a view from the laundry pile…

…it's all about perspective.

Bubye Old T-Shirt

on May 12, 2012

I love looking for new ideas on upcycling/recycling old things into new, useful ones. Some of my precious “free time,” such as there is of it, is spent looking around the internet at all you ever creative people and the ideas you’ve come up with to keep the landfills from filling up too quickly. I was looking at a website, this morning, called “Blue Velvet Chair.” She, like me, likes to try the various things she sees and report back to whomever wants to listen on how the projects turned out for her and what, if anything, she did to improvise and make it her own. I, particularly, liked the blog she did on the upcycled t-shirt scarves. Maybe you’ve seen this (or these) before, but I hadn’t. So, of course, I had to try one on my own…

Scarf “before”

Scarf “after”

With permission (you’ll see how important this is when Fred gets home and doesn’t remember giving me this shirt to play with…), I recycled one of his old, ratty t-shirts into, what I think is, a very snazzy scarf. 

I’ve included the “before” and “after” pictures here — I know I could’ve waited until then end to do a “grand reveal” but it’s always easier to see where you’re going when you know what it looks like when you get there…or something like that.     

The ruffles are made from circles of fabric. The original instructions called for using a 9″ paper plate as a template. We don’t use paper plates (or paper napkins, or paper towels. No “throw aways” in this house), so I used a cereal box, that was in the recycle bin, to make a pattern.

The minimum number of circles I’d recommend for this is five (5), as I did here, but you can do as many as you want. Just remember, the more fabric you use, the bulkier the scarf will be. Rather than cut open the t-shirt, I just laid it out, to cut my circles 2 at a time (I get bored with trivial details like cutting, which is why you don’t see any quilts here…) but you can do this however works best for you. I’d also recommend using a good pair of fabric scissors. Otherwise you maybe hacking away for a while. (Oh, and it really is the same shirt all the way through even though the fabric in half the photos looks purple…).

Starting at the edge of the fabric, cut into it, at an angle, to about 1″ and continue around, keeping about 1″ from the edge until you get to the middle. Repeat this with all the circles. Now you have ‘strips’ of fabric. 

Taking one end in one hand and the other end in the other hand, gently pull. This will cause the fabric to stretch and give you more of a ruffled look. 

To finish the scarf, gather all the pieces together, finding the middle of each one. At the middle point, take a (appx.) 6″ long by 1/2″ wide piece of leftover fabric and tie it around all of the strips, knotting it either once or twice, to secure it. You can leave it with the ‘tails’ (as pictured here) or trim them off.

Another look for your finished scarf

Next time I make one, and I will, I think I’ll try it with larger circles. Either I’ll cut the strips wider to get bigger ruffles or cut them the same (1″ wide) to make the scarf longer…or, maybe, I’ll do a combination of both.  I’ll see when I get there…

And, just as I thought, when I showed my new scarf to Fred he said “I didn’t say you could have that one, did I?”  Mmhmm…


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