All I wanted to do today was work on something for Ten Ping….

Before I even got out of bed this morning I had a few ideas of what I might make for Ten Ping to go with her new black and white and red bows shoes. (if you missed them, you can see them HERE.) I was anxious to look through my fabrics and try and figure something out for her. The first thing my hubby greeted me with was, “Morning…can I get a haircut?”

Ten Ping…sorry you’ll have to wait a little bit…

I finished up with his haircut and was thinking while doing it of what I might put together to make something cute…perhaps red and white polka dotted something, maybe a red fabric with some tiny black dots… we’ll see…He left for work and it was me and my thoughts about Ten Ping again…

I heard a knock on my back door and it was my neighbor with a pickle bucket full of red juicy strawberries. She said the Amish friends of hers had called her this morning and asked if they wanted some “seconds” on strawberries. They are still good, but not as good as what they sell. She and her girls had picked 15 pickle buckets full of them and she was offering me one of them. “Sure, I’ll take it.” She told me they probably needed to be burred and put in the freezer right away as some of them were very soft. So I spent the next hour or so burring strawberries and putting most of them in my freezer. As I was burring them, my thoughts went back to Ten Ping…hmmmm…red…maybe I’ll do a red jacket or pants and then trim it in the polka dots….

My phone rang and it was my daughter. She asked me if I had gotten a space cleared up in the attic for her to store her boyfriends stuff up there. They were planning on bringing his stuff over tomorrow. He is going into the Navy and Rebecca told him we had room upstairs. It wasn’t terrible up there, but there wasn’t any one area by itself that was big enough for his stuff to all be together. I went upstairs and began arranging and organizing the room. It was a pretty brainless chore so my thoughts once again turned to Ten Ping’s outfit. Surely after this, I’d be able to look through my fabrics and see what went with those new shoes I made her. I got the room all finished and was quite proud of the way it looked!

I came downstairs to cool off…it was HOT up there. I finally made it to my sewing room and saw something laying on the back of my sewing chair that I had forgotten about. Rebecca had asked me to finish the armholes in a shirt she had taken the sleeves out of. (She needs it Friday morning and tomorrow looks just as busy as today, so I had to do it today.)

SOOOOO…. since I realized Ten Ping’s outfit was never going to get made today, I decided to show you how to fix the armholes of her shirt. I hope you can understand my directions. Sometimes when you sew like I do, it’s easy to assume that the reader knows what you are talking about, when in reality, they don’t have a clue what you mean. This is a fairly simple alteration, so maybe you’ll give it a try sometime.

This was her shirt with the sleeves, (taken out, but laid like they would have looked with them in…) One of the sleeves had ripped in the seam and then torn out into the sleeve, making it impossible to repair. A sleeveless camp style shirt would do just fine she said.

If you click on any pictures they will enlarge.




I took one of the sleeves and cut a strip about 1 inch wide on the bias to use as my binding for the armhole. Mine isn’t very straight, but the fabric in her shirt is very very soft, almost like a sheer gauze, so it wasn’t going to matter. It was very forgiving and moved however I placed it.


The strip just needs to be long enough to go around the armhole in one continuous piece. If you need to, you can stitch 2 pieces together.


Place the shirt with the under arm seam (the side seam of the shirt) facing up under the presser foot on your machine.


Place your bias strip right sides down on top of it, keeping your edges aligned. I used the edge of my presser foot and began stitching about 1/2″ from the end of the strip, (leave a little tail) starting at the under arm seam. This fabric is so sheer it’s probably hard for you to tell the right side from the wrong side. This picture has the bias strip with the wrong side showing and the right side placed down on the shirt.


When you have stitched all the way around the sleeve and are almost to the end, turn back that little 1/2″ tail that you left when you started, and lap the piece you are sewing on on top of where you started. You should have one continuous seam stitched with the beginning end folded under. Clip off any extra fabric of the bias piece.


Take it to your ironing board and press the seam to the inside…


Now you can do this next part 2 different ways… I’ll show you the way I did it. Take the shirt back to your sewing machine and topstitch around the outside of the sleeve, about 1/8″ from the edge.


Press that again… then turn it so that the outside of the shirt is laying on your machine. Begin at the underarm seam again. It’s pretty easy now to just fold up the edges and stitch them parallel with the first row of stitching you did. I’ve done this enough that I don’t use any pins, but if you need to pin it in place, go ahead and use them. Just tuck the fabric under and stitch all the way around and knot when you get to the end.


So this is Rebecca’s finished shirt… She always wears a tank top or a tee under her shirts like this, so if the armholes look a little big to you, they’ll be just fine for her.


