refashion projects for Anya

I'm in this dreadful knitting rut, like I've never been before. For weeks I've been undecided about what to start next. Perhaps my indecision is due to lack of inspiration, or maybe it's just the complete inability I have to make up my mind. Either way, I don't much like it. 

Because it turns out I really need knitting in my life. I need it to keep my hands busy and be productive, and the emotional impact of a creative activity that is such a constant presence in my daily life is quite significant. Basically, it makes me feel good to make stuff all the time.

I thought I'd gotten going when I started a new lacy cowl a few days ago. It's Tonic Water from babycocktails, and instead of a nice squishy wool, I was using Hempathy, thinking it would be a cool, breezy accessory rather than warm and cozy. Well, it's just not working out. Now I'm unconvinced that the summery yarn substitution was a good idea, plus I think I'll run out of yarn long before the cowl is long enough, so I'm calling it quits.

Now the Cowl Fail has blown my confidence. I just can't seem to get started on anything. Aren't there dozens of sweaters and mittens and scarves in my queue? Don't I have piles and piles of yarn waiting to be made into warm, beautiful things? Yes, but for some reason I'm just stuck.

Meanwhile, I'm working on some shirts for Anya. Despite the fact that girls' clothes outnumber boy's clothes by a factor of about 10:1 in the stores, it is nearly impossible to find anything acceptable for her to wear. She rejects anything pink or purple or glitzy or too patterned unless it has leopard print. Plain and/or sporty is what she likes, and by the time you narrow it down to those categories and then eliminate everything pink, there's not much left.

 I bought several plain shirts from Lands End once, and they were lovely until I washed them and the arms all shrunk by 2 inches and then I couldn't stand to wear them anymore. The knit fabric is nice and soft, though rather stretchy and delicate. Instead of giving or throwing them away, I held onto them thinking I could repurpose them somehow. Not long ago, I had the bright idea of cutting these shirts down and remaking them for Anya. Here is the first one:

The neck was already small enough I didn't need to modify it. For the rest, I lay out one of her shirts on top, marked it with tailor's chalk, trimmed the sides and sleeves, and re-sewed the seams. Not bad, right? Here is a detail of the hem:

I was afraid stitching by machine would stretch the hem too much, so I hand-stitched along the bottom and the sleeves with a double strand of embroidery floss. It's either cool and Bohemian or a little sloppy. You decide. I'm going with the former, and have already started another!

Here are a couple photos of the process. Marking:

Sewing the hem:

It was such a perfect and beautiful day outside, I set up a little work station outside while the kids played in the yard after school:

Idyllic, no?


Renee said…
Love the T - shirts and the hem treatment. And boo on manufacturers for only making pretty-pink and purple things for girls!

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