Since I’ve been sewing my own clothes, I do miss interesting embellished t-shirts, so when I saw this Markus Lupfer t-shirt online, I knew straight away what to do for this challenge. It features origami birds in sequins and beads and at a whopping £397.83, it was never going to be a purchase! So here is my own take on this design.
First of all, I decided to make a few origami birds for inspiration:
I then made some drawings of these to act as templates for the sequined birds:
My next step, was to trace my designs and transfer then onto some polyester organza. I then sewed the sequins and beads onto the organza. This step took an absolute age! I used so many beads that I actually used a whole packet and ended up salvaging the last few from under the sofa. Not that there were many, I found more of Master Steely’s lego pieces under there than beads!
My RTW inspiration t-shirt, has quite a relaxed fit and I wanted to capture that in my copy-cat. I used the Laurie tee from Named as my pattern, from my IPM pattern swap fairy. (Thank you pattern swap fairy!). The pattern includes horizontal pleats on the front, but since I wanted to add my embellishment onto the front of the t-shirt, I eliminated these. To do this, I just folded the pleats up on the pattern, pinned them in place and cut out the t-shirt front so that the pleats weren’t included – a mini hackette!
I used the UK size 10 size. I checked the finished garment measurements and happily made no adjustments (doesn’t happen often). Actually finished garment measurements come in very handy and I really like a pattern to have these. Although it would have been easy to measure these myself, on a more complex design it can save quite a lot of bother.
The instructions were quite easy to follow and I rustled the top up in no time. I liked that the instructions gave some alternatives, based on what you have on hand, for example, it suggested strengthening the shoulder seams with elastic or a strip of the same fabric, if you don’t have that. I did have some stretch interfacing and I used that instead.
I used a bamboo knit fabric from Stone fabrics for the t-shirt. The first order somehow went missing in the post, but Stone very kindly shipped some more with no delay, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing about this t-shirt for this challenge! It is a very light stretch fabric, very akin to the sort of fabric used in RTW t-shirts these days. I was very cautious at first when I sewed it. I was scared it would pucker easily and stretch out of shape and I was really frightened witless that the sequins and beads would be too heavy and pull on the fabric. My fears though were completely unfounded and it wasn’t at all troublesome to sew and although very stretchy the weight of the beads didn’t seem to be a problem.
My final step was to attach my organza-backed birds to the front. I spent quite a while uncertain about how I wanted them positioned, trying to get a balanced look.
Here is my t-shirt, teamed with my new jeans, for a classic jeans and t-shirt look and brushed cotton shirt. Who needs an expensive designer t-shirt?
Nice: very nice. It looks great. Simple and clean.
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Lovely job! I do like an embellished t-shirt.
Thank you. It’s so much easier to just make a plain t-shirt, but every now and then it’s good to jazz things up.
I think your shirt and bird designs are even better than the original. All that hand sewing must have been so time consuming but the results are totally worth it. It looks great with the jeans too! 🙂
Thank you. Yes, the hand sewing takes a time, but it is my go-to activity when watching TV, so it doesn’t really feel like so time-consuming. Glad you liked the design.