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How To Make A Simple Slipcover For Round Ottoman Using A T Shirt

If you have a favorite old t shirt (perhaps an old concert t for rock and roll flavor) that you’re unable to part with but are no longer wearing, you can easily fashion it into a casual slipcover for a round ottoman, such as this one:Denim Drum Ottoman 1


For this project you’ll need a basic sewing machine, an old t shirt, a round ottoman (although this method will work on an oval shape as well), fabric shears, a marker, piece of fabric for ottoman top plus a couple of inches for seam allowance, thread, pins and a measuring tape. A steam iron is helpful but not necessary.

Slip t shirt over ottoman and decide where the bottom edge will be. You’ll be using the existing hem as the bottom edge. Measure, adding two inches for seam allowance. My ottoman is 11″ and so will be cut to 13″

Measure side width plus seam allowance 2

Lay as flat and evenly as you can on your cutting surface. (It’s helpful to align edges and press first)

Lay side fabric out for cutting 3

Cut at predetermined distance from bottom hem. Mine was 13″

Cut side fabric 4

Set aside the side panel, and lay your top piece face down on your cutting surface. Put the ottoman upside down on this fabric and, using a felt marker lightly draw line around ottoman. (Holding marker parallel to ottoman side makes it easier) This line will serve as your seam guide when attaching top. Measure and mark at several points 2″ out from this line for your seam allowance.

Cut out top piece along those points.                                                 Prepare top cover fabric 5

Moving your attention back to the side panel, measure circumference of ottoman. If your shirt exceeds this measurement, cut it down the side, measure and add one inch to the circumference measurement. Then pin and stitch this side. Press seam open.

You can skip this step if your t shirt already “fits” your ottoman.

Mark top cover fabric 6
Pin side panel for stitching 7Turn side panel inside out and pull over ottoman and adjust so that hem is as even as possible. Then take top piece and place face down on top of ottoman. You should have your inked line facing you. Pin along this line, making sure that t shirt edge is as even as possible with top piece edge. The t fabric tends to roll a bit.

Adjust side panel inside out 8 Pin upside diwn top piece to side panel 9With top piece facing you, carefully stitch along your ink line, keeping under fabric from bunching. Trim excess seam allowance fabric to about 1/2″.

Turn inside out and pull over ottoman. This cover is fairly plain, but imagine the possibilities, and so easy to do!

Casual tshirt slipcover!





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What Would You Do With An Ankle Length Denim Shirt?

denim shirt ankle length front ankle length denim shirt backIt’s easy to find denim shirts in thrift stores. My eyes have gotten very accustomed to Continue reading What Would You Do With An Ankle Length Denim Shirt?

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Embellish A Denim Vest With Lace For Less!

I think I must have seen a thousand denim jackets and vests today-truly! Some weeks back I glimpsed a very slighted modded denim jacket in a mall shop in Reno for around $50. So today I went on the hunt for an inspiration jacket or vest that would be simple to recreate at home with basic sewing skills, for much less. My field trip took me in and out of Bebe, J. Crew, Gap, Dillard’s, Chico’s, Tilly’s, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Maurice’s, and finally, Rue 21, where I found my inspiration piece. Randomly checking price tags showed a range of $26.99 up to $128, with most of the pieces priced in the middle. That’s a good chunk of money for something that functions mostly as an accessory in the wardrobes of many.

Here is the inspiration vest spotted at the mall for $26.99:

The lace on this vest is sewn in the inside of the cutout, allowing the edge fray to be highly visible. The trashy chic of this piece is a bit over the top for me, and appears overly contrived and downright cheesy. $26.99…really?
Inspiration vest

Later, at the Salvation Army thrift store, I found this printed denim jacket:

Project vest
The price for this one was $4.99, but I was in luck-today all green tags were 50% off, so the jacket was just $2.49! My plan is to remove the sleeves, add a lace inset to outside of the yoke cutout, and run some color matched eyelet around the bottom edge. Maybe some studs or buttons if the mood strikes… maybe not… I believe it will look super over a summer dress or tee!

My next stop was Mill End Fabrics, a fantastic local shop where one can purchase trim as needed, rather than as packaged:
Lace trim at Mill End Fabrics
From all of this and more, I chose some eyelet lace (currently enjoying quite the comeback!) and lace panel for the project vest:
Trim & receipt project vest
All that I need for the project, plus a bit extra, cost just .97!

First, some simple prep work and gathering of supplies and then, off to the work table…
I washed the jacket and trims in cold water. Best to put the trims in a lingerie bag and let hang dry, which takes almost no time at all.
For this project you’ll need: sewing machine, thread, pins, sharp fabric scissors, any button or studs you may wish to put on at finish, and less than an hour. You may want to press the jacket, but just out of the dryer ought to be fine for this project. Something I recently learned and would like to pass on is to never use waxed thread. This is intended for ease in hand sewing, and could damage your machine.

First, cut off both sleeves:
Blog 2 remove sleeve
Then, carefully trim edge that is behind the outer finished edge.

A good pair of sharp fabric scissors make this easy, with a neat finish.
Blog 2 trim sleeve

Next, cut out both front yokes, leaving between 1/4 ” and 1/2″ from existing seaming.
Blog 2 cut out yoke

Pin lace over cutout, using plenty of pins to avoid shifting. Take advantage of any nicely finished edges in your lace, as here on the bottom edge. Place to avoid trimming finished edge later.
A tip: Those thin, flexible plastic chopping boards? Placed under fabric, make for really easy pinning.
Pin lace on outside

Sew lace over both openings using zigzag stitch. Then trim excess lace as desired.
Blog 2 sew lace inset

On this vest I chose to add eyelet trim along the bottom. You may choose to sew this over outside edge, or along inside for a more subtle effect. Use plenty of pins.
Blog 2 sew eyelet around bottom edge

I also decided, as I often do, to give the vest a bit of a rocker edge with some low profile stainless steel studs from Studs & Spikes buttons would have also been a fun choice.

Finished close up

And here we are, all finished and ready for Spring and Summer or Fall-enjoy!
Finished and ready for Spring and Summer!

Shop for upcycled and embellished jackets and vests here!