The Upcycled T-Shirt by Jenelle Montilone

295bc04d93e61ef-261x361.jpg Author Jenelle Montilone
Isbn 9781607059714
File size 56.83MB
Year 2015
Pages 160
Language English
File format PDF
Category hobbies


THE UPCYCLED T-SHIRT 28 Easy-to-Make Projects That Save the Planet Clothing, Accessories, Home Decor & Gifts Jenelle Montilone Text copyright © 2015 by Jenelle Montilone Photography and artwork copyright © 2015 by C&T Publishing, Inc. Publisher: Amy Marson Creative Director: Gailen Runge Art Director: Kristy Zacharias Editor: S. Michele Fry Technical Editors: Julie Waldman and Mary E. Flynn Cover/Book Designer: April Mostek Production Coordinators: Zinnia Heinzmann and Rue Flaherty Production Editor: Katie Van Amburg Dedication My dedication is to those who have come before—may I be a worthy heir. To those who will come after—may I be a worthy Illustrator: Lon Eric Craven ancestor. For those I walk alongside—may Photo Stylist: Lauren Toker I be a worthy companion. To a legacy of Photo Assistant: Mary Peyton Peppo courage, hope, honor, and love—I wrote Style photography by Nissa Brehmer and instructional photography by Diane Pedersen, unless otherwise noted this book for you. Published by Stash Books, an imprint of C&T Publishing, Inc., P.O. Box 1456, Lafayette, CA 94549 All rights reserved. No part of this work covered by the copyright hereon may be used in any form or reproduced by any means—graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or information storage and retrieval systems—without written permission from the publisher. The copyrights on individual artworks are retained by the artists as noted in The Upcycled T-Shirt. These designs may be used to make items for personal use only and may not be used for the purpose of personal profit. Items created to benefit nonprofit groups, or that will be publicly displayed, must be conspicuously labeled with the following credit: Designs copyright © 2015 by Jenelle Montilone from the book The Upcycled T-Shirt from C&T Publishing, Inc. Permission for all other purposes must be requested in writing from C&T Publishing, Inc. Acknowledgments If not for those of you who believed in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself, my words would have never found their way to these pages. I’m grateful for the unconditional love and support of my family and friends. Nothing you do goes unnoticed. Attention Copy Shops: Please note the following exception—publisher and author give permission to photocopy pages 74–77, 85, and pattern pullout pages P1 and P2 for personal use only. To Grammy and Nana for all the love. Attention Teachers: C&T Publishing, Inc., encourages you to use this book as a text for teaching. Contact us at 800-284-1114 or for lesson plans and information about the C&T Creative Troupe. gave me my first sewing machine— We take great care to ensure that the information included in our products is accurate and presented in good faith, but no warranty is provided nor are results guaranteed. Having no control over the choices of materials or procedures used, neither the author nor C&T Publishing, Inc., shall have any liability to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused directly or indirectly by the information contained in this book. For your convenience, we post an up-to-date listing of corrections on our website ( If a correction is not already noted, please contact our customer service department at [email protected] or at P.O. Box 1456, Lafayette, CA 94549. Trademark (™) and registered trademark (®) names are used throughout this book. Rather than use the symbols with every occurrence of a trademark or registered trademark name, we are using the names only in the editorial fashion and to the benefit of the owner, with no intention of infringement. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Montilone, Jenelle, 1984- author. The upcycled T-shirt : 28 easy-to-make projects that save the planet - clothing, accessories, home decor & gifts / Jenelle Montilone. pages cm A special thank-you to Lorie and Paul, who and Nick, who let me keep the nine or ninety that followed. I seem to have lost count. To TW, DV, AF, DM for the Spark. To Jessika Hepburn, Karen LePage, and Kimberly Kling—there is no doubt you’d risk your hide for me. Eternally grateful for cupcakes and the Oh My! Handmade Goodness community. To the Hanics and the Devers families. To Roxane Cerda, Michele Fry, and everyone at C&T Publishing for sharing in ISBN 978-1-60705-971-4 (soft cover) my enthusiasm and clocking endless hours 1. T-shirts--Recycling. I. Title. to see it through. TT675.M66 2015 To Britta Folden, Seth Godin, Lori-Ann 687--dc23 2014033385 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Claurhout. To Turnkey Enterprises, Alice Voss-Kantor, Jo Leichte. And to Pino’s Pizza delivery. CONTENTS 4 Introduction 5 Save the Planet: Sew! Sewing with a Purpose 6 Why T-Shirts? 