“Octoberizing” my boys – KCWC days 3-5

Sebastian, Rockin’ his cool “new” shirt

So in case you have heard this term before, It wasn’t me who thought of it! Please read on to find the original owner…

So here I am a few days into the Kids Clothes Week Challenge, and I cannot for the life of me figure out what I wanted to make for my boys….My girls are so easy. What cool clothes could I make for the boys?

Here’s my story; I’m searching, searching, searching and I found this thing on Pinterest…. (don’t a lot of my sentences start this way???) HERE is the link. The Pin was a picture of a long sleeved shirt. It was very simple and cute, just a matter of turning a short sleeved shirt to a long sleeved one. So I followed the pinterest link to the blog page. This blogger coined the term “Octoberizing” T-shirts. I LOVE IT! Everything this blogger explained my thoughts exactly. I have to give this blogger all the credit as it’s not my term, but I’m definitely borrowing!

I went in my youngest son’s drawer…. and I started cleaning out all the summer items, a million T-shirts that he won’t fit into next summer…..and a bunch of long sleeved shirts from last winter that somehow became buried under the mountain of short-sleeved T-shirts. So all-in-all….bunches of size 3T t-shirts with short sleeves, and a few long sleeved shirts that were 2T and too small! The Octoberizing blogger used a full T-shirt and made long sleeves from the fabric to get that layered look. I HAD A BETTER IDEA!

I really LOVED the idea, but I had to simplify at….I really didn’t want to spend a few extra minutes making my own sleeves from random T-shirt fabric when I had perfectly good long sleeves on other shirts. Just one problem, all these long sleeved shirts were a short on the arms and short on the waist. I could do two things, one: add sleeves to the short sleeved shirt, or two: add length to the long sleeved shirt. Well my older son LOVES the layered look. You know those FAKE layered shirts at the GAP that look like one shirt under another but they are really just sleeves attached to a short sleeved shirt and a hefty price tag. Yeah, no thanks, I’m not paying for something I can do myself. (I confess we bought some last year for school—- I never thought about making my own till now) But anyhoo—- I can SEW do this!

How ’bout a tutorial? Like to hear it? Here is goes—

I started with 4 long-sleeved shirts, and 4 Short sleeved shirts.

Too small long sleeved shirts

So I cut the long sleeves off and also cut about 4 inches from the length of the shirt to add length to the bottom of the T-shirt as well.

Cut the long-sleeved shirt like this

So did I measure or draw lines? Nope. I really just wing stuff like this. First with the sleeves, I know they are an inch or two, too short for my little guy, so adding them to the few inches of sleeve already on the other shirt will be perfect. Then for the bottom, I just eyeballed about 4 inches, snipped a small mark where I wanted to cut, folded the shirt in half to cut both sides at the same time.

fold in half to cut the bottom evenly across

If you don’t trust yourself to cut a straight line (sometimes I don’t- especially if it’s expensive fabric) you can mark a line with chalk, or use a rotary cutter.

But just for giggles I went back and measured to see if it was truly 4 inches.

Darn I’m good!

Ok so moving on…

Turn the short sleeved T-shirt inside out. Leaving the 4 inch bottom piece (from the long sleeved shirt) right side out, as you will be pinning them WRONG sides together. (Yes I said WRONG sides, I know it’s not the normal we usually do right sides, but that is wrong for this time, do wrong sides together if you want to be right. HAHA! Yeah, don’t trip on that, lol.)

For the bottom edge of shirt:

Turn the bottom piece upside down and pin like this:

Wrong sides together….bottom piece upside down.

****totally just flashed back to a Berenstein Bears book….Inside, Outside, Upside Down…..OMG you can’t tell that I have kids? haha

I used the T-shirt’s existing seam as my guideline and pinned the bottom piece just above it as you can see. Match up the side seams and pin together first. Then place more pins in between. You may have to stretch the shirts a little bit to get them to line up just right. The great thing about knits….

Sleeves:Placing WRONG sides together.

Pull the long sleeve over the short sleeve (kinda backwards–)  like these pictures: Raw edge of the long sleeve should match the sewn edge of the short sleeve. Again using the existing seam as a guide pin the sleeves together. Mark the center of the top of the sleeve with pins, match up and pin together. Line up the sleeve seams under the arm and pin. Then place a few pins inbetween to hold the sleeve for sewing.

marking the center on the top of the sleeves.

Wrong sides together on the sleeves.

You see how they are backwards? Looks weird I know…

Do this for both sleeves.

Then sew about 1/4″ away from the existing sleeve seam. **Tip: Make sure you are using a ball point needle on your sewing machine. This needle is meant for knits and will make your life easier. I’m not that great with knits, but I’m learning!

Turn sleeves and entire shirt rights sides out. Doesn’t it look great???? ALMOST finished. On the right side of the fabric you want to top stitch the sleeves and bottom part down. This will add a nice professional-looking touch to the finish of the shirt, but also keep the seams flat,  AND it will keep the edges from rolling in funky ways.

Top stitching

Looking at the picture: The seam on the right is mine from sewing the pieces together. The center seam and the left seam are the existing seams on the T-shirt. I followed the existing seam in the center for my top stitching. Sew all three seams and you are done!!!

Here are my finished products, but don’t look too close, I’m not THAT great at working with knits, some of my seams are kinda wonky looking.

I’m not going to lie, that white polo shirt was a pain in the rear….didn’t want to stretch as much. But it looks really nice. He wore that one today.

So that was days 3 & 4. Yesterday I was still pretty pumped with Sebastian’s shirts that I raided my older son’s closet and busted out 2 shirts and a pair of pants for him.

Big kid cool shirt

This one I did a little different, the polo undeneat didn’t stretch well either….So I took the T-shirt, cut the bottom and then serged the raw edge, to give it a little different look. Kinda funky.

I said smile Spencer….He really did love the shirt! And my dog wanted in on the action.

Please ignore the pile of fabric behind him….those are projects in the works. Yup I’m behind. lol

Cool pants.

These pants were a pair of shorts and a pair of sweatpants that were getting high on the ankles. Sewn together with the same method as the T-shirts. My hubby really liked these too…

Any new projects for you these days? What have you accompished this week for the KCWC??? I’ve finished 9 items so far and I haven’t sewn yet today!



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