Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday Sewing - Repurposed T-shirts Part II

When I posted the tutorial for re-purposed T-shirt bags a few weeks ago, I mentioned that I would show you later what you can do with the leftover pieces of shirt.  Some things I like to use the sleeves, neck ribbing, and T-shirt bottom for are headbands, gathered sacks, cold drink sleeves, and ribbing for other re-purposed projects.

*pieces of T-shirt left over when you cut out a T-shirt bag
*sewing machine or thread and needle

Neck Ribbing
This is great to save for future projects that need a neckband or sleeve bands - like children's shirts and infant onesies.  At one time (ancient history!) ribbing was available in tons of colors.  Now it's hard to find, so it's nice to have different widths and colors on hand.

1.  Cut open the T-shirt bottom at a seam.  Actually, the best shirts for this project are those T's that have either one or no seams.  If your shirt has seams, fold it so the fold is not on a seam - halfway between the two seams is good.  I wanted a gray headband even though mine had seams on both sides, so just ignore the seam down the middle!

Measure a favorite headband or use my dimensions.  I cut one piece of doubled fabric that measures 10 inches from the fold.  If you're doing one long piece, this would be 20 inches.  You can make the headband as wide as you want it to be - just decide on the width, double, and add 1/4 inch for the seam.  I wanted a 1 1/2 inch wide headband, so I cut the width at 3 and 1/4 inches.

2.  Open up, bring the raw pieces together with the right sides of the fabric on the inside, and sew in a very small seam.  I use a zigzag stitch to give the headband more stretch.

You'll now have a tube.  Turn the tube so the right side of the fabric is on the outside.

4.  Turn the edge of one tube end under about 1/4 inch.  Put the other end inside - like a snake eating its tail!  Pin and make sure the headband is tight enough. 

5.  Sew.  I use a straight stitch here.

And after taking about 30 photos of myself, I got one that actually showed all of the headband!

Cold Drink Sleeve
I love using the sleeves for these drink sleeves - it makes my iced coffee easier to get a grip on and it soaks up all that condensation that forms when the weather turns hot and humid.  I know, Arizona isn't known for humid weather, but just come visit in July and August and you won't go home talking about the dry heat!

1.  Lay one sleeve out with the finished edge on top.  Measure 3 3/4 inches down and 4 1/2 inches across.  Cut.

2.  With wrong sides together, sew the sides together in a 1/4 inch seam.  Open the seam up and, on the outside, top stitch on each side of the seam.

3.  Turn the bottom up 3/4 inch.  Top stitch to match the sewing on the finished edge - this is often two lines of top stitching.

4.  Put on your cold drink and enjoy!

Small Drawstring Bag
These are great for those little things I used to put in plastic baggies - like music players, jewelry when I'm traveling, and even snacks since they're completely washable.

1.  Lay one sleeve out with the finished edge on top.  Square off the bottom and side to make it as large as the sleeve allows.

2.  With wrong sides together, sew down the side seam and across the bottom seam.

3.  Turn right side out.  Using a tapestry needle and washable yarn ...

... sew around the top just under the hem sewing.  I make fairly large stitches.

4.  Trim yarn to about 3 inches on each end.  Tie a knot at the bag and near the end of each yarn end.  Pull yarn ends to tighten the bag.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

1 comment:

  1. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [28 Apr 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria