Thursday, September 5, 2013

Crossing My Tee's

While going through some cast-aside clothing, I found several
tshirts that were in good condition. The law in my house (and I wrote this law!) is if I find it, it is mine to recycle. 

To be fair to myself and not paint myself as a tyrant, I should tell you that the shirts I found and used  in this project had been in a trash bag, sitting in the basement, unused, for at least a year. I should further explain that the law is not actually in writing, except maybe somewhere in my own imagination.

I began by washing my jackpot of tshirts. I did one full load of jersies and t's. Then I picked a beige and white one to make some tshirt yarn. This is done by removing the hemline of a tshirt and cutting one continuous strip (about 1"wide) all the way up until you run into a pocket, a printed design or the armpits. Then by stretching this very long strip the sides curl in and form a yarn-like material.

This "skein" came from a white cotton tshirt. It reminds me of the stretchy loops I used to used to make potholders when I was a kid.I used the entire tshirt up until I reached the arm pits. I will show you later how I used the rest of the shirt. OH, and yes, you can knit and crochet with this is surprising how sturdy it becomes once it is knitted or crocheted/

From a heathery beige tshirt I made another skein of yarn. Ironically, this was a very expensive long sleeved T, but was stained. When stretched, it did not curl into itself BUT it left me with a skein of tshirt yarn that had a vintage look to it. I already have some ideas how to reuse it! (If you would like to try this, there are many instructions online as well as videos on youtube. Google it.) If you still need help, let me know!

Then I took a brown tshirt, removed the hemline and started cutting 1" strips across the bottom. (cutting though front and back)

Here is one strip. Now I will stretch it, which makes it longer and as it curls in on itself, the raw edges are hidden.

Here it is stretched and curled in....Now keep cutting and stretching.

I did 15 strips total.

After stretching 14 strips, I fold them in half (like the number 8) to make it shorter and to get the side-seam portion of the shirts all in one place. I am going to hide the seams. I also stretched some of the strips more than others after I had them all together to get graduated sizes. I like that look best!

This is where I use the 15th strip. I wrap it around all strips to cover the side seams of the tshirt. Then I just sew in place.

Looks a little boring at this point, so on to the embelishing part of the process.

This is the remainder of that white tshirt that I used to make the skein of white tshirt yarn. I began to cut petals out to make a white fabric flower to add to my scarf.

....and here it is. Then I wanted to add some interest by placing something in the center of the flower. I found this button:

How cute is that????

Looks pretty cute when placed on the scarf too!

Wear it with an oxford....I was really looking for a favorite white, long sleeved jersey, but I could not find it anywhere! It would look very cute to accessorize a plain white tee with this scarf/necklace.

Here it is shown with a sweater.

I can picture this worn with jeans or khakis and a pair of brown suede shoes or tall, brown leather boots.

I had my first "aha" moment with stretchy fabric strips a few years ago. I was using my serger for the first time and had to take in the top of the dress. It was just too big for my daughter. So, I resurged the sides and the piece that my machine cut off got me to thinking......

This is a fun project and so, so easy. You can embellish the scarf/necklace any number of ways.

Anyone that knows me will tell you that they hardly ever see me without a scarf. My friends often complain to me that they would like to wear scarves but they just can't seem to tie them to get the right look. 

Well, friends, here is a scarf that you will never have to tie. Just stretch it over your head and you are good to go!!!

PS: There is an update to this post:
Click here to read the update!