Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tee shirt capers.

Sometimes I find t shirts in the op shop that have great images or fonts on the front but they are too big/small/weirdly-shaped to buy for anyone I know. It seems a shame to just leave them there ... Today I got crafty with a couple of old t shirts and thought I would share the process.

T Shirt grocery bags. Or library bags. Or maybe beach bags - who knows, I hate to be prescriptive ...

So first you need some tees. duh.

Let's start with that baby-doll pink one. First you have to hack off the arms and scoop out around the neckline a bit.

Then turn it inside out and shape the bottom. Go on - just eyeball it!

Now pin the bottom edges together and sew a seam.

Turn right-side out and you have yourself a handy tote!

I made a black one in the same way...

... but this time I cut the sleeves and neck out a bit deeper - it is a big shirt and I wanted the handles to be big enough so I could sling it over my shoulder. you could get seriously addicted to making these I think. I am stopping at two for now and moving on to t shirt number 3 which became a cushion. .

I fell in love with the slogan and the font and if it wasn't for a lack of wall space I would have just whacked it in a frame. Open plan homes have their limitations with regard to wall art so a cushion it had to become. First comes the deconstruction ...

I used a steel rule and my trusty rotary cutter for this so that I could maximise the amount of t shirt retained. Once I had it cut out with nice straight (?) edges I bonded it to some fusible webbing stuff.

This stabalises the stretchy t shirt fabric and makes the whole process much, much easier. I had this stuff kicking around and it is pretty lightweight. Does the job perfectly though. Once  my fabrics bonded (awww) I decided that once sewn up the cushion was going to be a bit skimpy with the type pretty close to the edge.

Not to worry - just add a little extra fabric ...

I had some black poly-cotton to hand so that kinda made the design decision for me. It would have been fun to hunt up a patterned fabric but it is just too hot today! I cut the poly cotton into strips and began by attaching one strip to the top edge of the t shirt panel.

Pin and stitch and trim after the fact - saves all that bothersome measuring and what not.

Then I did the same on the bottom and after pressing (yes,I do use an iron occasionally), I top-stitched the seams. See, I can go all professional on your arse when I want to!

Then the side strip of trim is added in the same way. Ditto the pressing and top stitching.

To make the back I used some more scraps of poly-cotton  These came from an Actil factory way back in the early 90's. My mother-in-law was a fan and kept buying more than she could use - in fact more than a small nation could use - and kept passing it off to me. Good quality fabric but nearly always dreadful colours/patterns. However, steel-I-just-threw-up-in-my-mouth-grey is just the ticket for this creation.

You need two bits that are the width of the cushion and each about two thirds the length of the cushion. This enables you to overlap the fabrics making a flap. No zip. No buttons. Love it.

Hem up the long edges (or cheat and use the selvage edges) and place face down on the cushion panel, overlapping the two pieces. Then you just sew all the way around the cushion. Turn right side out and - voila!   A cushion is born.

Here is how it looks on my couch.

This was a fun way to while away the hottest part of the day - not too brain taxing but still rewarding. And one more cushion to drive the ManBeast crazy ....


Anonymous said...

Clever cookie you. I've done a few t-shirt totes in my time, I really should do some more though. I also should add some cushions to the to-do list.

Anonymous said...

You ironed?

Ro Bruhn said...

Your creativity never ceases to amaze me Sue. Stay cool in this on going heat wave.

Emma said...

These bags are great, so simple! Looking forward to your lampshade, too & the skirt makeover. You'll be altering a favorite t-shirt that's become too short to wear with decency, soon, won't you? I'm thinking a bit of lacy fabric or a nice shiny that's tricky to stitch but jut the right color....making it the perfect length to not be tucked into your Levis! (nasty bullies, my trousers were always too short for my 'friends'- if I knew then what I know now ;)

Steph said...

If only I was able to make friend with the sewing machine...sigh... I tried though... Great post and enjoyed the others as well... :) Enjoy your summer, we're bound to have some snow here... ;)

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