Wednesday, June 20, 2012

the first step is admitting you have a problem

OK, so this ain't no craft fair or anything, but just humor me on this one, because I am so proud of my ingenuity which is probably not at all ingenious and no doubt detailed in similar form in at least 100 different sewing blogs, all probably featuring the word "upcycling."  I'm talking the talk you guys!

I think we've probably established that Thing 3 has no pants.  First of all, she's going to be born in July, and second of all, the clothes we got for her were on sale after Christmas, when we thought she was going to be a boy.  I have been on this sewing kick lately (YOU THINK?) and have thus been trying to make her little things here and there, but one night when I was lying in bed awake (because that's apparently what I do now in glorious third trimester fashion) I had an idea that was beautiful both in its economy of time and money.  I could turn my old T-shirts into baby pants.




See, because I have a lot of old T-shirts that look like this.  Especially in the winter, I wear a long-sleeved shirt to work under my scrubs, and despite the fact that I have quite a few colors in my rotation (I prefer getting long-sleeved kids T-shirts from Target in a large size because they're cheaper, come in a lot of colors, and because they're for kids have slightly shorter sleeves than adult long-sleeved tees, which seems somewhat more hygienic for work), after a year or two of weekly wear they get a little icky.  Note the lovely underarm deodorant patina--I almost didn't post the picture because I thought it would be unseemly, but look, this is real life, and it's not like I'm running for president or anything like that.  Anyway, they're nice T-shirts, soft and comfortable, but you have to retire them at some point, right?  Purple T-shirt, your time has come.




It is a factory-made T-shirt, though, so as such is has a nice factory finish, with machined hems and whatnot.  Hems are a pain in my ass.  So it occurred to me during one of my many insomniac nights, I could not only repurpose the fabric of the T-shirt itself, but I could preserve the hem at the bottom and save myself some work.  Less work means more time for tomfoolery!





So see, I sliced off the bottom of the shirt just under the fossilized armpits (some deodorant sludge still remained but fear not, they will be excised in the next step), leaving basically a tube of fabric.




I folded the tube width-wise (keeping the hem on the bottom even--it's on the right side of the picture) so that I basically had four layers of fabric with an axis of symmetry down the long way (oriented parallel to the top of the screen)...





And then using a folded in half pair of 3-6 month baby pants that we do have as a guide (they are baby blue, of course), I cut out two symmetrical pieces of pants from the T-shirt fabric.  The sides that I cut off were where the side seams of the old T-shirt were--I figured the fewer the seams, the more comfortable--and I allowed a little extra fabric up top for the hem and elastic casing.

I'm not really good at this kind of thing, nor do I need to re-invent the wheel, but the way I sewed the pants together after this point was based on this tutorial--it's for leggings instead of pants, but the concept is the same--I just like a wider leg because I figure it will fit better for longer.  As for the results, I'll let you judge for yourself.  The pants on the left were the store-bought pair that I used as a model, and the purple ones on the right were the ones I made.




Even for a novice like me who was kind of flying by the seat of her (ho ho) pants, it was actually pretty easy, and didn't take that long, so then I went ahead and hacked up another old T-shirt (this one wasn't stained but it was always overlarge and unflattering so I never wore it) and made these.  Like I said, this T-shirt was slightly bigger, so I was able to make the pants a little bit bigger too, for room to grow.




And then that went pretty well, and was pretty easy, so then I made these, out of another unflattering T-shirt (teal makes me look like the undead, and an overdeep scoop neck is not a good look for the flat-chested--that shirt had a more narrow cut, so with less fabric I made these more leggings-like than the other two).  Why do I have so many clothes in my closet that don't look good on me?  These are the mysteries of the ages.  At least they're proving their usefulness now.




I think you can see where I'm going with this.




SOMEONE HELP ME I'M TRAPPED IN A PANTS MAKING VORTEX.




