Since the first day of this season’s Kids Clothes Week happens to fall on Earth Day, I felt it was quite appropriate to recycle some old grown-up wearables into a few new little-one wearables!
I started with this pile of polos that I picked up recently at a thrift shop. One of the things I love about upcycling thrifted clothing is that it’s already been washed and dried multiple times, so there’s no guessing about how the fabric will wear. The fabric in these polos was all in great condition, so I don’t worry that I’m going to put time into sewing something with it, only to have it pill after being washed and dried a few times.I fell in love with the vintage look of this first polo with its vertical stripes, and I was so excited to find that they fit perfectly on the Charlie Tee pattern in Jamie’s size. Normally, when I upcycle a cotton knit shirt, I reuse the hems to save time. The hem on this shirt was so crooked, though, I didn’t really want to use it as is. That was the first sign that something just wasn’t quite right with this shirt. Without the hem allowance, there wasn’t quite enough fabric below the placket on the original shirt for the new one, so I had to sit and seam rip the original hem.Once I had the pieces all cut out, including the back and the sleeves with their original hems intact, I sat down to re-hem the front of the shirt. I noticed upon close inspection that this knit looked quite strange. That would be because the shirt was sewn with the stretch going up and down, rather than around the body. So weird! But, I wanted those vertical stripes! I’d invested enough seam ripping by that point that I felt it necessary to just move forward. It’s a good think I was determined! A broken serger needle and a little bit of sewing-machine-eaten fabric later, that old polo has a sweet new life as a vintage-look striped tee for my 6-year-old. (And, it fits perfectly, even with the front of the shirt turned the wrong direction!)Charlie’s tee was so much faster and easier! I grabbed this pique cotton polo that was formerly sold at a high end men’s store. That means the fabric must be great, right? I definitely didn’t have to worry with crooked hems or fabric turned the wrong direction!This tee took less than 30 minutes from cutting to done. I was able to use the existing hem from the old polo for the front and the back of the new tee. Rather than re-hem the sleeves, though, since the originals were trimmed with ribbing, I used the Charlie Ringer Tee sleeve option. Voila! A cute little ringer tee for my youngest from what started the morning as a used and tossed aside polo. (I’m going to put off sharing modeling photos of the things that I sew for KCW until we’re on our family trip in a few weeks. I’m taking advantage of KCW this week and sewing up tops so that my youngest two will have plenty of handmade shirts to take with the jeans — and possibly winter coats — that we’ll be packing! I really hope that it warms up a bit north of here soon!)