7 The Beauty of Jersey Knit 7 The Life Cycle of a T-Shirt 8 My Style 9 10 The Basics 48 HOME Triangle T-Shirt Quilt 48 Arm Knit Throw 55 Macramé Plant Hanger 64 Circle Pillow 66 69 KIDS AND FURRY FRIENDS Deer Plushies 69 Stuffed Buck  •  Stuffed Doe Kid’s Art Smock 78 Deconstructing a T-Shirt 10 Cuff Bracelets 82 Terms to Know 10 Pet Toys 86 Tools 11 Hand Stitches 17 Customizing Your Fabric 18 Dyeing and Painting  •  Appliqué How to Appliqué 19 Dog Tug  •  Catnip Knots Reversible Dog Shirt 88 91 CELEBRATE Gift Bows 91 Pom-Poms 93 How to Use Patterns and Templates 20 Holiday Stocking 96 Sewing with Knits 20 Christmas Tree Skirt 100 Making Yardage 22 Ruffle Globe Party Balls 104 Yardage Cheat Sheet 23 Making Yarn 24 107 NO LONGER DISPOSABLE Unpaper Towels 108 Reusable Duster Mitt 111 PROJECTS 28 WEARABLES Summer Flounce Dress 28 Your New Favorite Hoodie 32 Cowl Neck  •  Hoodless Short Sleeve? Long Sleeve? 36 Dust Mop Refills 114 Drawstring Sleeve Bag 115 Bag to Save the Planet 118 Reusable Produce Bags 119 Triangle Market Bag 123 T-Shirt Shard Jewelry 37 Hoop Earrings  •  Teardrop Earrings Pendant Necklace 127 Resources Men’s Necktie 43 127 Bibliography Pom-Dot Scarf 46 127 About the Author Contents 3 INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world. — Anne Frank — You’ve taken the first step to help change the world. Armed with a pair of scissors and a pile of unwanted, outgrown, stained, or ripped T-shirts, together we are changing the way we consume and create. Whether you are looking for ways to reuse creatively, learning to sew, adopting eco-friendly habits, or trying to save money—the T-shirt revolution wants you. I’ve written this book as a pair of goggles that I hope will inspire you to look at things differently. Today we’ll start with T-shirts, but tomorrow maybe you will seek ways to shift the status quo, freely express your inner desires, and make the world a better place through art. 4 The Upcycled T-Shirt I can still remember the day I fell in love with sewing. Frustration had me standing in front of my cleared-off kitchen table, staring at a boxed-up Brother sewing machine. I was tired of shopping for little boys’ clothing when I walked into every store and faced the same lackluster options. I wanted instead to design clothes for their quirky personalities (and to match their cloth diapers!). So I gathered up different materials I could find around the house, took a deep breath, and promised myself I was going to give sewing another try. Yes, another try. The love hadn’t come on my first attempt. My previous experience had left me with thread nests and a few broken needles—but I had been all too stubborn to read any instruction manual. This time I was ready. I set out to repurpose or upcycle some clothing for my two little boys, and a few short hours later I emerged victorious —with enough time to clear off the table and prepare for dinner! Growing kids meant that a donation pile was always in progress: prime for picking fabrics where I would find just the right colors or patterns to use on whimsical appliqués right at home. Talk about convenience! As friends and family took notice, they began dropping off their unwanted clothes and requesting custom clothing for their kids too! Sewing evolved into a passion of mine, but this story begins even before then. It was within the walls of the high school in my hometown of Phillipsburg, New Jersey, where I gained interest in all things agricultural, filling my class schedule with landscaping courses, animal science, and environmental education. I even picked up a part-time job on a local dairy farm. Did you know that a cow has four stomachs? It’s true. I was intrigued and empowered SAVE THE PLANET: SEW! SAVE THE PLANET: SEW! by the direct connection that the agriculture sciences have on our economy, environment, and communities. Paired with my love for the outdoors, I pursued an environmental science major in college. My dream was to become a park ranger or teacher, so I could inspire younger generations to foster a connection with the natural world and responsible actions to sustain it. These deep-rooted values are at the core of my sewing philosophy. I know firsthand the effects of our consumption and waste. Our daily choices impact future generations in ways we don’t often think about. For instance, today the United States has 1,900 active municipal solid waste landfills. Within the next 20 years all of them will be full. What happens then? I spent a lot of time honing my craft and mastering different aspects of sewing before launching my own clothing line, TrashN2Tees, in 2010. Every original design is made from 100% reclaimed materials. I joke that I’ve found a way to combine all the loves of my life and call it a day job. But really, it’s true. Save the Planet: Sew! 5 SAVE THE PLANET: SEW! Sewing with a Purpose Soon the TrashN2Tees blog was started. There, I began to share tips and tutorials to encourage and inspire others to consume less and recycle more. Although