Friday, June 3, 2011

T-Shirt Crafts

I've been visiting my sister in Iowa for the past few weeks and have done some serious crafting. I've been focused mainly on my t-shirt quilt made from all of my old t-shirts from LSU. I just finished 4 years there as a collegiate swimmer, so needless to say I have enough t-shirts to stock the local goodwill (and many of them have actually ended up there). With the leftover scraps we made scarves and knotted bracelets and even a few fabric flowers. I'll fill you in on the details below. All you will need are scissors, t-shirts, and some sewing materials.

We'll start with the details of the blanket which you can find in a different variation here at my sister's blog. Gather up your old (or new) t-shirts and you're favorite pair of scissors and cut out 13x13in squares depending on how big you want the blanket. I wouldn't go any smaller but you could maybe go an inch or two larger depending on the size of the t-shirt, just make sure each square is the same size. Don't worry about having perfect squares. For one, it will give you an ulcer after cutting out 30 t-shirts and two the material is very "forgiving." After you have your t-shirt squares line them up how you want them (half for the front and half for the back of the quilt) and pin them together in rows. Sew each square in a row together and run it through the sewing machine. Once you have the rows finished pin the rows together, starting with 2 rows and adding 1 on as you go. Do this for both the front and the back then lay the two pieces on top of each other front side out. Lay a piece of batting (optional) the same size as the quilt and pin the 3 pieces together (front side of quilt, backside, and batting). Sew around the outer edge leaving one square one one of the 4 sides unsewn so you can turn it right side out. Once you have sewn and turned it right side out, sew a closing stitch to finish it off. Now snuggle up on the couch and enjoy!! Here is my finished project:

Now onto the knotted bracelet. This is pretty simple once you get the hang of it, and I adapted it from V and Co.'s jersey knit bracelet. The use a much longer piece of material and offer a video tutorial and 2 other variations of the bracelet (my blogging skills aren't as advanced).
Start out with a 1 inch strip of jersey material (I used the bottoms of the left over t-shirts.) If you cut in a spiral it makes a continuous strip. I use about a 48in strip. Note that I do have child size wrists that are NOT proportional to the rest of my arm.

The pictures are better than my wording, so I'll give the best commentary I can.
1. Hold the strand with your palm and thumb

2. Weave it through your fingers (you can use 2, 3, or 4 fingers depending on how thick you want it.)

3. Repeat the weave in the opposite direction, then pull the strand of your hand without weaving, rest this strand above the weave (I forgot to take that picture!).

4. Then pull the woven stand over the flat strand and off of your finger. Repeat steps 2-4 until you have a long enough braid to fit your wrist. The tie off is really simple, just loop the excess through the weave and tie the two ends of the braid together. It will stretch out a little bit. Also when you begin the bracelet make sure to have it nice and loose because I learned that it can get tight enough to cute off your circulation hah.
Here it is finished:

Now onto the Scarf, I stole this idea from my sister who gave us each one for Christmas. This is by far the easiest craft you will ever do, you don't even have to cut straight. I used the bottom halves of the t-shirts that didn't go into the quilt. My friend K loves the packers so I made her one out of a green and yellow shirt, so feel free to combine 2 shirts of different colors! And of course I made a purple and gold one in honor of LSU ;)
Cut the t-shirt into 1 inch strips. They should be loops/circles, so you will just be cutting straight across the shirt, cutting the back and front at the same time.

Give the loops a nice stretch to make give them that rolled look, and use another scrap to tie them off, it can be the same color or different like the pink and black one I made below:
Now don't tell me that wasn't easy.

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