28 Easy-to-Make Projects
That Save the Planet
Clothing, Accessories, Home Decor & Gifts
Text copyright © 2015 by Jenelle Montilone
Photography and artwork copyright © 2015 by C&T Publishing, Inc.
Publisher: Amy Marson
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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
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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,
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gave me my first sewing machine—
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The upcycled T-shirt : 28 easy-to-make projects that save the planet - clothing, accessories, home decor & gifts / Jenelle Montilone.
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
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.
To Britta Folden, Seth Godin, Lori-Ann
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Claurhout. To Turnkey Enterprises, Alice
Voss-Kantor, Jo Leichte. And to Pino’s
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
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
Hand Stitches 17
Customizing Your Fabric 18
Dyeing and Painting • Appliqué
How to Appliqué 19
Dog Tug • Catnip Knots
Reversible Dog Shirt 88
Gift Bows 91
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
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
Men’s Necktie 43
Pom-Dot Scarf 46
127 About the Author
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.
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!
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!
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
The Upcycled T-Shirt
available, but some nonprofits accept used
clothing and resell what they can’t use to
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!
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
easy to sew. (See Sewing with Knits, page 20.)
doesn’t fray. You can leave your edge cuts unfinished for a casual look.
low maintenance. It’s washable, doesn’t always require ironing, and is easier to care
for than other apparel fabrics.
cut, jersey knit tends to curl on the edge, which is handy for making drawstrings.
stretchy and warm, and comfortable to wear.
Save the Planet: Sew!
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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!
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
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
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.
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.
Work best for cutting out patterns, cutting along curves,
dissecting T-shirts (page 10), clipping curved seams, trimming
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.
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
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
(lpsharp.com) 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.
SELF-HEALING CUTTING MAT
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!
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
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.
The Upcycled T-Shirt
Work best for
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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!
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.
No matter how quickly
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.
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.
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.
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
Cut out the general shape, leaving 2˝ excess
around the design, and remove the paper
backing from the side without the traced design.
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
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
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