The good (bad?) thing is that we actually live right near (I mean right near--we could walk to it if anyone in Atlanta ever walked anywhere) a consignment store, where you can get a whole mess of pretty decent soft T-shirts in all kinds of colors for, like, a dollar.  Jersey knit fabric bought by the yard at the fabric store is kind of boring, not to mention expensive, but for little baby sewing projects, you don't need a whole lot of fabric.  So in order that I don't slice up all the rest of my clothing, I also have a reserve stash of thrifted cotton T-shirts for future projects.  Don't worry, I'll make something other than pants at some point.  But oh, I do love those stripes.




HELP SEND LITHIUM.

50 comments:

  1. nadyezhda9:21 PM

    Love! I'm very impressed at your crafty-ness!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm trying to count and getting confused by the folds in that giant stack picture. Fess up -- how many pairs did you actually make?!?

    Mack looks ADORABLE in his blue striped pants! And I have a similar surplus of old long-sleeved Ts to wear under scrubs, and a couple of them fit horribly. Two are from American Eagle, and the v-neck is so deep it's scandalizing (as much as a pair of A-cups can be scandalizing, anyway) so I never wear them. I see a future for them now!

    Congrats on the pants-making success. Your awesomeness just increases daily.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous9:48 PM

    The Multiplying Pants Incident of 2012! I like the striped pair...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Please learn how to make a skirt out of old tee shirts then teach me. Please.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm also super impressed! These are adorable. I envy your ability to sew. can't wait to see kid three in thees!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Was so glad to I'm not the only one with shirts like that!

    ReplyDelete
  7. The world has enough striped baby pants. Please do me (and other female docs/nurses/white-coat-wearers) a favor and design and sew a well-fitted,stylish, practical and functional white coat. They do not exist and I would love to see one :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jerri6:02 AM

      Yes please! I've looked and look. The fitted ones always only have 2 pockets (useless). I want at least 6!!

      Delete
  8. You've inspired me to take up sewing!!! Heck. I'm not pregnant, not a doctor, both my kids are grown and my husband watches the tennis channel all night. I love those baby pants and someone really does need to make a new, improved lab coat!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous11:31 PM

    You are so cool.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Umm...It's a big city. I'm sure there's a support group somewhere. You need to have this little she devil soon before she has you cleaning in heels and pearls. Seriously.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This post made me laugh out loud as I scrolled down to see the growing pile of baby pants. I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Annapolitan1:57 AM

    You're brilliant!

    Also, 100% wool sweaters are great and cheap finds at consignment shops. Felt them in the washer and use the fabric for warm tops or coats or trousers that don't require hemming because they're, well, felted.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I laughed so hard.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous4:49 AM

    Hey! So nice blog i like it.Anesthesiology


    Thank


    Affan

    ReplyDelete
  15. OK I had to pin this. You're making me want dig up my sewing machine and finish some projects lol.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Is there ANYTHING you don't do well?! Awesomeness!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Maybe the next project will be t shirt quilts for the boys

    ReplyDelete
  18. Maybe the next project will be t shirt quilts for the boys

    ReplyDelete
  19. Maybe the next project will be t shirt quilts for the boys

    ReplyDelete
  20. Maybe the next project will be t shirt quilts for the boys

    ReplyDelete
  21. I don't read enough blogs where the term "axis of symmetry" is likely to arise. Also, I'm covetous of that huge stack of what my 3yo would term "comfy pants."

    Cheri's right: the increasingly pantsy photos are very effective.

    ReplyDelete
  22. HAHAHA this post has me cracking up!!! cute pants!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Those pants look so comfy and cheerful! I totally need that fabric cutter thing. It coud double as a pizza slicer, and I'm all about gadgets that do double duty.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous10:52 AM

    with fear and trepidation i give you this link.....
    http://deliacreates.blogspot.com/2011/05/greeneasy-knit-produce-bag.html

    ReplyDelete
  25. Canadian Michelle10:57 AM

    You? Are amazing.
    Seriously.

