Wednesday, 27 February 2013

D.I.Y. - Trimmed Shirt

Hi guys! Here is a really simple DIY to liven up a plain shirt for dirt cheap! I did this with an ox-blood (maroon) and blue for a very specific reason but monochrome is really popular at the moment and I think this make would look super effective in white and black such these shirts from River Island and Forever 21:

You will need:
  • a plain shirt (opaque or semi-transparent)
  • plain ribbon / binding
  • thread the same colour as the ribbon / binding
  • a tape measure to work out how much ribbon / binding you will need
  • a thin sewing needle and pins / a sewing machine
1) Measure the areas of your shirt you want to line to work out how much ribbon you will need (always allow for extra just in case you make a mistake). I used a 1cm wide ribbon for the front of the shirt and collar and a 3cm wide for around the bottom. Whatever width you choose remember that you will only see half of it as the other half will have been folded round the hem of the shirt.
2) Make sure that your ribbon / binding comes as one long piece rather than in short lengths as it will look ugly where you join them. That means that if you are lining the collar and front like I did it will all be ONE piece of ribbon / binding.
3) Decide if you are going to use ribbon or binding. I used ribbon because binding didn't come in the colour I wanted. There are pros and cons to both:
  • Ribbon comes in more colours and thicknesses than binding
  • You do not need to hem ribbon
  • Ribbon can be cheaper than binding
  • Ribbon is made of stiff, artificial materials so can be awkward to sew, especially with a sewing machine
  • Binding is purposely designed to hem / line garments and can easily be applied using a sewing machine
  • Binding is not hemmed but is folded so that when you sew it you hem it at the same time
  • You can make your own binding from any cloth but it will not be hemmed and will not be folded - only do this if you are a confident sewer!
  • If you do buy ribbon make sure NOT to buy gift wrap ribbon. It is more expensive and is usually very plasticy / lined with metal so will be hell to sew with and make your garment rigid!
4) Trim your shirt! I hand sewed it because I don't trust myself on a sewing machine and used ribbon. I folded a small length of the ribbon around the hem so that it was equal on both sides of the shirt and pinned it. I then sewed it using a simple but neat back stitch:
I pinned it a little at a time instead of all in one go so that I didn't sew any bubbles and ruffles into the ribbon or shirt (which can happen if the materials aren't exactly lined up properly when you pin them).
When lining the collar remember the 'back' of your sewing (eg the messy side) will become the front (the neat side) which is why I say keep your sewing neat!
5) Hemming the ends of your ribbon / binding is the only really tricky bit. Fold the end of the ribbon in on itself so that your ribbon just meets the edge of your hem) and then sew it like the rest of your ribbon. It took me a few attempts to fold the ribbon to the right length. I then used some very tiny stitches to hold the end of the ribbon into place so that it didn't unfold itself whilst I focused on keeping the rest of it folded over the hem of the shirt.

And there you have one trimmed shirt!
CLICK HERE for how to turn your maroon and blue shirt into the shirt Poison Ivy wears in Arkham Asylum and Arkham City!

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