Sunday, February 5, 2012

Fix It - Crystal's Cinchy Shirt

I have a Guest Blogger today!  My friend Crystal has written one already for me (Glitter Candle) back in 2010 and she is ready to share again.


I have been inspired by Needles, Hooks & Books, so I though another guest blog was in order.  It was a snowy winter day in New England and all my boys were outside playing.

Blissful Peace Inside for Mommy!

A couple of months ago I was out shopping trying to spruce up my wardrobe a bit.  I found this shirt that I mostly liked but the fit was a little off.  It was on the sale rack for $2! 

Front = Ok

Normally, I would have put it back but I thought of all the advice I read here and figured, "Hey, why not give it a shot?"  The worst that would happen is that I would be out of a couple of bucks.

Back = Hmmm, How To Fix?

I liked that the shirt could be worn with the sleeves down or buttoned up along the arm (shown in above pic).  I decided to add some ribbons to the back to try to pull it in a bit.  I poured through a rat's nest of ribbons in a craft drawer that I've scrapped and saved for such an occasion.

No Rats - Just Ribbons

Let me disclose that I am not the sewing goddess that your usual host it.  In fact, I am a novice at best.  So, my first dilemma was where to attach the ribbons (side seam or pleat).  The second choice was to rip open a bit of seam, feed the ribbon in a sew it closed (the hard way) or just place the ribbon and sew it down so it folds over (the easy way).

Planning With a Little Pink Tomato

My darling husband set me up a lovely space in the basement for my sewing.  I think on this particular day, it must've been about 20 degrees down there.  Is it a wonder I am not too motivated to do more sewing?  But I sucked it up, found some slippers and went to my dungeon.  I felt a little bit like Harry Potter under the stairs.

No One Will Find Me Here

At this point, I realized that I needed some help.  I couldn't see where the ribbons should be placed and although I am a flexible individual, I sure couldn't manage pinning behind my back.  The boys were already in from snow play and once the babies were napping, I dared ask my darling hubby for help.  With absolutely no grumbling at all...ah hem...he agreed to help me.

Pinned & Ready for Business

For some reason, I always end up with messy stitches.  So, I broke out my owner's manual and found all the appropriate settings.  The shirt was fairly thin and the ribbon was very fine.  I did have to rip out my disaster once before getting the tension right, but after that, I just sewed back and forth a bunch of times, making sure to go over the edge of the ribbon a small bit on each side.

Don't Scoff At My Stitches, Please!

As you can see in the above pic, the ends of the ribbon were fraying.  I used the ole' burn-the-edges trick that was previously described in the Lace-up Fingerless Gloves post, and that was pretty much it.  I tied a pretty bow to cinch the back and modeled it for my ever-so-helpful hubby.  Truth be told, he hated the shirt.  Fortunately, I liked it and think that it will look cute with a pair of gray leggings and some gray pom-pom Uggs that I have.


Admittedly, the front of the shirt was a bit poufy/baggy.  It almost looked like a maternity shirt.  I went online to investigate the brand Lilly Lou, but it did not appear to be maternity.  I read the label a little closer and I noticed that the style number was M1338.  I found the "M" to be a little suspicious, but I will stand by my craft and my decision to like and wear this shirt.

While I was banished to the basement, I attacked my sewing pile: two cashmere sweaters, a tissue t-shirt (my favorite), and a turtleneck.  They all had minor boo-boos and have been sitting in a heap on my closet floor for about a year.  Caught up in a whirlwind of thread and needles, I made the minor repair (all holes in seams) and beefed up my wardrobe a bit more...for free!

Heap of "New" Clothes


Thanks, Crystal!  I'm always happy to know that my readers are trying some of their own Fit It's.  I would love to see the leggings and Ugg boots together with this shirt.  I've recently bought a few pairs of leggings for weekend wear.  They are so comfy.

Working Alone Tip:  Usually when I am fixing an article of clothing, I have to put it on and take it off a half a dozen times until the placement is just right. I often get pricked with pins and work up a sweat doing this, but I hate having the limited factor of "no one to help me."  But, if your friend/hubby/boyfriend/whatever is willing to assist, then save yourself the contortionist's act and get them pinning and snipping!

What do you have in your closet that could use a good Fix It?  Go on, have fun with it!

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