many of us cut up shirts to use as cleaning rags around the house, an alarming 11.1 million tons of textiles are discarded each year in the United States alone. The numbers are staggering. The average person in the United States throws nearly 70 pounds of clothing into our landfills every single year. The Environmental Protection Agency says that 95% of this could be reused or recycled. I say that 100% can be creatively repurposed! I know that if I can teach people to sew, sharing tutorials, tips, and ideas to reimagine our waste, we can have an enormous impact. Also, used clothing can be recycled into industrial rags, used in car seat insulation and sound-proofing material, or even shredded and respun into new cloth. Unfortunately, reliable local programs are not widely 6 The Upcycled T-Shirt available, but some nonprofits accept used clothing and resell what they can’t use to textile recyclers. In 2011, I offered a mail-in rebate incentive and in doing so helped divert nearly 2,000  pounds of clothing from our landfills. In 2012, I launched a large-scale clothing recycling program that spans from the Midwest to the northeastern United States, and together we’ve collectively diverted more than 72 tons of clothing (equivalent to 404,407 T-shirts!) from our landfills. Even if you make only one project from this book, you are a part of that growing number. Can I count on you for T-shirt number 404,408? Why not invite a friend over and create together (404,409)! Just like that we can continue to grow our movement. Today, locations nationwide participate in TrashN2Tees clothing recycling. You can find the nearest location by visiting You might not have a donation pile from a pair of kids with super growing powers at home, or a third-floor studio space with 200 pounds of T-shirts, but T-shirts are everywhere—and sometimes even for free! If we peek inside any closet or drawer, we are bound to find at least one unworn T-shirt. We’re more likely to find a dozen. After you’ve checked your own bottom drawer, ask friends and family for any shirts they might be waiting to turn into rags, and scout around for promotional tees at local events. If you’re still on the hunt, T-shirts can be purchased for anywhere from 25 cents to $2.50; head to your nearest thrift store or stop by your neighborhood yard sales—meccas for T-shirt hunters. Scope out online sites, such as ThredUP, Craigslist, and eBay, for secondhand clothing. Keep in mind that small stains, rips, and cracked screen printing graphics or logos are welcome; we’re not simply refashioning these shirts but reinventing them into usable fabric. After you get your newly acquired stash home, be sure to run everything through the wash. SAVE THE PLANET: SEW! Why T-Shirts? You’ll need one or more T-shirts for most of the projects in this book, but I’ve included some small, quick, and scrappy ideas. My aim is to use everything that we cut up! And cotton jersey knit, the type of fabric that T-shirts are made from, is easy to work with—another reason I use T-shirts. The Beauty of Jersey Knit „„ It’s „„ It easy to sew. (See Sewing with Knits, page 20.) doesn’t fray. You can leave your edge cuts unfinished for a casual look. „„ It’s low maintenance. It’s washable, doesn’t always require ironing, and is easier to care for than other apparel fabrics. „„ When cut, jersey knit tends to curl on the edge, which is handy for making drawstrings. „„ It’s stretchy and warm, and comfortable to wear. „„ It’s absorbent. Save the Planet: Sew! 7 SAVE THE PLANET: SEW! The Life Cycle of a T-Shirt Do you have a favorite T-shirt? If you’re like most of us, you have more than one! They’re neatly tucked into drawers—commemorating marathons, emblazed with logos, celebrating family reunions, or promoting your favorite local restaurant. I still have T-shirts in my closet from when I was in school! Have you ever thought about the impact “the life” of just one shirt has on the environment? The life cycle of all clothing has five major stages: the material, production, shipping, use, and disposal. According to a study published in 2009, the material, production, and transportation of a single T-shirt weighing 6 ounces uses 700 gallons of water, 0.22 pounds of fertilizer, and 1.2 pounds of fossil fuels. That’s just for one shirt! 1. The material phase includes farming, irrigating, fertilizing, harvesting, and ginning. Although cotton is a natural fiber, it still takes a toll on the environment. About 25% of all pesticides in the United States are used on cotton crops. 2. After the cotton is grown and harvested, it moves along into the production phase. This is spinning, knitting, wet processing, bleaching, dyeing, confection (the mixing of different fibers), cutting, and sewing—and all of these require energy. Additionally, dyes and bleaches are harmful pollutants and can contaminate water sources. 