Tuesday, October 1, 2013

DIY: A T-Shirt Alteration with Lessons to Learn

I had some free time on my hands the other week. I decided to update my tube top DIY, and then I still had time to spare. So I grabbed another t-shirt, thought for a minute about what I wanted to do, and then got to work.

Which, while this top isn't a complete disaster, I'm not very happy with it. I'm a little sad that I didn't stop myself, but it's not the end of the world.

So here's the lesson to learn here: stop and plan exactly how you're going to go about altering a shirt. Look it up online to see if someone's done it before--they can tell you about any challenges they faced on the way. And for Batman's sake, don't cut it if you don't have a plan. You will always cut off more than you want, or cut things wrong.

So, without further ado, let's move on to my crap only-okay t-shirt. I'll point out where the problems occurred, so when you try to do your own alterations, you can look out for these mistakes and issues.

By the way, this is the t-shirt I altered. I got it from the shop of one of my favorite comics ever, Questionable Content. Here's the picture from the store, and a link to buy it is here

$18.50 USD

I started out the way I normally start my t-shirt alteration--by cutting off the sleeves and the collar. In the picture above, I'm sewing up the sides (since the sleeves on XL t-shirts tend to go very low on me, since they're oversized). 

Here is where I made my first mistake. I have never tries to braid the straps of a shirt before, and I split the front two straps, and the back strap. I should have made the straps longer, all the way down to the back of the shirt. In doing so, I should have combined the straps together in the middle back. Instead, I split that back square in two and braided a bit of the back. Here's the process:

Here is a picture of the entire cut strap. It's an equal length on the front and the back of the shirt. 

I added the pink straps to add a bit of girly flair. I just sewed the pink strap to the inside of the shirt. The braid will hide the stitches on the front of the shirt. 

I braided the front straps and the middle back straps in a simple braid. 

Then I sewed the three straps together in a Y shape. Finally, I made a pink strap to cover the seams.

Here, unfortunately, is the only crappy picture I have of the back. You can see the pink strap covering the junction. And, also, my...thumb? I'm guessing that's my thumb. I take awesome pictures, guys.

Aaand, finally, here's the front. And here's what I don't like about the shirt. As I was cutting down the straps, I kept feeling like I needed to make them longer--I was going to be braiding them, after all. In order to do that, though, I had to keep trimming down the neckline, and now it's ridiculously close to the print and it makes me sad. I'm also kicking myself because this is not what I originally planned to do with it, and now I don't like it. I guess I could wear it as a workout shirt, but I'm still "meh"-ing pretty hard.

So here you go, faithful readers. I give you a DIY that I kind of messed up, so that you don't make the same mistakes. Learn from me, even if you only learn what not to do.

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