Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Handmade Christmas: Part 1 {Sewn Gifts}

The first sewing project I wanted to give as a gift this Christmas was a denim shirt for my dad. He wears shirts like this a lot. He had one work shirt in particular that was so faded that it was nearly white and I had patched holes in it several times, but it was too threadbare to repair anymore. My dad had casually asked a couple of months ago if I could use that shirt to make a pattern by. To be honest, I had sort of forgotten about it until I found it while straightening up my crafting area a while back.

The worst part of making a pattern from an old shirt is taking the original one apart. Seam by seam. It's enough to make one hate sergers. But finally I had all the pieces, so I ironed them out and traced them onto paper. I bought a couple of yards of denim and after two days of sewing, this is what I ended up with:

It looks like it's crooked, but that's just the way it's hanging. :)

I have to admit it's sort of freeing (and maybe a bit stressful) to not have to follow pattern instruction sheets while making this. All I had to go by were my messy notes on how it was sewn together. It was time-consuming, more so than a shirt for myself, because every single seam is basically double stitched for durability. {It was like that on the original shirt, so I decided to do it, too.}

My little sewing machine handled all of the thick denim pretty well, except for in a few spots where there were three or four bulky layers. The yokes on the front and the back have points, so that was interesting to sew.

I'm happy with how it turned out, though I don't think I'll be making another just yet. :) My family didn't realize it was handmade when Dad first opened it, so I suppose that's a good sign.

I also made my sister-in-law an apron. I used McCall 5825. This was my fourth or fifth time making this pattern, but I used a different view: one that used hemming instead of bias tape. I have a love-hate relationship with bias tape, anyway, so this was so much easier.

It's just a basic apron, with two slightly unusually-shaped pockets and pink ties (for the neck and the back). The pattern called for rickrack at the bottom, but Hobby Lobby didn't have any of the right shade of pink, so I used ribbon instead.

{And after awkwardly trying to get pictures of it on my closet and then wrapping the apron, I suddenly realized, goober. You have a dress form.}

{P.S. Sorry for the grainy, dark pictures. I don't get much natural light in my room.}
Until next time,


  1. That is really impressive that you made that shirt. It looks perfect! I also really like your pink wall.

  2. Those both look amazing! I loved seeing your other sewing projects in your previous post, too. Happy New Year!

  3. Both projects came out wonderful! I am so in awe of your sewing skills!


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