A Sad Shirt Story


Remember the t-shirt I made awhile back?  Here’s a picture of it soon after it was finished:

New t-shirt by Pattern and Branch

The big questions with this shirt were:  ‘Will the fabric still look nice after a fair amount of wear?’ (it was a bargain find at Joann Fabric) and ‘Will the beading, which was salvaged from a silk jacket, hold up to normal wear and machine washing?’  I wore it a few times and then threw it in the washer and held my breath.

Here is the result:

A Sad Shirt Story (Pattern and Branch)


A Sad Shirt Story (Pattern and Branch)

A Sad Shirt Story (Pattern and Branch)

So, readers, what would you do?  These are the options I can see:

  • stitch the heck out of the beading that is there to try to hold it all together
  • take the beading off and finish the edge with t-shirt fabric (which makes it sort of boring)
  • take the beading off, finish the edge with t-shirt fabric and sew something else interesting on top
  • take the beading off and sew something interesting on the edge without another finish
  • something wild, crazy, and as yet undiscovered (we can label that “miscellaneous ideas”)

I think I could go for anything other than the boring option because I probably won’t wear the shirt if it’s too plain.  I don’t regret trying it, though.  I love the look of the beading on the shirt and it’s very possible I’ll just sew the heck out of it to keep it on there.  I also wanted a garment that could stand up to the washing machine.  I did a whole semester of hand-washing everything in college and, while it was very nice and meditative at the time, that’s not something I want to fit into my life now.  We’ll see.  So…I do NOT concede defeat and declare this a craft fail.  Game on, sewing conundrum!



8 responses »

  1. How cute! Its always a mystery how hand made items turn up out of the wash. I suggest that you take beading off, fold over fabric twice tucking in salvage edge, and finish the edge with the presser foot close to the edge as you would installing a zipper. THEN Re apply beading! Xx


  2. I would go to JoAnn’s remnant table to see if they had some trim in there that would go with your t-shirt. Take off old trim (cause it’s going to ravel more) and put new trim on. Shirt is saved!


  3. Lisa, you have way more patience than me! I would just toss the whole shirt and start over. 🙂 Hope you can figure out a good solution though! I like the idea of trying to sew on a different embellishment and finish the edge somehow.


  4. O.K. Lisa, because I can tell you are really bummed about the cool trim, here’s my suggestion…what about taking the same shirt material (if you have any left, or a coordinating fabric) and attaching it along the inside neckline then folding it under and hand stitch or machine stitch it to the beading along the black bead line. If there isn’t enough black beading along the entire neckline, either sew on more black beads or first take the trim off and salvage enough to just go around the front of the shirt? You can still try the same process suggest just with the front if need be.

    All that said, I personally would probably scrap the whole shirt as Carolyn mentioned!

    🙂 Gretchen


    • Hm. I will think through this. The nice thing is that even if I were to take the beading off, the shirt itself would be fine. I do really love the beading, though, so I’ll look at the shirt and see if I can get what you mean. Thanks for the suggestion.


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