Sunday, July 06, 2014

Sunday Sew-Day: Going Tribal

You've been waiting for this. Now you get to see what I did with that lovely tribal print fabric leftover from this black pencil skirt refashion.

Black Pencil Skirt - Before & After

I've seen numerous tanks and tees recently that pair a printed back with a solid front, so I decided to give it a go myself. I grabbed this lovely t-shirt from my refash stash to supplement the tribal print. This was a standard unisex tee from a craft store purchased for, as you may have guessed, a bachelorette party. We all decorated t-shirts with iron-on letters before going out on the town to celebrate our friend's upcoming nuptials.

Tribal Tank - Before

Having not worn this tee a single time since that night (gee, I wonder why), I think it's time to cut it up and turn it into something new!
The first step was, as usual, deconstruction. I removed the shoulder pads, zipper remnants, sleeves, and lining.

Tribal Tank - In Progress

Then I picked out the darts from the back panel.

Tribal Tank - In Progress

I also sewed up the center back seam, where the zipper used to be.

Tribal Tank - In Progress

I cut out my new back panel with a curved shirt-tail-esque hem and extra deep armholes for a bit of a racerback.

Tribal Tank - In Progress

I laid my print fabric on top of the back of my black tee, lining up the top corners of the curved hem line with the hem of the tee.

Tribal Tank - In Progress

Then I cut out my front panel, a little wider than the back and with normal-ish armholes instead of the racerback.

Tribal Tank - In Progress

I removed the print fabric and cut a scoop neck for the front.

Tribal Tank - In Progress

The bottom of the back got a new hem.

Tribal Tank - In Progress

Then I attached the sides by folding the black fabric over the raw edge of the print fabric, since I wasn't worried about the jersey fraying like the woven print would.

Tribal Tank - In Progress

I sewed 1/4-inch from the fold, encasing the raw edge of the print.

Tribal Tank - In Progress

I was a little nervous about the armhole and neck bindings as I'd never done this with a knit fabric before. I was afraid I would stretch it too much or too little and end up with wumpled fabric, a too-tight collar, or gaping armholes. I found this tutorial on Pinterest which offers three different ways to do a knit edging. I chose the second way she demonstrated, which is quite similar to my usual binding method, but again, working with a stretchier fabric made me anxious. But hey, how do you improve yourself if you don't try new things, right? So I cut some strips horizontally from my t-shirt remnants, and I pinned one to the inside of an armhole, with the right side of the strip facing the wrong side of the body fabric. I stretched the strip a little as I went around, a little more around the curves.

Tribal Tank - In Progress

Once that was sewn, I folded my binding over toward the outside of the shirt and pinned again.

Tribal Tank - In Progress

I edge-stitched the binding and immediately tried it on. It looks a ever so slightly wonky when the top is laid flat, but when the fabric is stretched around The Girls, it's practically perfect. I was terribly pleased with the result, so I repeated the process for the other armhole and the neck edge.

Tribal Tank - In Progress

For the final detail, I cut a little pocket from the bottom of the back of the original dress (below where my curved hem was cut). I flipped the fabric around so the original bottom hem of the dress is now the top edge of my pocket.

Tribal Tank - In Progress

The edges were pressed inward about 1/4 inch.

Tribal Tank - In Progress

Then I pinned it in place on the front of my tank top.

Tribal Tank - In Progress

I ran two lines of stitches around the sides and bottom of the pocket, about 1/4 inch apart. This encases the raw edges as well as just giving it a bit more professional appearance.

Tribal Tank - In Progress

And my new top was complete!

Tribal Tank - AfterTribal Tank - After

While this print isn't quite the same as the tribal prints that are so popular recently (most I've seen tend to be more colorful and more pastel-ish), I think it's totally passable in its new form. Certainly more up-to-date than it was!

Tribal Tank - AfterTribal Tank - After


Tribal Tank - Before & After

12 comments:

  1. Very Cute!! The armhole detail is very good. You definitely have come up to our challenge !

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  2. Woah! What a cool top you ended up with! Looks very well made.

    www.dressupnotdown.blogspot.com

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  3. Cool! I'm glad the great print on the top got used for something cute.

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    1. Every part of the buffalo...

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  4. I really like this one! It's a good way to use some fabric from a dated dress.

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    1. Absolutely! There are so many great prints available at thrift stores, if you can look past their original form.

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  5. What a great way to use that print! You did not disappoint :) Nice to know even a seasoned sewist has qualms about some procedures, I must say!

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    1. I'm not sure I'm really all that seasoned, but I certainly strive to improve my skills whenever possible!

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