Saturday, January 7, 2012

Guest blog: T-Shirt refashion to Yoga Pants

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T-Shirt refashion into Yoga Pants
First of all, thank you Casey for giving me the opportunity to do a tutorial for Stellar Mother.  My usual blog is very different from clothes refashioning, but this is definitely one of my loves.
This refashion is not my original idea, but if you haven’t come across it previously make note of it today because I think it is one of the most ingenious t-shirt refashions I’ve seen around -  and if you are preggers and looking for something comfy for your bump, these are perfect.
If you are an experienced sewer it will probably take you about half an hour or less to throw together, but even if you are only new to this glorious hobby I would consider this an easy project.
What you will need:
Sewing machine (you could make it by hand, it would just take a bit longer)

First, get yourself a men’s t-shirt, I got mine for $1 at the op shop (that’s Australian for second hand store).  I used a size medium (although it seemed large for a medium) and it came out about a size 10 so keep that in mind when you find yourself a t-shirt.  If you get a shirt that has a colour accent or some pictures on it like mine does, remember that will be in your finished shorts (which can be good or bad)

You will need to make 4 cuts: cut the sleeves off along the seam, cut the neck off – straight across and cut what is left in half (make sure this cut is even on each side otherwise you will end up with different sized legs.)  You can throw away the neck part, but keep the arms because these will become your waist band.

The arm holes become the crotch, so next you need to turn the ‘legs’ inside out (right sides together) and pin/sew up the outside (if you are a confident sewer you can skip the pinning – but you’d know that already).  I sewed from the bottom up because I won’t be hemming the pants so I wanted to make sure they were even on the bottom.  Also, leave a minimal of seam allowance so that you can make sure the shorts are big enough.  Once you’ve sewn the crotch you can try them on and fit them to yourself however you like.

Next comes the most ‘complicated’ part - sewing the crotch.  This part was what kept me away from making pants/shorts, because I thought it was really complicated, but just do it once and you’ll see it’s very straight forward.  First, turn one of the legs right side out.  Then, in order to sew the crotch, the two legs need to be right sides facing...sooooo....take a deep breath and put the leg that is right side out inside the leg that is inside out so that the crotch lines up, then pin the two crotches together (it’s sort of ‘U’ shaped)and sew.  It really is that simple. 

And hurrah!  We’ve got shorts!! 
Now you can try them on inside out and make sure you like the fit.  If they are too big or you want to shape the legs a bit, use some pins to make adjustments where you want them and resew as needed.  I left them as is, partly because they were a little on the small size (next time I’ll use a bigger shirt) and also because they are just for lounging so I don’t mind the straight leg look.

Now to finish them off we will need to make a waist band for them.  This we will make with our cut off arms.  The waist part can be done in a various number of ways.  You can use elastic, or a tie, or as I did, you can just sew it on as is and it’s tight enough to stay put.  You could make a ‘v’ front for a bit of a variation (also good if you’ve got a baby growing). 

First we need to cut them open along the seam, and cut off any leftover seam. 

Then cut the arms so they are nice and even. 

Then we sew the edges (right sides together) on both sides to make the waist band.

Next we need to attach the waist band to the shorts.  I’ll just show you what I did but obviously feel free to do it however you like. 

First I pinned the raw edge of the waist band (right sides together) to the shorts (notice the shorts are tucked into the waistband at this point.)  You could fold it over and sew the waist band on in one go, I just wanted to make it a bit neater on the inside.

Next, fold the waistband over (wrong sides together) so that the inside half comes a bit lower than the first stitching and pin.  Then ‘stitch in the ditch’ to use a quilting term (except that I don’t quilt).  I sewed on the outside (right side) of the shorts in the little ditch that that first stitching made. 

And you’re done!  They are a bit tighter on me than I like, but they do the job.  You could do just about anything you like to them to suit your style and I would imagine you could use different shirts besides a t-shirt as long as it had stretch to it.


Thanks Shawna for the excellent tutorial - I love comfy clothes & I have heaps of t-shirts... I think I know what my next refashion project is going to be...