Tuesday, November 24, 2015

T-Shirt Surgery

Two weeks ago, a friend invited us over to make custom t-shirts. I went to Joann's Fabrics and bought a slightly oversized shirt to make a specific Geek Girl Crafts log shirt. The shirt I chose was oversized shirt because they didn't have any in my size in grey; a color I thought would look good with our logo.

The shirt is too wide & long for me. I wanted my t-shirt to be a bit more fitted, shorter, and have a V-neck instead of the high crew neck.  A little bit of t-shirt surgery would make it fit.

First, I grabbed one of my existing t-shirts that I knew fit me fairly well. (I got that one from Tee Fury several months ago.) I turned the grey t-shirt inside out, and lined up the shoulders and general neckline.

I traced around my fitted shirt and pinned accordingly. I added an extra 1/2" seam allowance to the initial line that I drew, and basted along that new line.

NOTE!! Make sure to add that seam allowance BEFORE you sew, otherwise it'll be too tight!

I tried on my t-shirt to make sure that it fit first, before I did anything permanent (like cutting the fabric). For myself, I actually added a tiny bit extra seam allowance for a total of 5/8ths seam allowance for this t-shirt.

Once I liked how the t-shirt fit, I used my serger to sew an overlock stitch along my baste stitches. If you don't have a serger, your sewing machine should have a zig-zag stitch.  (Make sure that your sewing machine is set to the correct type of fabric -- in my case, knit jersey.)

Once you have sewn your new seam, cut off any excess fabric.

My trace line actually was shorter than my fitted shirt. I simply cut off the bottom of the shirt, used my serger for an overlock stitch (or you can use a zig-zag stitch) all around the bottom of the t-shirt and hem it.  I ended up cutting two inches of extra fabric from the bottom before hemming it with a straight stitch.

Here's the newly modded t-shirt next to my fitted shirt. It's a little bit bigger, but I'm okay with that.

The next thing I wanted to tackle was the neck. I found a good tutorial that walks you through creating a V-neck from a crew neck and re-using the ribbing band.

As a warning, Steps  8-10 are a bit fiddly. I suggest stopping at Step 8 from the edge and sew the band down by hand first.

But I really like the results!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Making Your Own T-Shirts

A friend of mine recently got back into t-shirt making. She invested in getting a t-shirt press.

She also got a cricut machine and printer that allows for printing out t-shirt transfers.

Then, she invited us to come over to come make t-shirts. We bought some 100% cotton t-shirts from Joanns and I dug around for some of the graphic images I've made.  My friend JP had his club logo, while I used an archery image I created for my archery club and the Geek Girl Crafts logo.

We made t-shirts, watched a really good movie (Kingsman), and ate. It was a really good evening.
The t-shirts came out really well. Her set-up specializes in darker t-shirts. It took a bit of work as it does require some prep-time with the images, but it was totally worth it.

Here's the final t-shirt that I wore at my archery practice. The other archers loved it.

And the Geek Girl Crafts logo? This is the logo after coming out of the cricut machine. I'm in the process of removing the excess bits before I put it onto a t-shirt -- it prints out a bleed for the images. (With her process, you don't need to make the image backwards.)

Then I transferred it to grey t-shirt.Unfortunately, I was unable to find a grey t-shirt that fit me, so I picked up an oversized t-shirt that I am going to cut down to fit me.

But, I think it came out really well. :-)

I can't wait to wear it at the next con!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Cosplaying Missy: Persistance Pays Off

As many cosplayers are aware, there are many things that can make or break a costume. One of those things are the accessories for the outfit, especially if you're trying to go for screen accurate. (Although, often times, being "close" is good enough.)

For many of the cosplays that I've planned, I've started looking at a lot of the accessories. Luckily, some of them can be bought. Some can be easily found, but some can be hard to find. Because cosplay can get expensive, I try to keep the price of my purchased props as low as possible.

I managed to find two of my needed props with a bit of luck. First, I found the exact cameo on Etsy after much searching. I think I looked at a few hundred different cameos on both Etsy & ebay, and even went to a well-known vendor who has an assorted set of cameos. The price for cameos ranged from $40-$100 depending on the quality of the piece as most of them were considered "vintage".

Modern resin cameos were much less, but there were very few left facing or of this particular "look".

A photo of the actual cameo from the Doctor Who Experience.
(Courtesy of a Friend's Pinterest page)

Without much success, I began looking at cameos that were "good" enough that would pass the 10-foot rule -- a left-facing cameo of a similar silhouette, size, and potentially color (although I could paint the color in myself if needed). I found a few that were good potential candidates. A friend pointed me to another cosplayer who had molded her cameo and selling painted resin copies (which were just "okay"). If I didn't find what I was looking for, this was my backup plan

Then finally, buried on the 30th page of Etsy looking for "cameo brooch", I finally found the same exact cameo. The price I paid for it was on par with an "okay" replica version, so I am happy with the purchase.

The cameo I found on Etsy.

The black hat she wore proved to be a bit annoying to find...at least online. A few of my local stores, including the Halloween stores didn't have anything in stock. I searched under "tilt hat", "boater", "Mary Poppins". Vintage hats of the right look were expensive ($50.00+) and I was unwilling to pay such prices.

Luckily, I had walked into a Japanese five-and-dime store in the Bay Area, called Daiso, and found a black boater hat. It's not quite right, but the basic shape is correct, which I can modify. Plus at $1.99 USD, it is cheap, so I bought two hats just in case I mess up one.

I'm still hunting around for other props that can be purchased. I'll be making the others as I can.