Friday, February 01, 2013

The Art in Fiber, 2013

Some of my very favorite people in the whole world ... Gerald and Debbie Tobola ... are the owners of the Copper Shade Tree Gallery in the wonderful little art-town of Round Top, Texas.  They have nurtured Texas artists since they started the gallery, and gave me my own start in showing and selling.

Gerald & Debbie Tobola

This year, their month-long exhibit, The Art in Fiber 2013, is themed, "A View From My Window" and features 24 Texas fiber artists, including me.  I'm thrilled to have been juried into this show by the renowned Karey Bresenhan, no less!  The opening is tomorrow afternoon, from 2-5 p.m.  If you are anywhere near this little artful oasis situated between Houston, San Antonio, and Austin, it will be worth the trip to see the exhibit and the town.  It is also very near La Grange, where the Texas Quilt Museum resides ... voted Best Museum in Fayette County.

Here are the front and back of the postcard, inviting you to The Art in Fiber 2013 show.  I hope to see you there, sometime between February 2 and March 3.

The artists who will have work in the exhibit are:
Marilynn Barber
Pauline Barrett
Anne Berversdorf
Noreen Borys
Andrea Brokenshire
Susan Byrne
Janice Drees
Suzan Engler
Connie M. Fahrion
Barb Forrister
Debbie Geistweidt
Margery Hedges
Susan Fletcher King
Linda Teddlie Minton
Janet Moran
Sona Nast
Heather Pregger
Diane Sandlin
Oscar Silva
Annie Smith
Jo Sweet
Hope Wilmarth
Gay Young

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Faux Layered T-Shirt - Mini Tutorial

See, I have this problem.  The older I get, the more "old-lady-ish" my upper arms get.  And I no longer wear sleeveless or even short-sleeved shirts.  It seems that most of the cute t-shirts that are made these days are made with very short sleeves, and even "capped" sleeves.  They don't work for me, so I finally decided to do something about it.  Once I figured it out, I thought I'd share what I learned with you.


If you have t-shirts with too- short sleeves, you can make them longer by adding faux layered sleeves.  Most of us have old t-shirts that we don't wear anymore ... let's cannibalize them for parts!

  First, measure the diameter of the too-short t-shirt sleeve hem (“target sleeve”).  Lay the sleeve flat and measure straight along the sleeve hem. 

From an existing sleeve of a discarded shirt:  cut it off at a point that closely matches the diameter measurement you’ve taken of your target sleeve.  For instance, if your target sleeve diameter measures 8”, your newly-cut sleeve diameter (at the cut edge) can measure from 8” to about 8-1/2” diameter at the cut.

(If the new sleeve is much larger, you can simply narrow it by taking a larger “bite” out of the existing inner seam to make it the diameter you desire.)

Turn the newly-cut sleeve length inside out, and insert it, cuff-side first, down into the shorter ("target") sleeve … making sure wrong sides are together … aligning the new raw edge with the hem stitching line of the old sleeve.  You will be working (pinning) inside the existing sleeve for this next step, although you can turn it slightly back in your hand to facilitate pinning. 

Matching first at the underarm seams, secure with a single pin at the underarm seam.  Then, starting at the center-shoulder, pin all the way around each side, working towards the underarm seam, making sure not to stretch either fabric.  If your new sleeve is slightly larger around than the existing sleeve, this will allow for some slight easing at the underarm.  Clip into the new fabric at the underarm, if necessary, so you can slightly overlap any excess fabric, as shown below.

Below is a picture of the new sleeve (on the right) pinned onto the inside of the (flipped back) existing sleeve of the t-shirt (on the left). For the photo, I've also pulled the new sleeve out from the inside of the t-shirt, where it had been tucked for the pinning process.

Before taking it to the sewing machine, I find it easier to now turn the shirt entirely inside-out, and flip the new sleeve back to expose the newly-pinned-on sleeve addition (see below).  This will allow easy stitching on the free-arm of your sewing machine.  (If you don’t use a free-arm, you may find it easier to leave the shirt right-side-out, and sew it that way.)

I find that when using horizontally-placed straight pins, and sewing slowly with a zig-zag stitch, I can safely sew over the pins without removing them.  However, do remove them if you feel more comfortable doing so.

Beginning just past the underarm seam, stitch slowly with a zig-zag stitch , being careful not to stretch either fabric;  and as you come back around towards the underarm seam, ease any overlap at the underarm seam, and complete the zig-zag seam. The completed faux-layered t-shirt sleeve is shown below.

You can now turn the shirt right-side out and admire your new “layered” t-shirt! (The one shown below is a different t-shirt, with longer added sleeves ... but the same technique.)

I hope you enjoy this process as much as I did.  Since I'm not a garment seamstress, any technique that allows me to alter existing garments is a bonus for me!

BONUS Hint:  If you don't have a lot of discardable t-shirts laying around, you can pick them up really cheap at a thrift shop or Goodwill store.  Lots of great colors to go with your fun t-shirts, and all you have to look at are the sleeves!  I never pay over 99 cents for them.