8 The Upcycled T-Shirt 3. After the T-shirt is manufactured, it enters the transportation phase. As you might guess, this is where the shirts are shipped out to warehouses for distribution. This usually involves overseas shipping. Check your tags. Are most of your cotton shirts made in China or India? 4. Then the shirt reaches the retail market, where it can be purchased, and thus enters into the use phase. Maybe this seems like the least detrimental phase of the T-shirt life cycle, but take into consideration the number of times you’ve washed and dried it. It’s estimated that every household does nearly 400 loads of laundry per year, using about 40 gallons of water per full load (with a conventional washer.) 5. Finally, the life cycle is completed in the disposal phase. This could involve incineration, a process that releases harmful toxic emissions into our air. Alternately a shirt that ends up in the landfill will take years to break down. Remarkable, huh? But a lot of things can be done to decrease the damage inflicted on the environment just because we have to dress. Reuse and recycle clothes. I will show you some ways to do this throughout the pages of this book. SAVE THE PLANET: SEW! Tips to Save the Planet Pick a project in this book to make. Donate clothes to charities or organizations that recycle textiles. When possible, buy secondhand or organic clothing. Turn down the thermostat on your washer and hang the laundry to dry when the weather permits. If your clothes are too ragged or worn out to wear, cut them up and use them as cleaning rags. My Style Though I no longer have to unbox my sewing machine and put it away again each day, I am still learning and experimenting. I love to do that! I believe that perfection is boring. When I finally get to sit down in front of my beloved Bernina, I employ a laid-back, less-calculating freestyle to my sewing. I love diving into a new project headfirst and making my way as I go along. All of the projects in this book can be tweaked a little this way or that; don’t feel pressured to have exact measurements (just try to get pretty close), and feel free to resize them to fit your needs. My hope is that you are as continually inspired by the idea as I am, that our humble hands can take something that we were ready to trash and transform it into a beautiful wearable or practical work of art. Save the Planet: Sew! 9 THE BASICS THE BASICS Deconstructing a T-Shirt Throughout this book I will use terms and techniques that will allow us to deconstruct a T-shirt (or any other shirt) to get the largest amount of workable material. Familiarize yourself with the parts of your T-shirt. The hem is the finished edge on the bottom of a T-shirt and on the ends of sleeves. The fabric is folded under about an inch or so and sewn into place. In the projects Drawstring Sleeve Bag (page 115) and Reusable Produce Bag (page 119), we actually take advantage of the existing hem to make reusable bags. This is one way I try to maximize existing characteristics of a garment to practical reuse. Terms to Know APPLIQUÉ  Stitched by hand or machine, appliqué is a method of applying a piece of fabric on top of another piece of fabric. BASTING  Stitching used to hold two pieces of fabric together before sewing with a more permanent stitch. If done using your machine, use the longest stitch setting. BATTING  Used in quiltmaking, this material is the middle layer between the top and bottom fabrics. BIAS  The 45° angle that runs diagonally across the lengthwise piece of fabric. FABRIC GRAIN  The lengthwise or crosswise thread in woven fabric. If you take a close look at your fabric, you’ll see the threads run in 10 The Upcycled T-Shirt two directions. This is the grain. With jersey knit materials (or your T-shirts) you will notice that the stitches on the right side of the fabric make columns similar to a pattern you might find on a knitted sweater. INTERFACING  A material that is either sewn into or ironed between fabrics to add structure and stability. NOTIONS  A tool or accessory for sewing— pins, zippers, thread, or anything used for a project that is not the fabric. SEAM ALLOWANCE  The measurement that extends past the sewing line. In the United States this measurement is usually expressed in fractions of an inch. THE BASICS Tools My time is precious and best spent sneaking in cuddles with my family along the way. I don’t have the space or energy to invest in an expansive tool kit, so over the years I’ve narrowed it down to the basics. You can make nearly everything in this book with just a pair of scissors, a T-shirt, and a needle with thread. Certain products help make swift progress of your T-shirt crafting, such as a rotary cutter, straight-edge ruler, and cutting mat. And of course, a sewing machine. Along with sharing some techniques that can be used to customize your fabric, tips for sewing jersey knit (T-shirts), and skill-building practices, I am going to break down what tools work best for each. SCISSORS Work best for cutting out