    ReplyDelete
  26. That is truly impressive. Do you not sleep?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous1:07 PM

    This is awesome! I'm so impressed by your craft and thrift skills! And you are just so darn funny :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. I am so impressed by this that it makes me sorry I gave away my sewing machine!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous4:37 PM

    I have to tell you that this post is the most awesome slash hilarious post ever. I'm a single gal who loves sewing but has never taken the plunge to making actual clothing. The hobby has been put on hold 2/2 residency, but I am living vicariously through you.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Annnd, I love this! I don't know if these craft posts are supposed to be deterring us from reading or something, but every time I see one, I get super excited and motivated to become a crafting machine myself. (Unfortunately, I'm still an MS2 studying for Boards who is relatively incapable of feeding herself without assistance from take-out menus and/or a boyfriend who can cook.)

    ReplyDelete
  31. medrecgal8:39 AM

    OMG...I almost wet MY pants after reading this entire post! At least you'll have the best-dressed baby girl in town (yes, we want pictures when she does show up)... As someone who's not the least bit crafty, I'm actually enjoying this ongoing series about the baby clothing saga. I do appreciate the resourcefulness of recycling your old t-shirts; she won't even know the difference, and they'll probably be just as cute as some of the pricey baby clothes out there.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous3:18 PM

    awesome

    ReplyDelete
  33. victoria9:16 AM

    unfortunately, this is a positive-feedback loop that will only terminate upon the expulsion of the baby -grin-

    ReplyDelete
  34. Anonymous6:01 PM

    Michelle, Joe and Cal should wear eye protection when working with power tools!!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hi Michelle!
    You've inspired me to do my own T-shirt with fabric paint =)Great job on the pants as well!

    I was just curious about something and I don't know if you'll be free enough to reply but I'm getting all FOUR of my wisdom teeth out in a few weeks and I was wondering what kind of anaesthetic they'd be putting me under?

    I think this will be the weirdest question you'll ever come across here ;)

    ReplyDelete
  36. Anonymous3:46 PM

    The growing pile of pants was hilarious. And the lithium comment at the end literally made me laugh out loud! Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Anonymous5:33 AM

    Ha, ha, joking about mental illness. Oh, you Asian mother you. Oh, wait is using stereotypes offensive? Longtime reader of yours, and this post was not great.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Wow what a weblog i am so happy to here can you more discuss here, i am back again again to your site as soon as possible and i have lot of collection for you just click here for more information.
    laptop tube

    ReplyDelete
  39. Anonymous3:56 PM

    Anon 5:33...Get over yourself..She wasn't making fun of mental illness she was making fun of herself!!Why is there always someone like you lurking around trying to make mountains where there are none?

    ReplyDelete
  40. Anonymous9:17 PM

    I discovered your book while browsing the bookstore last fall and was hooked immediately. I have been in love with the sewing machine and making my own clothes since I was about 8 yr old and am currently a pre med student so your blog is rather relevant to my particular phase of life. Can't wait to see Thing 3!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Nice pants!

    However, for the love of your fingers (in picture #3), please buy an acrylic quilting ruler. A 6 x 24 ruler is my most used size. You can definitely cut shapes free hand, but a second cutting mat isn't going to do much in the way of protecting your fingers.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hi, Dr. Michelle. Wow! Another great stuff! I have started sewing my own skirt and I'm having a lot of fun. hehe! You are an inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Your pants make me so happy!
    Now, for a bit of whimsy, you need to make some bunting :)

    ReplyDelete
  44. Okay, so that's kickass, and I'm an accomplished seamstress - like draft my own pattern that actually fit, handsewing minutely researched repro clothing of the 16th century that fits even better.

    That's just kickass, and a great set of ideas that I'm totally going to gank and use because DUDE.

    Also, I said over on Twitter, but deepest congrats on your lovely little girl. She really is lovely, and I say that as a woman who knows what new babies look like (i.e., squashed hairy tomatoes, Winston Churchill, etc.). That? That is a pretty baby.

    ReplyDelete
  45. okay that's great your cutting style for clothes very good.

    ReplyDelete
  46. XXX vids porn freeyoupornhub movie. Free porn movie xvideosvid videos. High porn videos pornmovieswatchvid porn.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Holly9:48 AM

    You make this look so easy. Definitely going to give this a try. Great sewing tips. Your blog is great. Thanks for sharing..PS. Where do you shop for the basic sewing supplies?online?

    ReplyDelete