting are really simple when you have all these nice lines to go by. It would have taken us twice as long to cut everything if we'd used printed shirts rather than plaid.
4. make sure one person knows how to sew. Hannah and I had an idea of how we wanted our shirts to look, but neither of us is confident using a sewing machine. Our mom is a very good seamstress and made sure that our shirts were constructed really well. She also stopped us from making some mistakes that would have made our shirts look a lot less polished.
5. Try everything on! Before you sew the straps and the darts, make sure you can take the shirt off and put it on again. We didn't want to fool with zippers, so it was important to be sure we had some wiggle room.
I hope you are inspired to find Subversive Seamster at a book store or your local library! It's full of great project ideas that are super cheap but look chic!

1 comment:

Tim and Tracy said...

Those both look really sweet on you two. How creative and thrifty and what a fun project to spend time on with the ladies in your family.