Saturday, January 26, 2013

Before & After: The Tale of The Sparkly Pineapple Shirt

It all started in Kohl's. I had just gotten paid, and eager to spend all my money, went out to buy some (much needed) clothes. Mostly for work, I picked up jeans, looked at button up shirts, and even bought my first pair of leggings, but when I ended up in the clothing section to buy shirts I felt lost and confused. It had been so long since I bought clothes in an actual store (Thank you, TeeFury). From section to section I wandered. Some clothes seemed to be for 14-year-olds, and all the other clothes seemed to be for 40-year-olds. Annoyed, infuriated, and worst of all, holding an armful of nothing but work clothes, I made a declaration to "Just crochet all of my own shirts."

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Everything looked awkward. Everything felt awkward. Even the models in the pictures, and the clothing on the mannequins didn't look appealing to me. Nothing was making sense. I was going to make my own clothes. 

I was half joking, but by the time I got home, and ended up alone on Ravelry for a good hour or two, I had looked through all kinds of shirt patterns. I was so excited, the very next day I went out and bought some cotton yarn, then started on a simple-looking shirt, Light and Lacy by Doris Chan.

I had finished it in an astounding 3 days. It worked up so fast, I was suddenly even more excited by my decision to make all of my clothes. The only problem? It fit about as well as an oversized grocery bag.

I told myself it was okay, that I had never made a form-sitting shirt before. At my size, I've never been a Small before, but it turns out that maybe I should have made a small for this shirt (I made the Medium). It was so baggy on me, that as I wore it, I swore it made me look 30 pounds heavier. I told myself it was okay, but I didn't even have the motivation to tie in the ends. I set it on my dresser, and feeling defeated, went to bed.

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The "Before"

The next morning, I don't know if I had a dream, or if the answer was really just that simple all along, but I woke up so enthused, I knew I had figured out a way to fix my shirt to make it look better.

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After much debating, and cringing, I (painfully) ripped out about 75% of my work, then made a band by decreasing the chain mesh.I was really happy that this had been a fast project, because even after ripping out most of my work, it still only took another 3 days to completely finish it. I could make two of these a week if I really wanted to supplement my wardrobe.

By making a band in the middle significantly smaller than the rest of the piece, this pulled it in a bit, then I increased it enough to have it bellow out again. It went from Potato sack to flattering A-Line piece.

(If you are looking for the technical things I did, and how to do this yourself to this shirt, you can look at the notes on my Ravelry Page.)

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Ta da! New shirt!

I love it so much now, I can't wait to wear it! Although, with it being made of cotton, and in such sparkly and bright colors, I can't imagine wearing it any other time of year besides late spring and summer.

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This was also nice, because now instead of just "dealing" with the style of a shirt (the way I would ahve if I had just bought a shirt the other day), I'm now actually looking forward to something. On top of that, I had so much fun working with the colors. The white, although you can't see it, is actually a "Holiday" yarn, so it has metallic tinsel throughout, and the blue-green stripes are Lily Sugar N' Cream "Country Stripes", a yarn I've had in my stash forever, but didn't know the perfect thing to use it on. The sparkles and the stripes give it an awesomely light oceany feel to it that I am so excited to wear around when the weather is warmer.

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I have a lot of plans to make more clothes, of course. I even picked up a book from the library today, and without even noticing the author, I got it home, only to realize the patterns were from none other than Doris Chan herself. After finding Light and Lacy, I went through all her patterns to find that I love her style! I guess I can officially consider myself a fangirl, and I look forward to expanding my wardrobe over the next few months. With such a great start, how could I not be excited?

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