patterns, cutting along curves, dissecting T-shirts (page 10), clipping curved seams, trimming loose threads. tip  SHARP SCISSORS Quite possibly one of the hardest-working tools in your arsenal, scissors are worth investing a little more money into so that you can get a good pair and dedicate it only to cutting fabrics. If you try to cut through T-shirts with any run-of-the-mill craft-box scissors, you’ll find that the fabric gets wedged in the scissors and won’t cut. Or if it does cut, the edges will be chewed up. I have a variety of sizes of scissors in my studio, and each one has its advantages. Most often I reach for a pair of spring-loaded Ginghers that will cut through several layers of fabric like butter. They are very well made (in Greensboro, North Carolina) and cut beautifully. They’ll last you a lifetime if you get them sharpened occasionally and use them only to cut fabric. I also keep a smaller pair nearby for narrow cutouts in my appliqué work. For beginners, you can absolutely get by with a pair of shears. ting fabrics will dull your blades. Regular use of scissors for cut- You can take a large piece of aluminum foil, fold it in half a couple of times, and cut through it multiple times to resharpen your scissors. To have them professionally resharpened costs around $7; services may be available at your local crafting store or quilt shop or a hardware store. The Basics 11 THE BASICS ROTARY CUTTER Works best for large cuts, precise straight lines when used with ruler, cutting through several layers of fabric. You might confuse this with a pizza cutter, but it’s much sharper! Essentially it is a round razor-sharp blade with a handle. You roll over the fabric with it, and it cuts. Rotary cutters are available with different blade sizes and can fulfill a number of needs. A larger blade size means you can cut through more fabric faster. A 60mm blade is perfect for cutting yardage, while the 18mm is mostly used to make smaller cuts or to work around curves. I typically use my 45mm rotary cutter (every day!) partnered up with a ginormous selfhealing mat and translucent 24˝ nonslip ruler. It’s the perfect size for doing both big and small cuts. 12 The Upcycled T-Shirt tips  ROTARY CUTTERS To get the best use from your rotary cutter, use it with two other tools: a self-healing mat and straightedge ruler. You’ll have no problem finding them bundled together in kits at an affordable price. The replaceable blades are recyclable, but why not trade them in for new ones? The L.P. Sharp Company ( will exchange your blades for less than the usual cost of purchasing replacements. Their program allows you to send in a minimum of five blades of any brand, size, and condition in exchange for new Olfa brand or generic blades. THE BASICS SELF-HEALING CUTTING MAT NONSLIP RULER Works best for providing a flat surface to work on, keeping your tabletops from getting cut. Works best for making straight cuts on your fabric. In addition to protecting your table or floor from cut marks, a cutting mat can be used to mark angles and other measurements when cutting out fabrics. They generally have measurements, just like a ruler, and grid lines. I recommend getting the largest mat that can fit your workspace. Keep in mind that if it does not have a dedicated place, the mat must be stored lying flat or upright; it can’t be rolled or stored like a band poster. Nonslip is the important part here. Do not try to use a regular yardstick when cutting fabric with a rotary cutter. It most often will not end pretty. Nonslip rulers contain a special feature that resists slipping, so you can safely cut your fabric. Self-healing mats appear to seal themselves up after each pass of the rotary blade. They are made of some mystery material, a PVC vinyl composite. Eventually, particularly with heavy use, they’ll stop “healing,” but until then, they provide a continuously smooth surface to cut on! The Basics 13 THE BASICS MARKING PEN Used for tracing patterns or templates onto fabric. Here’s an über-thrifty reuse tip perfect for those times you can’t find anything else to use: save the small bits of soap bars and use them as marking chalk. SEAM RIPPER With any luck you won’t need this too often, but it’s entirely okay if you do! Seam rippers are actually a great tool for deconstructing garments to upcycle. You don’t have to pluck each stitch one by one—instead, slide the seam ripper under the stitches on one side of the seam. Do this every third or fourth stitch and you should be able to carefully pull the seam apart. 