How to Make a Ruffled Top from a Men’s Shirt

done3openingimg Tomorrow being Administrative Professionals’ Day I wanted to create something that’s fashionable yet doesn’t scream “look at me!” (and is totally appropo for the office!).  With Earth Day just around the corner as well, what could be more eco than upcycling?  Steal a button-down from your guy’s closet and give it a feminine makeover…that will make it a mainstay in yours.

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How To Make a Knotted Cord Belt

 

 

 

Summer is almost upon is, and style inspired by ancient cultures is in. Bold prints, bright colors, beads, and lacing: we’re seeing it on the runways and on fashionable girls on the street.
Create the above knotted belt out of satin cord and add jewelry findings for a fashion-forward Celtic infusion of style!  (The lacing may look tricky, but once you get the hang of that, it’s a piece of cake!)

How to Make a Bohemian Macrame-Style Knotted Cord Elastic Belt

Materials You Need:

5 yd of satin cord (about 2.5 – 3 mm thick) *small amount of scrap fabric  //  14 large crimp coil necklace ends (silver-tone)  //  4 large silver-tone necklace end connectors  //  1.5″ wide black elastic, cut to your waist circumference (we’ll be cutting it shorter below)  //  2 snap fasteners

Tools You Need:

tape  //  scissors  //  wire-cutting pliers  //  sewing machine  //  regular to heavy-duty needle  //  thread matching belt color  //  snap-setting pliers or die & hammer  //  iron & ironing board

How To:
Prep Your Parts

1. Cut satin cord into the following pieces:
*FOUR pieces 14″ long (to make outer loop)
*FOUR pieces 18″ long (to make center knot)

2. Use pliers to press down the end coils of the crimp ends.  Cut off the hang-loops of the end connectors.

3. Cut 4 pieces from your fabric, measuring 4.25″ wide by 3″ high. We’ll come back to those fabric pieces later.

Start Weaving: Outer Loop First

4. Thread 2 crimp ends onto a 14″ piece of cord.  Loop it over and tape down the ends.

5. Tape down another 14″ piece of cord.  Thread it through the crimp coil from the previous piece of cord…and add a crimp coil onto the cord.

6. Add another crimp coil, and loop it around.

7. Thread it back through the remaining crimp coil on the first cord.  Tape down the end.

8. Secure the loop you just made with a piece of tape.

Keep Going: Inner Loop-and-Knot

9. Put a crimp coil on one of the 18″ cord pieces and tape down the end, placing it in the center and directly below the cord from the previous step.

10. Thread it through the crimp coil on the adjacent cord and loop it around to the right, then back under the first two cords, heading downwards.

11. Thread it over itself, then downwards under the first two cords again.

12. Loop it to the right, back over the first two cords, and then to the left under itself again.

13. Thread it back through the crimp coil on the adjacent cord.

14. Add another crimp coil, and tack down the end with tape.

15. Time for the final cord! Tape down the end of another 18″ piece of cord, and thread it to the right and through through crimp coil on the adjacent cord.

16. Add a crimp coil, and weave the cord around the center loop in the same manner as the previous piece.  (It will be to the outside of the previous cord.  Go under the previous piece, to the right, over the taped-down outer loop, up and around, under the outer loop cords, over the center loop cords and down…)

17. Keep following the center loop of the previous cord.  (Around and to the right, over the taped-down center loop, back to the left, under itself…) And finally, thread it back into the crimp coil you added to it in Step 15).

18. Then tape its end down.

19. Shift the ends of all your cords together, re-tape, and push the crimp coils further to the right, closer to your center loop-and-knot.

20. Use pliers to add an end connector to the center cords just to the left of the taped-down loop. Smooth out your cords – and congratulate yourself on a job well done!

Other Side & Finish Lacing

21. Make one more group of looped cords in exactly the same manner. (See Steps 4) – 20)]

22. Place the two groups of cord side-by-side, matching up the centers.  Add 2 more end connectors to the center loops to connect one side to the other. Now you’re finished with all that lacing – which probably feels fabulous!

