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By now, you know my reconstruction drill.  I start with some basic materials, often rescued off the racks of local thrift stores:

Large, baggy leopard print turtleneck = stylin’!

I sketch up a plan, with lots of scribbled notes, in ye olde design notebook:

Kitty Shrug.  Rawr!

I figure out what steps it’ll take to get from point A (materials) to point B (plan), then I go at it one step at a time.  For example: for the shirt above, I’m going to need to A) cut the shirt down to size, including cutting it off just below the bustline and removing the sleeves, B) cut the sleeves down to size and gather them to make puff sleeves, which I have a thing for right now, C) make black contrast bands for the sleeves, bottom edge of the shirt, and neckline/hood, D) make a hood, E) make ears and finally, F) sew the whole thing together.  Here we go!

I have a template I made off a well-fitting shirt long ago that I tend to bust out for these things.  It’s important that any fabric I use this template on be very, very stretchy, because the original shirt is quite stretchy.  Luckily, this leopard print turtleneck fits the bill.  I cut a V-neck into the front piece, but not into the back, resulting in this:

You’ll notice in the picture below that I’ve cut the sleeves down, but not small enough to fit.  There’s an extra inch or so there.

That’s because I wanted to make puff sleeves, which I did by running two rows of basting stitch along the curve of the sleeve cap, then gathering it up until it fit the arm hole.  Poofy!

I made the hood by taking two measurements: the distance around the neckline where I wanted the hood to attach (divided by two), and the height of a hood I liked on another hoodie.  I cut these out, curved the backside, and got stitching.  That left only the ears and the black contrast bands.

Each band was made much like the contrast bands for my Diver’s Reef Square-Necked Shirt.  I measured twice the width I wanted the band to be, cut it to the right length to fit whatever part I was working on, folded them in half, ironed the crease, then got stitching.

Then came the ears.  I put the top on, then figured out where I wanted the ears to be in the mirror.  I pinned on one ear via the mirror, then used my handy dandy measuring tape to place the second ear in a mirrored position.  Finally, I hand-stitched them on.

You’ll notice I’ve got just about the most juvenile hand-stitching ever.  You’d never believe I embroider, eh?  At least it works.  Voila!  A big cat shrug, complete with ears:


I’ve been trying to add a lot more about process to my posts, in hopes of adding value.  What do you think?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. 03/28/2010 12:00 PM

    And as I mentioned earlier, I REALLY appreciate the process photos and text.
    Have you thought about writing a book on stylin’ adaptations?

    • 03/31/2010 6:33 PM

      I hadn’t before, but now I’m writing books in my head as I sew. How odd.

      Thank you!

  2. 03/28/2010 1:59 PM

    Absolutely the cutest! and I agree with Diana, the tute and photos are worth the price of admission!

  3. 04/04/2010 8:58 PM

    I think that is the cutest thing ever! You are a very talented seamstress! Rawr, indeed!


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