Recently I was approached by a very weepy 6 year old that appeared to be imitating Chris Farley from this scene in the movie Tommy Boy:
She was distressed at the fact that her favorite and…..I mean FAVORITE top was now so small in the shoulders she could no longer wear it. So, I peeled it off of her and explained that these things happen and she spent the next 20 minutes sobbing off and on while I begged her to find something suitable before the bus arrived.
A few weeks, errr, months later as I was digging through my mountain of mending and small projects when I came across this top and decided, for her sake, I would try to save it.
Yes, it’s one of those awful flip sequin tops that changes color if you swipe it in the opposite direction. After the first time she wore it to school I heard from the teacher that she had to give up on telling everyone, including the boys, to stop rubbing H’s shirt without asking first. ugh….
So, creating a keepsake out of the top became something I wish I had thought of long ago, and I got to work finding other fabrics to make the back and jazz up the edges. First, I found some leftovers from her padded headboard project.
A heavy crushed silvery gray velvet. I knew this would work because she already loved it. Also, because the top is made of T-Shirt jersey it is very stretchy and I wanted to be sure that I had some stability to this pillow to keep the stuffing from being lumpy. The upholstery weight crushed velvet was perfect for the back, however the jersey of the top was not enough for the front to look smooth when finished. The solution I used was to cut through the front and back of the top (used both layers), AND to place a piece of heavy muslin on the back side of the front pieces. That way after sandwiching the layers, sewing around the perimeter and flipping inside out the front would not stretch out and become deformed.
Next, I uncovered some purple fleece, yet another leftover from a project involving the little one’s girly taste. I cut simple 2.5 inch strips with a pinked edge and basted straight down the middle. Using what I had, meant I did not have extra long pieces of the purple fleece, so I doubled up what I would need along just two of the sides of the pillow (along the top and down one side). Then I did the same for the other two sides (along the bottom and up one side). I just gathered each strip into a ruffle that fit along the two sides and stitched it into place. That way the odd, cut spot would be on opposite corners and appear purposeful, which it was!
After stuffing it tightly I would say it came out pretty nicely. Overall this project only took a couple of hours, most of which was spent finding fabrics and gathering the ruffles. I would highly recommend this approach to saving your favorite tees. Now, my little one is thrilled because she gets to keep something that normally would have been donated. Now it has a whole new life using leftovers that were just laying around in my scrap bin. I would say that is money and time well spent.
What are you saving with stitches these days?