Sep
21
2009

  Inadvertant Project Runway

You know you have ADD when you start out reading an article about tax policy, but without realizing what happened, find yourself sewing ribbon to a T-shirt.

I always have to think back to figure out exactly how I got from point A to point B. I started out reading the article downstairs on the sofa. But I had to stop reading halfway through because William started fussing and I needed to put him down for his nap. I was upstairs for 20 minutes helping him settle before he fell asleep, and since I was in the bedroom and I hadn't gotten dressed yet, I decided to change out of my pajamas.

I saw a short skirt I got just before the California trip, but didn't wear much since I don't have a particular top to go with it. Since I wasn't going to leave the house anytime soon, I just looked in the T-shirt drawer for anything to wear on top. Coincidentally, the top shirt matched the skirt very well. I must have been so excited about this, that this was the moment I forgot all about the tax article.

The neckline wasn't flattering (no crewneck shirts flatter me since I have multiple chins), but it never mattered before since technically it was Terry's shirt. But I rationalized that the collar was so worn he shouldn't be wearing it anymore anyway. And I will swoop to the rescue and do the environmentally conscious thing of renewing the shirt rather than consigning it to the rag pile.

old collar, clearly unfit for further wear

So the first thing I did was cut the collar off. I know from experience that T-shirts have a wider collar than you'd expect once you cut the neckline ribbing off, so I tried it on before cutting further. Once on, I determined where to put the scoop neck and snip, snip, it was done. I was very pleased with myself.

But then, when I was admiring my work in the mirror, I thought how much BETTER the shirt would look with a bit of pink trim around the neckline, to match the print in the skirt. I looked around for some pink floral fabric but didn't have any in scraps, although I did find some green floral fabric that I thought looked nice with the color of the shirt. So I measured and snipped a few slits in the shirt, and threaded the fabric through. But when I looked in the mirror I was disappointed, for although the fabric did look good with the color of the shirt, there was no green whatsoever in the skirt, so it didn't match as well anymore. I pulled the green strip out. I found some pink ribbon in the closet, just long enough to thread through the front of the shirt. Bingo!

Except when it was threaded through, I thought it looked a little frumpy, and had to figure out why it didn't look like the vision in my head. And I determined that the ribbon would look much better with little twists in it, gathered in the middle. So , after rummaging around to find pink thread, I was back into the sewing room to permanently affix the trim. It was all hand-sewing, so very convenient. I fixed a little hole in the shirt I found by the pocket while I was at it.

It was then, when I was absorbed in the task of twisting and sewing the ribbon that I remembered, "shouldn't I be finishing an economics article right now?" But it was too late. I knew that if I didn't finish the shirt right then, the half-finished and forgotten project would definitely be destined for the rag bin, so I finished up. Just in time, since William woke up right as I was sewing the end of the ribbon to the shoulder seam.

So from conception to finished product, it took me 50 minutes (the length of William's nap). As I was cutting slits in the T-shirt fabric, I admit I was fantasizing about how I would do on Project Runway. I would be so bad! All my sewing and needlework is so slow, I'd never finish anything on time. And my pattern-drafting skills are rudimentary at best. I haven't tried sewing-by-draping, but I might learn how to do that.

See how the blue shirt matches so nicely?

Here's a close-up of the neckline. The ribbon is just twisted and tacked down at the ends and middle of each twist, it's flat underneath the shirt.

So has the shirt been resurrected enough to wear in public? Not really. But as it turns out, I don't wear this particular skirt in public either since it's very thin and would be embarrassing on a bright day. But I did succeed in creating something so I look a little more put-together around the house, for Terry's sake.