Thursday, June 6, 2013

Chop it up.

I started cutting up all of my running t-shirts a year ago. It was spurred by my embarrassment of the underarm discoloring and sweating that would happen when I would run.  That, and I was too cheap to purchase actual running tanks made of the fancy material that wicks away sweat. One day.

With the color run coming up, Steph asked for a tutorial on my t-shirt tanks. She's joining Veronica and me for the run this year.  The color run's got the makings of a sister tradition, as it's a feat in itself for all three of us to be in the same place at the same time. That'll be even more rare if Veronica hops the pond. I digress. 

I meant for this to be an in-person tutorial, but since that didn't happen and I'm back on the blogging game, I figured I'd write a post because she's probably not the only one wondering. Even if you didn't know you were wondering. I've got measurements and all for my engineering sister.

Start by laying your t-shirt flat and smooth. Any folds can cause a problem. I like to lay it out on the carpet for this reason - it seems to sort of stick and cling, allowing me to straighten things out.

Measure two inches below the sleeve and two inches from the sleeves. It's always better to start with a smaller cut and expand later. Make a little snip to mark your spot. Connect the two cuts with sloped line, like so:

You can cut the other side in the same way, or you can fold the shirt in half and trace the cut, as I do. I don't actually draw a line and cut. I carefully cut the other sleeve along the line of the first. 

If you folded your shirt to cut the second sleeve, you're set up for the next step: cutting the neck. If not, fold the shirt in half. Measure four inches from the bottom seam of the neck and make a cut. Slope up from this cut to the shoulder. I aim to cut the neck hem out, so I stay as close to that hem as I can. Remember that the shirt is folded and you'll have to consider the slope of the neck and the hem as you cut. The front of the shirt has a more curved neck hole. It usually means I cut about half and inch from the neck on the shoulder.

I feel like that last piece sounded much more confusing than the process really entails. Let me know if I need to try harder. 

Next, cut the hem off the sleeves, as close to the stitch-line as possible.

Use that sleeve hem to bunch and tie the shoulders. Trim and tuck the ends into the rolls of the shoulder. 

You're done! Easy peasy. You can make adjustments to fit your preference, trimming and stretching the jersey until you're comfortable and hiding all the sweat.

This shirt was a large to start, so I'll be hemming it up from the bottom. I could wear it as a dress right now. I prefer to sew the hem - I find that it tends to rolls up from the bottom and make things awkward. Trim up your shirt, Steph! Only a few days until race day!

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