Friday, February 11, 2011

This American Life

Any of you familiar with this excellent radio program hosted by Ira Glass? My husband and I are longtime listeners and have often patronized their online store in search of gifts for each other as well as a way of supporting the program.

One year he bought me a This American Life t-shirt (to go along with the one he already had) which never quite worked out. It was an awkward fit at first, then proceeded to shrink in the wash. But I couldn't bear to let it go to waste.
Although I detest sewing with knits, I feel moderately comfortable modifying and resizing t-shirts. This is what I started out with:
 And here is the final product:
 The idea was loosely based on one I found while perusing Dana's MADE blog. I simply cut off the top right below the sleeves, gathered it onto a piece of calico, made it into a casing, and threaded elastic through it. Strips of the leftover knit (no hemming needed) were then sewn on to make straps.
My favorite part was the pocket, made out of one of the sleeves. I kept the hem of the sleeve intact so I wouldn't have to hem the edge of the pocket. I did, however, have to hand stitch it to the dress to prevent any inevitable odd puckering or stretching that would have occurred with a sewing machine.
 My daughter seemed the epitome of Americana as she chewed on a piece of sour grass that morning.


  1. cute! I like what you did with it! I never would have thought it came from an old T-shirt :)
    Thanks for sharing with me.
    - Dana

  2. love it!! I just got done telling my friend today about how amazingly creative you are (after she commented on the scarf you made me that I was wearing). Speaking of that... check my blog soon :)

  3. i really like the Junie shirt.
    also: do you have a fancy camera? your pictures turn out really well. i keep wondering if it is just my lack of photography skills or lack of a good camera that make mine so dull. i know Allyson's pictures are amazing.

  4. Oh wow! I have an old 'Minus the Bear' shirt that would be perfect for a cute dress...This is making me wish I would have held onto some of those old band t-shirts from the 90's :) I may have to give this a try! ~ S

  5. I want a shirt like that. I need to start scouring the thrift shop for some XXXL shirts I can chop . . .

    this american life is, for the record, my all time favorite.

  6. It is exciting to think there is a use for old shirts we couldn't bear to part with. I know, Susannah - I've been kicking myself thinking of some of my old shirts I finally relinquished.

    I hadn't thought of making one for myself, but that is an excellent idea, Allyson! There have to be some huge nifty t-shirts waiting at the thrift store for such a project.

    Kennan, I have a Canon Rebel XT - probably the most basic model you can get in a DSLR. But even the step up from a point and shoot camera to a DSLR has made a huge difference as to how my pictures turn out!

  7. so, so cute!!

    and i love that show. :)