Sunday, April 4, 2010

Laser-cut tank Recreation

In my last post I mentioned that I would be participating in a UFO challenge for the next few months as I attempt to complete projects, and that the number drawn for this month had me working on Clothing Refashion. The basic idea here is taking clothes that you already have, whether too small, too big, out of fashion, tacky, great fabric but would never actually wear in present form, or any of these purchased at Goodwill, and turn it into something new. Working at a retail store gives me great ideas, and clothes that I can't quite fit to change.

The tank in question that I want has a laser cut design out of a cooridinating fabric as the back of the shirt. Retails for $19.50. I got the tank at a resale shop for $3, and the fabric from a Goodwill skirt for $3 also. After cutting the seams out of the skirt, I placed a piece of iron-on fusible interfacing against the back of the tank to determine the size of the back to cut. I drew a rough shape on one side of the design, then folded in half (after having measured the tank, as well to figure out the midpoint of it) and traced the design on the other half. Then cut, place on wrong side of skirt fabric, and steam iron it on.

Now for the creative part! Using your imagination, create an open-weave pattern in pencil/pen on the interfacing. You only need to draw on one half (I cut out the first half of the design, folded it back in half, and traced around the cut-outs onto the second half.)I made sure the center was pretty close to the original pattern, but since I enlarged my backing piece due to the need to have a larger back, I had to improvise the extension of the pattern from the center. Using my exacto knife to cut a slit in each drawn half, I pulled out my small craft scissors (blade 1") to cut the small details out. To keep the design centered and even, once I had the right side all cut, fold in half again, trace through the holes, and repeat.

Now you want to make sure that your fabric won't completely unravel, stretc and separate in the wash. Using a contrasting thread color (I actually used two, one layered on top of the other), I free-motion stitched between all of the cuts, trying to maintain some semblence of a pattern. Now, I will admit, I lost the idea of the pattern about two rounds into this thing, but I still think it looks really cool.  The final step is to sew the cut-out to the tank at the shoulders and waistline where you previously cut the back off. I wore the tank to work that night, and everybody loved it, and wanted to know where I got it. They couldn't believe I had made it: it looks just like the one in the store, but it's my color, and my pattern (my size too!) Remember, the store is a juniors store, so it's not that I'm fat, just regular sized. I have hips and girls, and they don't always fit into the sizes at the store. One recreation down, several more to go....

My shirt has frayed a bit in the wash, but I think it's fantastic! It really somehow adds to the impact of the design. And if you don' believe me, be the judge yourself!

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