Make the Belt

23. Tape both ends of the cord group on top of the ends of your piece of elastic.  Make sure your cords are centered and each side overlaps the elastic the same amount.

24. Fold the elastic under itself, about 3/8″, and stitch the cords down on top.  (I went over the same area twice with a straight stitch, then zigzagged down it for strength.)  Stitch down both sides to the elastic.

25. Trim off the cord ends on the other side of your stitching.

26. Cut your elastic piece in half.

27. Place 2 fabric pieces right sides together, on top of where you’ve stitched the cords to the elastic.  Trace the width of the elastic, and mark the width of the cords.  Then draw a “D” shape between the elastic piece, about 2″ long.

28. Do the same for the other 2 pieces of fabric.

29. Sew around the “D” on each pair of fabric pieces, just outside you markings.  Leave a small area unsewn on the flat side in order to turn them right-side-out.

30. Trim fabric around the sewing at about 1/4″.

Notch, then turn the pieces right side out.  Tuck the unsewn areas’ raw edges to the inside.  Press both pieces with an iron to flatten.

31. Place one D piece over where the cords are sewn to the elastic, in order to cover them.  (Rounded edge of D needs to cover the cords but hang off the edge of the elastic.) Topstitch around edge of D, about 1/8″ from edge, to secure it to the elastic and the cords.

32. Try on belt, and center the knotted cord at your center front.  Mark where the elastic meets at your center back.  Cut elastic at that measurement.

33. Fold each end of elastic under about 3/4″.  Sew down about 1/2″ from edge.

34. Set two sets of snaps in the elastic ends according to the instructions on your snap-setting pliers or die set.

Ta da!  This tutorial looks complex, but doing it is incredibly rewarding – and the whole process is a lot faster than it looks!

Tip: If you want to make more of a statement piece, use thicker cord or rope, and thread it through large-hole beads instead of jewelry findings.  You could even wrap strips of embossing metal around the cords instead of threading them through beads at all!

Have fun and go tribal:-)

It also doubles as a cute necklace at this size!

xo

Carly

as originally posted on Threadbanger.com

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DIY Avant-Garde Artistic Button-Embellished Top

Inspired by the original DIY’er, Martin Margiela, I’ve dipped into my overflowing stash of mismatched buttons to craft a fabulously avant-garde-style t-shirt. I’m using an old shirt that I was considering discarding because of a couple tiny stains on the front.  But that’s what DIY’s for!  Cover up stains, patching, pilling, or a design you don’t like…or add interest to an otherwsie boring piece.  There’s a ton of great art and photos out on the internet – or you can create your own image and use it as a template for button placement.  I chose monochromatic buttons so that the image would appear “pixellated” when standing from afar – and though I chose to make an eye (in my own homage to Salvador Dali), you could make anything your heart desires.

You Need:

t-shirt*large number of buttons in various sizes and shapes (preferably in shades of black, white, and gray)  //  Jewel-It Embellishing Glue (or other glue for affixing plastic embellishments to fabric)  //  piece of cardboard or t-shirt board

Optional:

printout, drawing, or photo  //  tape  //  sewing machine & needle for knits  // hand-sewing needle  //  thread matching buttons

How To:

Prep Time

1. Pre-wash t-shirt if it hasn’t been washed already.  Place cardboard or t-shirt board inside t-shirt to flatten front.2. (Optional) If you are using a piece of artwork as a template, slide it inside your tee, just on top of the board. Secure with tape.

 

Decorate

3. Now’s the time to channel your inner artiste!  Place tee on a flat surface and start covering it with buttons.  Start with the black outlines, then place the brightest white buttons on the brightest white parts of the eye.  (You’ll probably spend a lot of time squinting at your picture.)  Stand back every few minutes to see if you like the effect, and adjust your placement as necessary.

Make it Permanent

4. When you’re pleased with your button artwork, now you need to take each button off and affix it to the t-shirt.  For the larger buttons add a daub of glue to its back; for the smaller dot glue onto the shirt itself.  If you plan to go back and sew your buttons for more security – be careful you don’t get any glue in the buttonholes.  (If you are using shanked buttons, you’ll have to hand-sew them on to the shirt.)