14 The Upcycled T-Shirt NEEDLES Work best for keeping fabrics aligned. Works best for … sewing! Not everyone pins all the time when sewing, but pinning can be very helpful, especially when working with knit materials. A pin is a thin piece of metal with a sharp point at one end and a round head at the other. Pins temporarily fasten materials together. I’m not sure there is a right or wrong way to pin. Over the years I’ve seen it done in every way imaginable. My best practice is to place the pins parallel to the seamline as if they were stitches. Pinning the fabric this way helps prevent you from sewing over the pin, too! tip  STITCHING OVER PINS? When using a sewing machine it might seem like a good idea to sew over the pin—I do not recommend doing this. It’s a gamble—sure, most of the time you’ll stitch over the pin but if you don’t you will break a needle or thread, and worst of all you can seriously damage your machine. Instead I like to keep a mag- These come in a variety of styles for many uses as well. For your machine, I recommend a stretch, ballpoint needle. This special needle is designed for sewing knit fabrics. A ballpoint needle has a slightly rounded tip that allows it to slip through the fibers of your T-shirt with less obvious punctures. It also prevents skipped stitches. You could also use a universal needle if that is what you have on hand. If you do, it’s important to understand that as the needle punches through the woven jersey knit fabric, it creates tiny tears in the fabric that will likely get worse as you wash and wear. The same idea goes for picking up hand-sewing needles; you can use a multi­ purpose needle, but a ballpoint needle is best for jersey knit. THE BASICS STRAIGHT PINS If your sewing machine has an option for zigzag, you most likely can use a twin (double) needle. Be sure to read your machine’s manual for proper setup. This method is great for hems: it builds strength in your seams by creating two straight-stitch lines on top of the fabric with zigzag underneath. netic pin holder or shallow box to the right of my machine while I work. When sewing along my seam, I remove pins 1˝ before I reach them and set them on the pin holder—never taking my eyes off the seam. Also … not all pins are the same. There are pins specifically for quilting, dressmaking, and appliqué, just to name a few. The style of pins that work best is really a matter of preference. Try out a few styles before settling in. I found that I prefer to use straight pins with big bright balls on the heads. They’re easy to grab and easy to see if you happen to drop one. The Basics 15 THE BASICS MATERIALS In addition to T-shirts, the following items will be needed for some projects. Stuffing  Available in a variety of materials including organic cotton, cotton/poly blends, and recycled polyester batting is used to fill plush toys, pillows, or even seat cushions. You can purchase little tools or carefully use a chopstick or pencil end to help pack stuffing into place. tip  STUFFING The trick to good stuffing is to first push small puffs of filling into the corners and crannies before filling your main body. Batting  This is flat stuffing that comes in rolls or precut sizes for easy use and can be used to make seat cushions or for quilting. You can find a variety of eco-friendly options available. Interfacing  T-shirts are comfortable and cozy, but that doesn’t always work out well when you are using them to craft something else entirely. Interfacing is an additional layer applied to the inside of fabric (most often used in garments or handbags) to add firmness, shape, structure, and support. In this book I recommend a variety of interfacings, including fusible or sew-in, woven or nonwoven, and knit. They’re available in light, medium, and heavy weights. In each project I’ll specify the type of interfacing, used but you can choose to use any brand. However, I am a fan of Pellon Sheer-Knit interfacing. It is silky soft, lightweight, and knit, which allows the T-shirt fabric to stay comfortable to wear. It can be applied with an iron. I use this for two reasons: Anytime I appliqué a design onto a T-shirt especially for babies, I will use the sheer knit to cover up any stitches on the inside of a finished shirt to create a smooth surface that is less likely to cause irritation. I also like to use it when I am patchworking with knit material. Jersey has a tendency to curl under, so this adds a little stability without bulk. It can be purchased by the yard in white or black. Tip to Save the Planet Quilters Dream Green is a soft, cozy batting made completely from recycled plastic bottles. Even the packaging is recyclable! Each pound of Dream Green batting keeps ten plastic bottles out of our landfills. 16 The Upcycled T-Shirt Tip to Save the Planet Substitute upcycled flannel (cut from your favorite lumberjack shirts) in place of lightweight or midweight interfacing. Not only does it offer a great amount of support, but it’s still soft and helps to reduce even more clothing going into our landfills! THE BASICS Fusible webbing  An adhesive material that fuses fabric to fabric or to another porous surface, such as wood or cardboard. It comes in a wide range of choices and can be purchased prepackaged or by the yard at your local craft store. Hand Stitches No matter how quickly technology progresses, hand sewing will always have a place. It’s a fine art that I have yet to master. I usually resort to a running stitch, but other common and good-to-know stitches include the backstitch and whipstitch. Pick your favorite. A couple of projects also call for you to do a ladder stitch. 