Upcycled Sequin Sleeved T-shirtPosted by in fabric
Upcycled is a word, right?
I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving and a peaceful Black Friday. Instead of elbowing my way through the crowds at the mall, I stayed home and made something funky to wear. The holidays are officially here, and to me that means its acceptable to wear sequins on a daily basis. I wanted something comfy and casual but with sparkle, sort of like a casual-friday-new-years-eve mash-up. I found an old t-shirt in my closet that had a good fit, but that I never wore. Then I replaced the sleeves with sequin fabric. I used this fabric. It was super easy and I’m envisioning all sorts of other options to revamp the rest of my t-shirt collection. Here’s how I did it:
#2-Cut out the sleeve leaving yourself a 1/4″ seam allowance.
#3-Fold the shirt in half matching the neckline to make sure it’s even. Cut out the other sleeve using the already cut out side as a guide.
#4-Cut along the underarm seam to open the sleeve flat, and place it on your pattern paper. This is going to be the marker for your new sleeve. At this point If you liked the way the sleeve fit you can just trace it, add a 1/4″ seam allowance and skip to step #7. Or you can get creative and customize your sleeve the way I did. I thought the sleeve was too tight, especially for the sequin fabric I was going to use, and I wanted to give it a little flair by adding fullness at the sleeve hem.
#5-This is what we call the slash and spread method. I made cuts from the sleeve hem up to the armhole. Cut right up to the edge, but do not cut through it. Spread out your cuts equally until it look like the amount of fullness you want to add. It helps to tape things down when you get it where you want it. Then you are going to trace around the sleeve, connecting the cuts and smoothing out any bumps. Mark a notch on the pattern where your shoulder seam is to help guide you when you sew your new sleeve on.
My sequin fabric only had a 2- way stretch. You’ll want to make sure that you place your pattern so that the stretch runs parallel to the armhole. If you are using a 4 way stretch you can place the pattern whichever way you’d like the sequins to fall. Pin your pattern piece to the fabric and cut out your sleeves. When cutting out the other sleeve make sure you flip the pattern so that your markings are facing the sequins. This is so that you have a left and a right sleeve instead of two right sleeves.
#7-Now that you have your new sleeves cut out you are going to enter the most time consuming portion of the process. You are also going to get sequins everywhere, so be prepared. You are going to have to remove all of the sequins along the seam allowance. There are many reasons for this and I cannot stress enough how important this step is. If you do not, your seams will be bulky and lumpy. Also, the sequin edges are sharp and you dont want that rubbing against your skin. If that isn’t reason enough; you will most definitely break a lot of needles in the process of sewing these sleeves on. You cannot just cut the threads that are holding the sequins to the mesh, because then they will continue to unravel and you will have sequins falling off that you did not intend for. You have to cut the sequins off individually with a very small pair of scissors. Cut through the small hole in the sequin releasing it from the thread.
I know this is going to take awhile, so put a movie on and just relax.
#8-Sew the underarm seams together and then pin the sleeve onto the shirt, matching the underarm seam to the side seam, and the shoulder notch to the shoulder seam. Sew together using a zigzag stitch….and Voila!!
*Misty is a full time fashion designer and part time crafter. You can find more of her work on her blog http://wearmena.blogspot.com/