5. After you’ve glued all your buttons down, allow the glue to dry per the instructions.

6. (Optional) Remove board from tee, and proceed to sew all the buttons down to the front of your shirt.  (Drop the sewing machine’s feed dogs, and zigzag into 2 holes of each button – which should be secure to hold it on and allow you to machine-wash your shirt.)7. Wear and enjoy all the extra attention.  (If you have chosen not to sew your buttons down, follow the washing instructions on the glue.  Some glues are not fast when put in the wash, so be careful when choosing!)

 

Pair with black and white pieces to make your monochromatic look.  Here’s looking at you, kid!

Thanks for reading – and if you have any questions, ask them in the Comments section below and I’ll do my best to help you out!
xoxox
Carly J. Cais

as posted on Threadbanger

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Threadbanger Post: How to Sew a Summer Tank Dress

The temperature’s rising, but maybe you’ve tired of the ol’ tanktop-and-jeans ensemble.  Maybe you want a go-to summer dress but still want it to be comfortable for when it gets really hot.  Revamp a tanktop with the addition of an old men’s tee,** and live in soft-washed cotton comfort all summer.
**I’ve adapted this recon from the book Kakkoii Kuchuuru Rimeiku [“Cool Couture Remake”], by Hiroko Yamase [Bunka Publishing, 2009].  The book is in Japanese, and I’ve converted the sizing to Western sizing, and changed the methodology here and there.  Hope you like it! 

You Need:

 

 

 

 *1 tanktop that fits you well
*1 men’s t-shirt (preferably XL)
*thread matching t-shirt
*fabric scissors
and…
*marking chalk
*pins
*measuring tape

Optional:
*velvet or satin ribbon (1″ – 1.5″ wide)
*pronged studs, sew-on jewels, hotfix nailheads, or fancy trim

How To:

Prep Time

1. Wash and dry both your tanktop and t-shirt if they haven’t been washed before.  Turn the t-shirt inside out and cut off the label at the back of the neck. (not pictured)  Cut off the shoulder seams all the way to the sleeve seams.


Start Sewing

2. Sew the ends of the t-shirt’s sleeves closed, just inside the sleeve cuffs.  These will become pockets.

3. Fold down about 1/2″ along the slit shoulders (the raw edges) of the t-shirt, all the way around, front to back, neck ribbing to neck ribbing.  Stitch down, creating a 3/8″ hem.

4. Turn the t-shirt right side out, tucking the sewn sleeves inside.  Fold in half and mark the center front and center back at the neck ribbing.  Do the same with the tanktop.

5. Measure 4″ straight down from the mark you made on both the front and the back of your tanktop.  Make another mark at each point.

 

6. Place the tanktop inside the t-shirt.  Line up the center front of your t-shirt on top of the mark you made on the center front of the tanktop.  Pin in place.

7. Pin the neck ribbing of the t-shirt to the front of the tanktop, following the natural curve of the t-shirt’s neck.  (I folded the edges of the t-shirt under about 1/2″ again, since I liked the way that looked.)


8. Repeat Step 6) and Step 7) to pin the back of the t-shirt onto the back of the tanktop.

9. Stitch the t-shirt to the tanktop, following the lines of the neck-ribbing of the t-shirt.  Sew TWO lines of stitching to secure: one line at the very top of the neck-ribbing, and one line at the point where the ribbing connects to the t-shirt.  Do for both front and back of your piece.

Embellish It! (Optional)

9. Use a piece of ribbon as a tie for the waist, stitching at the back to secure. (not pictured)

10. Add studs, hotfix embellishments, sew-on jewels, or fancy trim to the the tanktop neck, the t-shirt ribbing, or the hem of the garment to doll your piece up.

You’re finished!

Without the belt, hands in pockets.

Belted with a velvet ribbon.

Tip: If you feel the weight of the t-shirt distorts the tank too much, sewing the sides of the tee to the tank will help eliminate the “pulling.”


Wear with some espadrille wedges and a cool pair of shades for a chic casual look as the mercury rises.

I’d love to hear your feedback everyone!

xoxox
Carly

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