1 2 3 4 5 6 6 5 Running stitch 2 4 1 3 Backstitch 1 3 2 5 4 6 Whipstitch Ladder stitch The Basics 17 THE BASICS Customizing Your Fabric I’m the type of maker who doesn’t waste time mocking up an idea and instead jumps in headfirst. Yes, sometimes it doesn’t always turn out as I planned, but I love that risk. Failure only provides me with a new opportunity to recreate and serves me well for gaining new skills and insights. Embrace the idea that a slightly miscalculated cut or slip of the paintbrush will not be the end to your finished product. Armed with the basics, I hope that you’re inspired to follow your own instincts along the way and design something never before seen. Customizing your experience along the way is a great way to let your unique personality come through in your works of art. You might find yourself wandering the aisles of the thrift store just about to pull your hair out looking for the perfect T-shirt. Why not make it yourself? Taking discarded materials and turning them into a one-of-a-kind masterpiece is fun and easy. 18 The Upcycled T-Shirt Dyeing and Painting Dyeing T-shirts to any color you can imagine is as easy as adding salt, water, and a packet of dye into your washing machine. With the help of fabric markers and paints we can design knit material unlike anything in the stores by using things we already have around the house to create patterns and geometric shapes or to use as stencils. Rummage through your junk drawer, check the fridge for leftovers, or take a walk outside to find inspiration. Use toilet paper rolls to stamp circles. Create your stamp by cutting out a simple shape from foam and mounting it on a solid surface. Paint an ear of corn and then make prints by rolling it over your fabric. Painter’s tape can be used to make plaid. THE BASICS Appliqué Appliqué literally means “to put on” in French (oh là là—you just said something fancy!) and is a technique used to decorate the surface of fabric by applying one or more pieces of cut fabric on top of another fabric. Using T-shirts along with fusible interfacing, you can create no-sew appliqué by simply using a hot iron or sew your finished design down using a machine stitch or embroidery stitches. Designs can be as complex or simple as you like. Appliqué is used in the Cuff Bracelets (page 82), Deer Plushies (page 69), and Reversible Dog Shirt (page 88) projects in this book. How to Appliqué The type of fusible webbing you use is up to you. You’ll be able to buy this either in packaged sheets or off the bolt at your local craft or fabric store. Both sides are generally covered with removable paper or film. To get started, trace your design, in reverse, onto the paper backing using a Sharpie marker or pencil. Cut out the general shape, leaving 2˝ excess around the design, and remove the paper backing from the side without the traced design. Place your cutout onto the wrong side of the appliqué fabric and press with an iron as directed in the product instructions. Now it’s time to apply your design. Remove the paper backing and position in place. When you’re happy with the placement, iron to set it as directed on your main fabric (T-shirt, pillowcase, etc.). Many fusible web brands require no sewing and if gently cared for will not peel off. Some products promise no sewing required, but my best practice is to always sew the appliqué down. T-shirt fabric Interfacing Template Allow to cool and then cut out the traced shape. Cutting too soon can cause your trusty scissors to get gunked up with glue residue over time. Using a sewing machine or embroidery stitches, finish the edges as desired. The Basics 19

Author Jenelle Montilone Isbn 9781607059714 File size 56.83MB Year 2015 Pages 160 Language English File format PDF Category Hobbies Book Description: FacebookTwitterGoogle+TumblrDiggMySpaceShare Did you know the average American throws away more than 68 pounds of clothing each year? Join the revolution to reduce your carbon footprint?one T-shirt at a time! Widely known for her recycling efforts, environmental crafter and blogger Jenelle Montilone will inspire you to upcycle tees into fun and fanciful quilts, accessories, toys, and gifts for the whole family. The 28 easy-to-make projects are economical, eco-friendly, and eclectic. Consume less and create more!     Download (56.83MB) 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse: Remake, Restyle, Recycle, Renew Stitch Kitsch: 44 Happy Sewing Projects from Home Décor to Accessories AlterKnits Felt: Imaginative Projects for Knitting & Felting Knit a Monster Nursery Baby Times: 24 Handmade Treasures for Baby &Mom Load more posts

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