sewing · Tips, Tricks, Techniques

Whacking & Hacking – My Stasia Tee Re-Mix

Sometimes one writes a blog post while on a layover  in the Las Vegas airport, leaves it in draft form and forgets to post it.  Wonder how I know about that??? So. . .although I made it to my destination of Texas and back home already, I hope you’ll still enjoy this post!

Meg of Sew Liberated designs truly awesome patterns and I enjoyed the privilege of joining her testing group recently. The pattern is The Stasia Dress & Tee and it is magnificent! Lots and lots of options, a great size range (up to 24) and terrific instructions. It was such a pleasure to test for her!

Tee in tree

The Tee/Tank included in the pattern is a layering style, so it’s closely fitted. I made up a tee as a Knitlin (muslin made of knit), loved the way it went together, but had no need for a layering tee at the time. There will be more this Fall, though!
I absolutely LOVE Stasia’s yummy, scoopy neckline, but I was sewing for a trip to Texas and hated to have a non-wearable. So . . . I whacked and I hacked and I blew my little tee up!

If you’ve got a tee that needs a bit of swing, this is an easy hack. Come with me!

I loved the black and white dotted remnant I started with, but didn’t have enough for sleeves or neck trim. Fortunately, I had another black and white print in the “sew soon” line up, so I appropriated a bit of it and really loved the way it went together. So, when my tee needed swing, I went back to the same print.

The Thinking & Planning Part – Cutting & Measuring

  1. Split the original tee side seams by trimming about 1/4 inch away from the side of each original seam.
  2. Unpick the hem about 1″ from each side of the splits. This will make your life much easier as you stitch in the new inserts!
  3. Use one of the strips you cut from the sides to measure the length you need to cut your new side insert. Yes, I know this is not very technical. Stay calm! It gets the job done and that’s what’s needed here.
  4. Decide how much width you need to add at the bottom of each side and cut two strips of your insert fabric. They will be the length you determined in #2 and half of the total width you need to add to your shirt plus 1/2″ for seam allowances.
  5. Now, let’s make those strips into triangles. In this case, I chose to have a straight edge at the top of the triangle that I could gather slightly when it was inserted, so it does not come to a point. Use your ruler to create a cutting line that angles from the bottom triangle edge to the width you have decided on for the top triangle edge.
  6. Repeat #4 for the other strip. If you are using an all over design rather than a stripe, you can cut both triangles at the same time.
  7. As a final check, lay the triangle side next to your cut tee seam to be sure that the length and width will work well. If it does, pin the triangle sides to the tee sides, so you’re ready to sew.

The Easy Part – Sewing the Insert

  1. Once you have pinned as in #6 above, carefully move to the sewing machine (not the serger) and sew the insert into the side of the tee with a 1/4″ seam. Pivot carefully at the top edge corner, gather any excess width, stitch, pivot at the second corner and stitch down the other side.
  2. Pro Tip: Be sure to use Coats and Clark’s Eloflex Stretch Thread for all of your sewing machine stitching. You can use a straight stitch and your seams and hems will still stretch! Incredible stuff!!
  3. Breath! Not bad, right? Now repeat this for the second side of the tee.
  4. Press your seams towards the tee and top stitch on the tee side 1/8″ from the seam you just sewed. Press again and take a minute to admire what you just did. You rock!
  5. All that is left now is to hem the inserts blending the hem into the original tee hem. You may want to unpick a bit more of the tee hem to make stitching and blending easier.

Wasn’t that fun?! This method can be used on purchased tees or shirts of any kind, too. I revamped a couple of around-the-house flannel shirts this way last year and really enjoyed wearing them.

And, now, here’s the reveal and . . .  just for you, my first public bathroom selfies. Aren’t you thrilled?!! You see, I’m writing this from the Las Vegas airport during a layover on that trip to Texas I mentioned. Apparently I’m not bold enough to ask a stranger to take pictures of my shirt, but I am bold enough to take selfies in the public airport bathroom. Who knew?!

You’ll be hearing more from me about Sew Liberated’s Stasia Dress & Tee pattern, but you really should look at it now. I’m pretty sure you’re going to want it, so click here!

The lesson of the day is . . . anything can be hacked, revamped, refashioned, salvaged or whatever. It’s doable, creatively challenging and uber-fun!!

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6 thoughts on “Whacking & Hacking – My Stasia Tee Re-Mix

  1. I used this technique several years for my Dads clothing. He wore a large golf/tee shirt and he absolutely needed an xlarge for his abdominal girth but would drown in the shoulders and short sleeve length. So I took several of his even new shirts and used a solid coordinating knit to add side panels as described. He was such a dapper, happy man and I scored points as the ever trying to please (and I finally did) daughter. Thank you for sharing your wonderful blog !!

    1. Wow, that’s great, Kathleen! I’d love to see a picture if you have any you can email. How wonderful to be able to care for your Dad with your sewing skills. 😊 I’m so glad you’re enjoying the blog. Thanks so much for letting me know!!

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