Thursday, February 23, 2012

$3.10 maternity shirts

I loathe the cost of maternity wear.
It's rarely cute, always poorly made, and only occasionally on sale (though never the right season).
If I find a cute $8 top I practically dance in the aisle at Target.

So my $3.30 a piece maternity shirts require the following supplies:
3 pack of men's v-neck white t-shirts $6 on sale
Sharpie fabric markers $20 for a set of 8 ($2.50 each but I'm only counting them as $1 in my calculation b/c I didn't come close to using the whole marker on one shirt)
Elastic (about $0.30 worth)
Scrap fabric
Spare stencil optional if like me you can't draw

I made them in two styles, one using scrap fabric to make an empire waist, the second sewing elastic directly to the sides of the shirt to create rouching, therefore a little pouch in the front.

For both versions you want to start by using the fabric markers to decorate a part of your shirt. Use your stencil to draw a pretty pattern, or freehand it if you've got that kind of skill. I chose to do a little something up top by the neckline, and a larger area of color on the belly and side:

Empire waist version:
Measure the width of the shirt two inches below the armhole seams.

Cut a piece of fabric twice that length (so it will go all the way around the shirt) plus an inch, and 3 inches wide. Fold the long sides of the fabric under about 1/4 inch and iron.
Sew the fabric on to the shirt 2 inches below the armhole seams. Leave the ends open. This will create a long pocket for your elastic to be threaded through.

Measure under your bustline and cut a piece of elastic (I used 1/4") one inch shy of that number.
Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic and thread it through the fabric. Secure the elastic ends together (hand sew or machine will work for this).
Fold the ends of the fabric over each other and sew the fabric tube closed.

Side rouching version:
Measure from 2 inches below your armpit to your hip bones. (For me this was 8 inches)
Cut two pieces of elastic (I used 1/4") to that length.
Flip the shirt inside out and pin one end the elastic two inches from the armpit seam and the other end two inches from the bottom of the shirt. Do this on both sides.

Sew the elastic directly to the shirt, stretching the elastic as you sew to fit the shirt.
I used a straight stitch for this. If your thread is catching in your elastic considering turning down the tension.

Looking at this picture I'm definitely going to go back and add more pink and black to the belly part of this shirt. It was hard to judge how much would be too much, but I feel more neon is in order. Thoughts?

Also, for size calculation purposes, I bought a men's large and I'm normally a women's medium. They do look a little big now, however, I'm not due until June 24th so when they're getting the most wear (warm weather) they will probably barely contain the belly.

Friday, February 10, 2012

DIY Tory Burch pom pom scarf

Saw this on Blake Lively in In Style and I fell in love:

THEN I saw a similar one in hot pink (which I can't find a photo of) and that did it, even though it's not really close enough to Spring to DIY a scarf for semi-warm weather I went ahead and did anyways.
This is super easy, I did it on my sewing machine but honestly wouldn't take much to do by hand.

2 yards of fabric, 18 inches wide- I used a jersey knit that I had laying around, but
you could totally do this with a t-shirt that you don't plan on wearing anymore.
2 yards of pom pom trim from the interiors section of your fabric store. I assume that this is
usually used to trim curtains or pillows.
Coordinating thread

1. Pin the pom pom trim to the long side of your fabric

2. Sew it on with a zig zag stitch. At the ends fold the trim under and sew it to close it off.

3. Wear it

Stupid easy, stupid cheap. This cost me $3.50 for the 2 yards of pom pom, bought it when Joann's was having a half off sale on trim.

Just for the record, the Tory Burch version is $80. Just sayin'.

You can wear it rolled in tight, or wide: