Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Embellished Five

Stefi, of Just Chic, contacted me a while back about this cool project that she had come up with. Her idea was to give the same article of clothing to 5 different people and see what they could do with it - the idea being to improve, embellish, and enhance. The only real rule was that the article of clothing had to remain the original article - a shirt had to remain a shirt, not changed into a skirt, or a scarf, etc.

Our first article of clothing was a plain, pink, boxy t-shirt. Here's the before:

And this was my inspiration piece:

The Sleight of Shirt Tee from Modcloth

I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to try bleach painting. But before I could add my painting and embellishing, I needed to tweak the fit of the shirt a bit. I wanted a more feminine, less boxy fit, and a more open neckline. So first I pinned and sewed a new "curvy" side seam.

Then I cut a new neckline.

And used this idea to finish off the neckline.

Now my shirt was ready for some painting. I used the Clorox Bleach Pen.

Be sure to place a layer of cardboard on the inside of your shirt to prevent the bleach from seeping through to the back of your tee. Then you can draw on your design:

I let mine sit for a couple of hours, until I could tell that the fabric was bleaching out. Throw in the washing machine, and wash your bleach out. Then I sewed some white lace around the neckline and "pockets".

And no more plain boxy tee:

Of course, my kids asked "But mom, if you wanted buttons on your shirt why didn't you just sew buttons on?" To which my response was the most brilliant, all-purpose, mom-answer, "Just because."

You can check out the 4 other amazing pink t-shirt re-do's on Stefi's blog. And look for more of this project coming up - we're doing 4 more rounds with different articles of clothing.


  1. Cute!! I almost used the bleach pen on my shirt too but changed my mind at the last minute!! I actually have a practice shirt with bleach all over it!!

  2. I would have never come up with the idea of using bleach to create "fake" buttons an pockets . Wow! Super cute!

  3. Cuteness. Ingenious to use a bleach pen. Great job!

  4. This turned out terrific! I love the bleach pen details!

  5. that lace detail is cute! well done Jenn :-)

  6. This is sooo cute! The bleach pen...what a great idea! I'm a new follower, and thanks for checking out my blog too! :-)

  7. Thanks so much for linking to my piping for raw edge finish. Loving your refashions, some great inspiration.