Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Elegance and Elephants Guest Post: Gap Polo Knock-off

***Today is my first day of my new part-time job working at Creative Sewing Machine Center! I'm so nervous and excited at the same time! It's not quite "hit home" that I get to be surrounded by sewing and beautiful fabrics all day AND get paid for it! Y'all all say a quick prayer for me on my first day! I can't wait to be in my niche all day, but I sure am going to miss my sweet boy! My heart has been crushed at what has happened in this country in CT. I've been praying for these sweet families and their tremendous losses. I just can't even imagine it. Please continue praying for them. The below guest post was originally on Elegance and Elephants for Heidi's Knock it Off series! Enjoy!***

It's such a pleasure to be here with you guys today! Thank you, Heidi for having me! I love a good knock-off and I have been LOVING this series like crazy! I'm often inspired by what I see in clothing stores. I have trouble even shopping anymore, because I would rather figure out how to make it, than buy it. Oh, you know you're the same!

Today I have a Knock-off for the Gap Embroidered Rugby Pullover, that was originally $32.
There is no way, I am going to buy a $32 polo for my growing son. I love him to pieces, but no. Not when I can make it.
Mine is not EXACTLY the same, but I had this knit stripe shirt that matched so perfectly, that I just had to knock-off this Gap item when I saw it. I'm one of those blessed sewist that has a machine that is both an embroidery machine and a sewing machine in one. While I did use some of the machine embroidery for this shirt (the nine and the patch area), I also added some hand embroidery to make it match a little bit more, too. There's an art to learning both machine and hand embroidery, and I enjoy both.

So, here's how to make the Knock-off Embroiderd Gap Rugby Polo!

Since I was upcycling an existing polo, I first detached the collar by seam ripping the original collar out. My plan was to sandwich the new hood I would make in the old collar's place.
I cut out my shirt using a pattern block, and I kept my shoulder seamstogether, so that I would not have to resew my collar piece later. I just cut off the bottom and sides, leaving the shoulder seams. Literally, I used the front block piece to cut out the front. And the back block piece to cut out the back.
Now that my shirt was cut out, I worked on the embroidery aspects. First, I designed the 9 in my software and machine stitched that out. After I was done, I free stitched the extra blue stitching using a triple-stretch stitch with a wider width over the 9 to make it look a bit more like the Gap version.
Then, I used what embroidery patterns I had on my machine to make the other shield patch. The biggest disappointment was how small the flags turned out. Learning to machine embroider can be such a learning curve. I have no idea why I couldn't get them any larger than that, but oh, well, it's still cute. After I stitched that out, I hand stitched the crown and the red chevron area.

Next, I used a Gap hoodie we already own to trace out my hood. The GAP hoodie I was knocking off, just had two hood pieces, not three, so it was very easy to lay a hood flat and make a new pattern piece.
I used a gray knit t-shirt, using the hem of the shirt for the hood hem, and sewed and "serged" the two pieces together. And by "serged" I mean, I used the stitch over where I had done a straight stitch to make it look serged. Tricky, tricky, eh!? I sandwiched the hood into where the old collar used to be and stitched in the ditch to add my new hood.

All that was left was adding my sleeves.
I used a twin stretch needle to hem my shirt, as well.

I just think it turned out so cute!
I guess, he did, too!

Now, isn't that just fun! I love knock-offs! Mine was Free since I already had all the supplies in my stash! Yay, for that!

Thanks for having me, Heidi! I hope you guys will come check out Designs By Sessa here!