Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Bambi Shirt, Deconstructed

In entering into my second trimester and rediscovering this thing that folks call "energy" and this other thing called "motivation", I must admit that the high levels of what I perceive to be energy and motivation may just me being a little psychotically over-ambitious.

I'm not sure. But I think that might be what's actually going on here.

All I know is that I come home frantically thinking about all the sewing I should be getting done, trying to plow through, only to lose myself in the deadline instead of the process of sewing.

I haven't really spoken on Charlotte's concept for Mindful Sewing, but let me just say that it's a concept I aspire to endlessly. Just not accomplishing it very well. Instead, I want to sew like a freight train wants to arrive at its destination.

Such is what happened with my Bambi shirt, which, I suppose I thankfully could not immediately share due to technical difficulties after completing it. It forced me to slow down a little bit.

As stated earlier, I made the shirt for the Sew Weekly challenge based on a picture of me as a child. I wanted to use a picture of me at the age of five wearing a tiiiiiny little Bambi t-shirt. In my mind, it was my muscle shirt, and it was my favorite. I never felt tougher than when I wore my Bambi shirt. I could have sworn that I had a copy of the picture I had in mind a week or so ago, but I was to find I was wrong.

I had to take a quick phone pic at my mom's house yesterday so I could post this.

Anyhow, I'm going to do a quick and dirty review of the deets on the pattern and a confession of my issues with this project:

Source: Cation Designs
Pattern: Simplicity 9333, won in a Sew Grateful giveaway on Cation Designs. Altered via a tutorial to make it "maternity" that I can't seem to find now, and resized to be 34" bust instead of 36". Alterations include expanding the waist measurement by 2" on each side, lengthening the front, and adding ribbons in a lace casing to provide the ability to gather the sides or let them out.

Fabric:  super soft and bouncy remnant jersey, $7/ yard? (Everything is $7 to me if I can't remember. It's been in my stash for a while).

Notions: stretch lace and a blue button, courtesy of Kat's Moon Munkie Mystery Make package. Grosgrain ribbon. Acrylic paint

Additional: In order to make the shirt Bambi related, besides the tight fit (in some places), I added a print of a fawn silhouette. I admit I am pretty proud of drawing that little fawn myself. The butterfly came later.


1. PRIMARY ISSUE: I didn't do a muslin/toile.

2. I used a jersey that simply was not in existence in the 70s, which means it behaved in ways that just didn't suit the cut of the pattern.
Puffy sleeves, and weird neck pull.

3. Even after taking about 2 inches of ease out of these sleeves, they're still too puffy for my tastes.

4. The back was too droopy on me (see #2), and the zipper was totally inappropriate and wonked out the shape of the back (see pics).
Zipper totally bowing out the back
Excess fabric, wavy zipper, just not working.

Back, taken in. Button and eye/hook added to top later. Better, but I still feel like there's a mild case of scoliosis.
5. The alterations to make the shirt "maternity" spoiled some of the things I liked about the 70s design and any resemblance I originally saw in the pattern for my childhood shirt. I am hoping that the massive amounts of fabric will come in handy later, though.

6. The jersey is quite synthetic, and couldn't handle high temps from the iron, so my original plan to use a freezer paper stencil for the fawn was second guessed. I wasn't sure the freezer paper would stick at the fabric appropriate temp. So I used plain looseleaf, a roller for the acrylic paint, and totally slopped up the process.

7. The jersey was "hairier" than I anticipated, so the edges are muddled on the fawn.

8. I got paint on the shirt where I didn't want it. So I made it a butterfly.

9. In trying to add the lace casings for the ribbon, I overlooked the tension change, leaving me with some sloppy seams. I was too tired and crazed to care to change it at that point.


Okay, so that wasn't very quick. But it was pretty dirty, right? I mean...
"Ruched" sides
So, I really do like this shirt, overall. Even with my gripes. I am a little scared to wash it with the acrylic print, though. I did heat set it, but we're back to issue #6. The fabric is super comfy, and it does offer plenty of room to grow. I'm proud of my little fawn, and hope to do it justice at a later date on another project. My main lesson in this project though is the idea that I need to slow down. Deadlines are generally arbitrary and never ultimately important. A good lesson to keep in mind when my due date approaches. ;)

I think this project counts as a Sew, Baby! entry for separates, altering patterns, and vintage, don't you?

1 comment:

  1. I how I feel your struggle! I more than often learn to love what I have made, not exactly the point hey?!
    I have to say Bambi is utterly cute! Keep going, each time we do improve. x x x