So much of our free time these days is spent creating the garden, which is coming along, as you can see from the photo taken last night. As I type, I'm sitting in our foyer keeping my eye out for the truck that's supposed to dump 6 cubic yards of pea gravel in our driveway. (I'm hoping to intercept the dog before she barks up a storm--the babes are sleeping--wish me luck).
I managed to perform T-shirt surgery on my 2006 Bloomsday shirt for the next installment of the HomeMaker column, which appears in the S-R on Friday. The photos make it look kind of like a tank top, but it looks more like a bag in person and it can hold a good amount of stuff (what does that say about the size of my T-shirts?!!).
What's on the crafty horizon, then? Well, if Bo has her way, it will involve me sewing a little shift dress for her. She's liking a book called "Homemade Love," by Bell Hooks, right now. In it, the little girl's dress changes as you turn the pages. When she's getting kisses, it has Xs and Os on it. When she's in trouble, it has sad faces. Etc. Instead of listening to the words, Bo spends our story time letting me know which dress she wants Mommy to sew her.
Update: I'm going to paste the text of my HomeMaker column about making the T-shirt bag here, in case anyone wants to make bags from their old shirts, too. Here it is:
Give Bloomsday shirt a useful purpose
Some people do it for the health benefits. Some like the camaraderie of participating in a major community event.
But a lot of us — c'mon, admit it — run Bloomsday because we want the T-shirt.
After sweating together Sunday morning, it's a Spokane tradition to show up at work or school wearing the coveted finisher's T-shirt on Monday. The Bloomsday folks keep the color and design under wraps until the first participants cross the finish line, making the shirts even more mysterious.
Many Bloomies, though, have a love-hate relationship with the memento. Unless you're younger than 12, male, or a box of cereal, conventional T-shirts aren't exactly flattering.
"T-shirt surgery" to the rescue!
A national trend propelled mostly, I think, by teenagers (kids are so creative), T-shirt surgery involves slicing and dicing basic T-shirts and sewing them back together in unique ways. Some sewers simply cinch the shirts in at the sides, giving the garment a more flattering shape. Others turn them into halter tops, tube tops, baby-doll dresses, skirts, scarves and, yes, even underwear.
There are several new books out on the topic, including "Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-shirt," "99 Ways to Cut, Sew, Trim and Tie Your T-Shirt Into Something Special," and "Sew Subversive: Down and Dirty DIY for the Fabulous Fashionista."
Online, visit www.ohmystars.net/craft or community.livejournal.com/t_shirt_surgery for instructions and inspiration.
If your employer would rather you not arrive Monday morning wearing a tube top, here are instructions for a tote bag you can sew in about an hour.
You will need a Bloomsday T-shirt (Hello!), another T-shirt of the same size you don't mind repurposing and basic sewing supplies.
Lay the Bloomsday T-shirt flat on a table and cut off the sleeves, removing the seam that connected the sleeves to the body of the shirt. Also cut around the neckline, making that opening bigger as well. The shirt's original shoulders will become the tote bag's handles when you're done.
Place the Bloomsday shirt on top of your other shirt, which will be the bag's lining. Follow the same steps, cutting off the sleeves and neckline of the second shirt, but leave about an inch more of the fabric than you did with the Bloomsday shirt.
Now, place the lining shirt inside the Bloomsday shirt, either with the logo facing out or in – it's up to you. Line the shirts up as best you can, and then fold the lining fabric over the Bloomsday fabric all along the old sleeve and neck openings. Fold the fabric twice so you don't expose raw edges. Pin as you go, then sew.
Finally, turn the bag inside out and sew the bottoms of the shirts together. I rounded the sides so the bag would have a bubble effect and look less like a T-shirt.
Turn the bag right side out again and voilÀ! You've created a tote big enough to cart around produce from the farmers' market this summer or swimming supplies for those days by the lake.
And, come Monday, you'll have two things to boast about – covering 7.46 miles with your own two feet and creating a stylish bag that proves it.