This top that I made had a previous life as my husband’s XXL t-shirt. He never wore it because he said the neck hole was small and it felt binding. I took it over to sleep in, but understood what he meant — the neck was binding! I really liked the cotton of the shirt and the color, so I knew I could do something with it.

After some searching on thee internet, I decided I would take my favorite t-shirt, lay it on top on this giant shirt, and see what I could do. The original shirt was so large that I could ย fit my entire t-shirt in the middle of it, like never used fabric!

I freehandedly cut the shirt about a half of an inch bigger than the t-shirt I was using for a pattern for a seam allowance. Then, I needed to decide how I was going to sew the thing together! As I mentioned before, I banished my sewing machine to the basement, so some kind of hand stitching would need to work.

After a little thinking and looking through some books, I settled on the blanket stitch. I thought it would not only stitch the seams together, but deal with the raw edges a bit. I used #10 pearle cotton in black to do my sewing — I thought it would be strong. I chose black because I thought it would make a nice contrast around the neck and bottom edge.


Once I got to stitching, though, I started to prefer the seamed edges even on the sides! I decided the inside was the outside pretty early in the sewing of this top ๐Ÿ™‚ It made perfect sense — my love of visible mending, Alabama Chanin’s hand stitched jersey clothing, and good ole punk DIY utilitarian sitching all came together as my influences for this top.


Yay! Not only was this new top zero coupons, but it took something I already had and gave it a new life. I’d like to do more of this (re)working of items I already have but do not use into items I use and love! I wore it yesterday and actually got compliments on it, which surprised me (but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since I work at an Art School, where the signs of Making are a Good Thing!)!

Speaking of (re)working — my husband has found a new job! On Monday he flies to Chicago, IL for orientation at his new company. He’ll be telecommuting, with short trips to the main office here and there. It seems like a great opportunity! It will be an adjustment for both of us with him working from home, but what is life but a series of changes? I can say that our cat Woody likes David working at home A LOT!

One challenge is that David’s health insurance with his old job ends this month, but his new insurance doesn’t kick in until November 1. This means he has to go on my insurance for these three months, and boy howdy is it expensive. Even with David’s new position, I still won’t be able to attend school this coming semester — the money will be going straight to insurance. I’m becoming more and more OK with the idea, though. I’ve already planned months of new skills to learn, booklists, and projects galore! I also imagine David might be wanting to get out of the house a little more than usual since he’ll be working from home, so maybe we’ll have some local adventures.

Here’s to (re)working!



  1. Brilliant news on both counts! Upcycling and reusing is a great thing to do. And so great about the job – hope all goes well!

  2. What a super approach to reworking a top. I have to admit, I scavenge fabric from Mr M’s dead clothes too!

    Congratulations to your husband! And what a relief that must be, even if you still need to defer your return to school. I’ll be writing about learning opportunities soon and although it will have a strong British/London angle, maybe there will be some ideas to inspire you too…

    1. So far I’ve only made handkerchiefs from David’s old shirts. And his old socks make GREAT oil painting rags ๐Ÿ™‚ I also mine for buttons! I have to give him props for wearing his clothes into strings, though. He HATES clothes shopping.

      I look forward to reading about your learning opportunities! I agree — even if they are London-centric I can try and find my local equivalents. I’m trying to look on the bright side and think of all the things I have said in the past “I don’t have time for this with school!” Now I will!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s