Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Inspired Transformation: Ryu Floral Rain Top

The internet can be a great source for inspiration. I'm an avid online shopper...window shopper, that is. I love to browse through the styles available online, and most of the time this serves as the catalyst for some new creation, because maxing out a credit card is not an option (or sometimes there's nothing left in my size, or shipping to my home is just ridiculous!).

This lovely little top was available online some time ago from the brand Ryu, and while the original is lovely, I wanted my version to have a pop of vibrant colour, perfect for warm weather wear :)

If you happen to be  inspired to make one of your own, just follow these simple instructions ;)
You'll need:
  • A basic tee shirt
  • Fabric of your choice for the new sleeves (about 0.5 meters)
  • Matching threa
  • Measuring tape
  • Pins 
  • Kraft paper
  • Marker

The tee shirt that I am using for the project is a basic ribbed cotton crew neck tee; it cost me $5.00. The fabric for the sleeves was left over from another project; it's a stretchy lace knit.

Cut off the sleeves from the t shirt. You can now use one of the sleeves to make the pattern for the new sleeve you're creating. Mark the front and back of the sleeve with a marker or make notches with your scissor, so you know where is the front and the back for when you attach the new sleeves to the shirt. I like to make one notch in the front and two notches in the back of the sleeves.

Cut the seam of the sleeve open, fold the sleeve in half and cut it in two pieces, as shown in the picture above.

Cut a square piece of Kraft paper to draw out the pattern for the the new sleeves. I used a 20" by 10" piece. Next I drew a horizontal line 17.5" long on the paper. That line is where the two pieces of sleeve are going to be resting.

Place the two pieces of sleeve on the Kraft paper, right on top of the line that you drew, make sure you place them exactly as shown above.  I am going to be making a puff sleeve, so the distance between the two halves is the extra room that we need to make it a puff sleeve. I left a distance of six inches, you can give it more or less, depending on how puffy you want your sleeve. Trace the sleeve all around with a marker and cut.

Ta-da! This is the pattern for the new sleeve. Now, you draw the notches in the pattern: one notch for the front of the sleeve and two for the back of the sleeve. The dots on the pattern indicate where to begin and end the cap gathering (to create the "puff").

Fold the fabric with right sides together, place the pattern on top, pin and cut. Don't forget to transfer the notches and the dots onto your fabric sleeves.

These are the new sleeves that will be sewn onto the tee shirt. The next steps are to gather the cap of the sleeve, stitch the seam of each sleeve together and make a casing for the elastic at the lower edge of the sleeve.

You can gather the cap of each sleeve by machine or by hand. If machine basting, pull bobbin threads to gather, as shown in the picture above.

With right side together stitch sleeve seams. Do the same for both sleeves. Since I was using a stretch fabric, I used my serger, but I could have also used my sewing machine with a zig zag stitch length of 1.5 and a width of 5.

Turn the sleeve right side out and this is what it looks like after you have stitched the seam.

Make a casing of half an inch in the lower edge of the sleeve for the elastic, leave a half an inch opening to insert the elastic. I used a 1/4 of an inch wide elastic.

With right sides facing, pin each sleeve to armhole edge matching the back and front notches of the sleeves with the back and the front of the shirt. The gathering must be distributed evenly to obtain a nice puff sleeve. Stitch them together using a serger or sewing machine.

This is what the shirt looks like after you have sewn the sleeves into the shirt. Now, measure your upper arm around and cut a piece of elastic with that measure plus one inch for finishing the ends. The elastic has to fit upper arm comfortably. Pull elastic into lower edge of each sleeve, using a safety pin. Sew ends of each elastic together and sew the half an inch opening closed.


For the flower, cut 2.5 inches squares of the fabric and colors of your choice, use the flower template to cut out the flowers and burn the edges with a candle, do it  carefully because this flowers are very small and you only want to burn the edges. I chose satin in pink and light bronze colors and organza in a creme color. Make as many flowers as you want and place them in any way you want on your shirt.

These are the flowers, cut and burnt and ready to be attached to your shirt.

This is the final product! A nice shirt with puff sleeves and cute flowers to match your shirt. ;)

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