Thursday, November 1, 2012

Commitment Day 1: Something Old

Welcome to Day 1 of my 30 Days of Commitment! Find the other 30 Days of Commitment posts here.

As I've said before, this is a personal challenge to see if I can post something every day of November. The rules I've set for myself are:

  1. Each Day must be posted between 12 am and 11:59 pm of that day.
  2. I am allowed to schedule posts ahead of time.
  3. As much as possible, I should not post similar material on consecutive days (eg. if today I post about a crocheting WIP, tomorrow's post should not be, at the very least, yet another crocheting WIP; I should at least switch to a sewing or other crafting WIP)
I hope I'm able to adhere to these rules! I'm already falling behind schedule: I had intended to have a few posts already set up, ready to be posted at a scheduled time. Looks like I flubbed that one!

Today's post is sort of a throwback. Do you remember this vest I made from an old T-shirt?

Pardon the glow. That's what happens when you stand
your camera on a white surface, apparently.

I really did like it at the outset. I have a pretty big wardrobe, but even now, nearly two years after this vest was made, I still don't have many vests. I'm pretty picky about what I do and do not like, and it soon became evident that there was something about this vest that just wasn't cutting it for me. And remember this post about making your clothes work for you? Time to make some changes!

What I've realized is that I tend to like structure. Pretty and flowy is nice, but only to some extent. For example, I always need to wear this vest belted. I can't stand having it loose, because I don't like losing that waist definition. I'm still trying to resist the urge to buy a vest like this, or this, or this, or especially this.

You guys, Flynn Rider's vest. Every time I watch that movie, I want to steal it. I haven't had this much clothing envy of movie character since The Devil Wears Prada.

Back to the point: I like structure! So besides this problem, I also found that the sleeve holes were a bit too wide for my taste, and the whole deal in front was just draping in funky ways, and I wasn't liking having to figure out how to adjust it over my chest.

So I finally hit upon a very simple solution:

From blah, loose, no shape, nothing interesting... yay! Interesting and better shaped for my body.

Voila! Converting into a racerback solved my "huge armholes" problem and my problem with having too much business going on in front by pulling a lot of the fabric to the back. It also created something much more fun (and a little more structured) to look at, now that whatever I'm wearing underneath shows through. There's a short, "did it in Paint" tutorial of what I did after the cut. It's pretty simple stuff.

Before we go there, I'd like to ask you guys something:

I've taken a much greater interest in fashion over that past year or two. My wardrobe has expanded quite a bit, and I've amassed a huge collection of scarves (which you guys will see later this month!). 

There are a lot of "X ways to fold your scarves" tutorials out there, some with awesome novel ways, and others that are...less novel. However, I have never seen this particular method, which I learned from a saleswoman in China.

Would you guys be interested in a tutorial on this? Would you like a photo tutorial? A video tutorial? Both? Please let me know!

All right, back on topic, the tutorial for the racerback vest...

All you need is a scrap of the vest fabric (although I bet some kind of contrasting fabric could be fun), scissors, and some way to sew it up.

Step 1: gather up the fabric in the back of your vest.

Step 1

Step 2: Wrap your "strap" fabric around the vest. I'm just doing it in red for clarity.

Step 2

Step 3: Determine how wide you want the tube you're making to be, then sew it up.

Step 3
While I prefer sewing with the machine, this was just too small
a job to justify hauling it out.

Step 4: Trim the ends of the strap as close to the seam as possible.

Step 4

Step 5: Turn your tube inside out and adjust it so the seam is on the wrong side of the vest. With jersey fabric, the edges will likely curl in a little, or you can fold it in manually to hide the raw edge.

Step 5

Et voila! Your vest now has a racerback! It occurs to me that this could be very fun if done in a contrasting fabric, or leather, or maybe chain? Maybe studs along the edges of the tube? So many possibilities!

So that's it for today! Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy this month of daily posts!

Also, please remember to answer my questions about the scarf tutorial in the comments below. Xie xie!


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  1. This is such a cool scarf technique! Would you still consider doing a tutorial?

    1. I'll totally consider it, but the question is when I'll get to do it! ;) Glad to know you're interested, and I'll use that as motivation to get a tute out there!