My heart is racing, I’m out of breath, and my torso is strangely constricted.
I’ve been a-sewing.
Warning: If you don’t like Hollywood blood and/or you’re under 12 years old, this is probably not the blog entry for you.
Many years ago, I acquired this shirt due to winning the youth section of the Sisters in Crime Scarlet Stiletto awards (you can read the story if you don’t mind blood, murder, and terrible formatting – it’s at http://home.vicnet.net.au/~sincoz/stories02/death.htm). The other story I mention in the video (again, blood and murder and so on) is at http://felicitybloomfield.wordpress.com/2010/08/12/murder-story/. Both are under the name “Felicity Bloomfield” because they’re not child-safe.
I’d have preferred a shirt in my size, but that’s just not the way it works in this mixed-up world. Today’s awesomeness was suggested by Steff Metal, who as a metal chick is constantly forced to wear the XL shirts female metal fans are so often reduced to. So Steff, this one’s for you.
I’ve cut the boring bits from the video, but didn’t stop the timer. That whole adjustment really did take exactly five minutes, including putting it on at the end – and cutting off all the dangling threads.
For those of you who either don’t have video, lack psychic powers, and/or genuinely want to try this, here’s how.
1. A fully threaded-up sewing machine (with long dangling threads at the needle every time you start a new seam). Alternatively, try hiring a roomful of seven-year olds. I hear they’re good at this sort of thing.*
2. A good pair of scissors – ideally fabric scissors, but seams hide all manner of sins.
Here’s what you do:
1. Lay the T-shirt flat on a table and cut off large chunks from each side, including the entire sleeves (I realised later that it might have been good to allow a teensy bit extra for my womanly curves). These are the bits I cut off (the pins are strictly decorative – I almost never use pins or measurements, and I don’t own an iron):
2. To make a sleeve, pick a spot along the recently-cut line that’s roughly where your armpit should eventually be. Fold the material over along that edge and sew the fold in place (that’s your seam). You need to fold it so the rough edge is inside the shirt, and sew upward from your armpit, past the top seam, and about the same length down the other side (make the sleeves big, because you can always make them smaller later).
3. When you’ve done two sleeves (and the shirt is flapping open like a poncho), turn the shirt inside out and sew along the sides from the bottom end of the shirt to the armpit spot (your sleeve sewing and side sewing will overlap). Your aim is for the shirt to end up closed and the arm-holes open. When you start your side seams from the bottom edge, you know it’ll at least appear to match up. In the video, I did one whole side before starting on the second sleeve, and I’m pretty sure I failed to begin from the bottom of the shirt, too.
4. Cut off all the dangling threads. Warning: do not cut off your fingers. Fingers are useful.
5. Your XL T-shirt is now a S/XS/M tank top. Congratulations. Advanced players, unlike me, will end up with a shirt in the correct size, rather than the too-small variety. Ah well.
Alternative ending – a piece I’ve entitled, “Oops. Was that meant to happen?” or, “Boy, those scissors sure are sharp.”
Play along at home: Hey kids! Ask an adult for help before slicing up your wardrobe (or theirs).
And here’s today’s entirely unadjusted rainforest picture, from Flickr.com:
* But you may not want to give them sharp objects. Your call.