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What to do with those old military uniforms

We now interrupt this scheduled blogging break to bring you a lovely craft project.

The USAF has been in the process of implementing new uniforms for a couple of years and the changeover will be complete next year.  When you deploy you are required to wear only the new uniform.  This meant that Michael was issued (and had to purchase a few) new uniforms prior to his deployment.

Not wanting to be wasteful, I had him save 7 of his old uniform tops (4 BDU – that’s the regular dark camo – and 3 DCU – that’s the desert/sand camo) so I could come up with something crafty to do to reuse them!

I had an epiphany a few days ago!  Reversible superhero capes for the boys!

Here’s what you need:
~ 4 mens shirts
~ Grosgrain ribbon in coordinating color (I used 3/8″ because it’s what I had, but I would recommend 1″)
~ Fray Check **
~ Scissors
~ Fabric marker/chalk
~ Sewing machine
~ Coordinating thread

:: I started with this (I actually used 2 BDU and 2 DCU shirts for this project):

:: Then I cut the entire back panel off.  Leaving the bottom hem intact, cut just inside the seams, including around the shoulders and collar, to remove the back panel in one piece.

:: Once you have 4 panels cut out, iron them all, then pick out the smallest one.  You will be using this one to create your pattern for the other pieces.

:: Fold this one in half lengthwise and use chalk/fabric pen to make your outline.  Basically, you want to go from the shoulders to the bottom hem gradually flaring out toward the bottom.  You may also need to even up the shoulders/neck.  Just eyeball it – there’s no need for perfection, it’s a dress-up item, afterall!

:: Cut this out and then cut out your other 3 pieces using this as your “pattern”.

:: Once you have all 4 pattern pieces cut out, place one right side up on your table, cut a length of ribbon long enough to tie around child’s neck with plenty of slack.  Then cut that ribbon in half and pin one to the center of each shoulder.  Then place the other fabric, right side down on top of the other and continue pinning around perimeter.

:: Sew with a straight stitch and leave a ½” seam allowance all the way around.  Be sure to leave a 6″ opening in one side for turning.  I also back-tacked my ribbon a couple of times for added security.

:: Snip corners on an angle and turn right side out, making sure to “poke” each corner out.

:: Flatten out, ironing again if necessary and pin the perimeter for top-stitching.  Be sure to close the opening used for turning.

:: Sew with a straight stitch and ¼” from edge, making sure to catch the seam allowance in your top-stitch.

** Use the Fray Check to treat the exposed ends of the ribbon to keep it from fraying.

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