…and a close up…


I hope I explained it okay… if you have any questions, just ask me. I don’t think there’ll be time for Ten Ping tomorrow as I’m helping with a Graduation Banquet and I have a meeting in the morning… maybe I’ll just go right now and see what I “might” use… for her outfit…

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Hi Jeanne, your story is funny in that Ten Ping’s material remained in the back of your mind while doing all those projects!
    I do that too hoping to get to that good book or the doll room! I took on scanning all old taxes and any other piles of paper…it’s a long and boring job but I enjoy doing this so we aren’t storing them anymore. It could take up to 6 months or so to finish. One year I did over 11,000 photos!!
    By the way, Rebecca’s shirt looks brand new. I would have never have guessed that it had sleeves if you hadn’t shown us!!
    Have a great Thursday!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Paula,
      Yes, I think seamstresses “always” have fabric and sewing on their minds… at least “this” seamstress does. I’m a very visual person so things remind me of other things and so my mind always stays busy.
      Rebecca likes her shirt this way and it fits perfectly now…She’s happy….I”m happy!
      Thanks Paula,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Jane Miller says:

    I think it is awesome that your daughter was thrifty enough to continue to use her shirt…just in a new way. Smart girl!

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Jane,
      Yes, my daughter is pretty thrifty. She’s always bringing something home that she found for a bargain price/non returnable and saying, “mom, I’m sure you can fix this….” So I’m used to it.
      Thanks, Jeanne

  3. Such a perfect repair on the shirt, Jeanne, thanks for the instructions, and I completely understand the haircut business as I cut Rick’s hair, too. I’m amazed at the amount of work you get done each day before Noon. I’m sure Ten Ping is happy because you’ve been thinking about her all day and tomorrow you will show us what you have made for her. And that will make all of us happy, too, because you know how we like to see outfits, old or new.
    It’s fun sitting here at the computer and watching the orioles stop at the hummingbird feeder! I hope I’m not repeating myself, I think that every day! lol

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Jevne, Some days it doesn’t get done by noon, sometimes it’s 12:00, but 12:00 midnight! Today I’ve had to do errands and tonight I have to cook for a Graduation banquet, so Ten Ping is still waiting…patiently, I might add.

      You mentioned hummingbirds… one came to my kitchen window and just sort of fluttered there for a few seconds, looking straight at me, as if to say, “hey, where’s the feeder?” I had George get it down from the shelf and I intend to get it up this evening. I love watching them too.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Paula, I hope you have a good backup of your computer that is stored someplace safe. Just a tip. Jevne

  5. One thing to question in your day. Daughter and boyfriend clear the attic, not you, but I know how it is when children ask for something. My back would ache giving the haircut. Husband found a great walk in near home so my haircut duties are over. Alterations are ongoing in a family aren’t they?

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Jan,
      It was mostly “our” stuff and she was having finals this week, so I took pity on her and cleaned it up myself. It was a good way to burn some calories!
      My alterations list grows every week! Guess your’s does too!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Kathie Welsh says:

    I like the way your family thinks…use up what you can…the strawberries…the ripped shirt. You all have the “Get it Gene”. Some folks have no common sense and would throw away the shirt and not know how to deal with a strawberry that wasn’t perfect. We know the shirt will go on for several more seasons and the strawberries that aren’t perfect are usually the sweetest and make the best jam or dessrt .
    Have fun at the graduation Party! Ten Ping understands !

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Kathie,
      You’ve never seen a family who recycles, repairs, rebuilds, re-does… if it’s broken so badly my hubby can’t fix it, it gets tossed, but he fixes everything from hair dryers, washing machines, fans, heaters, cars, skillets…etc. You name it, he does it. Then when it’s something like an air conditioner, or a heater, he strips it down and sorts out the copper from the aluminum and cashes those in at the recycle place. He’s pretty handy and I’m pretty thrifty, so we make a pretty good pair. Rebecca has just learned to follow suit.

      The strawberries that were too far gone were enjoyed by the hens! It’s their very favorite thing we give them…strawberry tops!!
      I hope Ten Ping understands because her “mommy” was too busy again today to get anything finished. I’ve got to get 2 Lasagna’s baked and 6 dozen cookies baked too.
      It looks like another late-nighter for me!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Carolyn says:

    Hi Jeanne,
    Ten Ping will wait patiently until you can find the time to work on an outfit. I think we all have days of sewing planned when other things intervene. I will often have sewing projects planned for the weekend and daydream about it all week, then hubby will be working on a project and need some help, or one of the kids needs a babysitter, or one of the dogs gets sick and needs to go to the vet. We just do what we know needs to be done and hope we can find a little time for what we want to do. That’s what moms do! I hope you at least got a little time to go through your fabric and chose some good candidates.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Carolyn,
      You said it perfectly…moms just do what has to be done and they usually do what they want to do last! I haven’t made it into my sewing room yet, but I’m determined to get there before night time! I’m cooking some chicken right now, so I think I’ll go look now… yay!
      Thanks Carolyn,
      blessings, Jeanne

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