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Creative Sewing to Share Moral Positions

I recently up-cycled some T-Shirts into a very special jacket for myself.  My hubby and I joined with approximately 30,000 other patriotic Americans of all nationalities in Birmingham, AL at the Restoring Unity event August 27-29, 2015.  While there, we (of course) purchased some T-Shirts that express our strong feelings that

ALL LIVES MATTER

and that – NOW is the time.  Remember when the world finally discovered the horrific events of the Nazi extermination during WW2?  Well, we said then…. ‘Never Again’, right?  Well – with the movement of ISIS daily persecuting fellow Christians and any others that don’t agree with them (become Muslim), and the ‘Planned Parenthood’ videos that have exposed this for what it is… KILLING, NOW certainly is THE TIME!  Never Again is NOW!   To speak my soul and faith, I’ve created this jacket to wear at appropriate functions, and whenever I want to cause comment, get people to ask questions, etc. Starting with the special ‘event’ T’s and another old ‘promo’ T that belonged to my late brother…  My hubby actually bought a T and a great hat, but I decided it was best to keep my creative paws OFF his stuff!


3 Event T's + a Base T to start.....

3 Event T’s + a Base T to start…..


Honestly, I didn’t know where I was ‘going’ regarding design, so I just ‘dove in’ as I say…  Since Orange isn’t my best (nor most of ours) best color, I decided to place the boldest orange on the BACK.  Hence, the cut you see below…  I used my Londa’s Terrific ‘T Knit Top pattern for the neckline, shoulder, length, etc…..  Forgive the glare – God’s sunshine coming into my basement window, a welcome thing!


Brightest Orange for the back...

Brightest Orange for the back…



Orange centered over 'base' grey T piece for the Back.

Orange centered over ‘base’ grey T piece for the Back.


The ‘left justified’ placement of the lettering was a challenge from the ‘get-go’.  It looked very off-center.  That led to narrowing down the right hand side of this orange piece, and shortening it to about 2″ below the black section – which helped.  Then I ‘quilted’ it to the base grey ‘T’ using monofilament thread in the needle so that the stitching wouldn’t show up much.  I found the ‘paint’ of the black created quite a ‘drag’ on my presser foot.  A teflon foot would have come in handy, but none around.  If I’d had to sew on that area much, I’d have gone and retrieved some talcum powder to spread over it – and the issue would have been solved.  That being ALL the way on the 2nd floor, I ‘made do’.  Perhaps I should have  taken the break to run the steps anyway. Here is a close-up shot of the finished back.  You can see that I ‘trimmed’ along each side of this with a single layer strip of cross-grain cut grey T, about 1″ wide.  This single knit curls to the right side – exposing the wrong side.  Centered on each strip (which I pulled slightly as I stitched to encourage the ‘curl’), I couched some black and grey yarn.


1" cross-grain strips of base T shirt as 'trim.

1″ cross-grain strips of base T shirt as ‘trim.


At this point, the back was approximately 15″ deep from the center of the back neck down.  I was envisioning more of a Jacket than just a knit top, so that led me to a STASH DIVE.  I came up with this narrow ‘ruffle’ fabric.  The selvage is a great ‘finished’ edge, so my mind went to my ‘Twin Set Tweaks’ Talking Pattern – the ‘Cascade Hemline.  Since this crosswise ‘stripe’ knit fabric was a darker color, that quickly lent itself to the ‘bottom’ of the jacket so that the ‘stripes’ would go vertically.  (A gal has to keep figure flattery in mind at ALL times, right?)


Horizontal 'ruffle fabric' with a great selvage for 'finish'.

Horizontal ‘ruffle fabric’ with a great selvage for ‘finish’.



Twin Set Tweaks Talking Pattern - neat stuff to do/change on any basic knit top pattern.

Twin Set Tweaks Talking Pattern – neat stuff to do/change on any basic knit top pattern.


I took the back of my ‘Volunteer’ T and embellished it for the left lower front as you can see in the photo below.  It is laid on top of the base grey ‘T, and stitched, couched, etc.  In this photo, you can also see the center front/neckline ‘trim’ I created by centering a 3/4″ cross grain strip of the orange T scraps (from the shirt I used to decorate the Back) on top of the grey strip.  I pulled these slightly as I stitched them together.  Then, steamed to encourage the ‘roll’, then applied to the jacket later withOUT stretching.  Then, I came back and centered the grey yarn on the orange strip and couched (zigzag with monofilament thread in my needle).


Close-Up of Jacket lower Front.