I’ve always wanted a yellow, circa 1955 convertible, but that’s not the kind I mean. I’m talking about T-shirt conversions. I don’t really like to wear t-shirts–the necks bind, and they have no form–but I love t-shirt art. It’s wearable pop art, elegance be damned. I drooled over the beautiful conversions on Etsy, but I couldn’t quite click the Buy button. Oh, they are quite worth the $40-90. The prices I see on Etsy are quite reasonable for the level of sartorial skill and unique design aesthetic.
It’s just that I have piles of old t-shirts I can’t bear to throw out. So they become skirts, braided shirts, and when the plan fails, rags. Today I got a wild hair. I had an old, extra large Grateful Dead t-shirt–tie-dye aqua blue with skulls and roses–that my sweetie got for me at a Grateful Dead concert (one of their last) right after we met. That makes the t-shirt about 18 years old. The fabric was still sound, so I decided to convert it into a pinafore-styled cover-up to wear over a loose shirt or too short top.
I used the jumper layer of a short dress I really like as a size pattern. The front of the T became the back, a sleeve became a pocket, strips of another t-shirt provided the cords for the side ruching, and voilà! Pinafore/cover-up. I love, love, love asymmetry, so the angled front dart, uneven straps, and trapezoid pocket are all (or mostly) intentional. I like to go with the flow and not do much pinning. I often leave rough edges and stretch for a curly stretch effect on t-shirt material, but for this piece, I sewed the edges under. I will never let anyone see the lack of workmanship.
Still, I’m happy with it. Enjoy the transformation, I know I did.