First of all, a lot of the shirts I've altered in the past I got the instructions for in this book:
|Available here, or from your local library!|
From reading this book, I've gotten a lot of great ideas, and have started applying some of them to other projects. I'm not a seamstress by any stretch, but I'm getting decent at altering clothes. I recently purchased a dress that fit perfectly except for the straps, and was able to fix those properly instead of doing the old safety-pin trick. I was able to take in two tank tops that were too big for me this summer super-easily. And last weekend I was able to fix a shirt with gaping armholes so that the whole world doesn't have to see my bra when I wear it. I totally give this book credit for starting me on the sewing path, and giving me the confidence to try these things.
|The day is saved! For cheap!|
I found this PPG shirt at Kmart for less than $7. I liked it, but it was a bit snug and I wanted to make it a tank, anyway. So I cut off the sleeves and used the material from them to make side panels. I really liked the way it turned out.
|Please to ignore filthy bathroom.|
I wanted to see if I could make a halter-top out of a t shirt, and I had a Rita's shirt that I'd gotten at a thrift shop for a buck that I thought would be great to practice on. There are a few construction issues that I need to fix, but it's wearable. I want to get a little plastic cherry button to sew right at the gather for a little extra something. I bet it will end up costing more than the shirt, though.
|I just got the vintage necklace and loved how it looked with the shirt.|
Lastly, this project is the brainchild of my friend Cathy, who makes literally award-winning costumes and also beautiful jewelry which you can learn about here. She told me how these $60 Princess Leia hoodies were on clearance at Hot Topic for, I think, about $8.
|Pink shoelace here because I didn't have any other color at the time.|
I was also able to make the hood part into a little hat, so that the pieces can be worn together or separately.
A sewing machine makes projects like the above go much faster, but they all could have been hand-stitched if necessary. It's easy enough to tweak items that aren't quite what you want them to be. It just takes a know-how, and a little imagination!