Thursday, February 24, 2011

Getting the most from repurposed fabric - part two

In  Getting the most from repurposed fabric - part one,  we cut apart a pair of cotton pants for upcycling.  Now, we will get the most from a cotton shirt and talk about what to do with this great repurposed fabric.  More on upcycled or repurposed fabric in another blog.  For part two of this series, we will be working with a men's XL name brand cotton shirt that I found at a thrift store for $2.

Lay shirt flat on cutting surface

Cut sleeves off close to seam with rotary cutter or sharp scissors

This is what you will have after cutting both sleeves off.  Set sleeves aside for now.

Cut shoulder seam all the way through collar.  This works better with scissors.

This is how your main piece of fabric should look at this point.  You can cut the side seams for smoother fabric pieces.  I prefer to leave it like this to take advantage of the larger piece of fabric.  The seams add character and dimension when I use them for making bags.  

Cut sleeve seam

When both sleeves are cut, this is what you will have

The sleeves and main body piece will give you approximately the equivalent of one yard of 45 inch wide  fabric.  Mix and match upcycled fabrics for making your favorite craft!  I prefer all cotton, heavy weight fabrics.  Name brand men's shirts, especially very large ones with long sleeves offer nice workable fabric.  Cotton/spandex blends and linen can present a challenge during the sewing phase, as the fabric shifts.  If you choose to use these, keep this in mind when you start stitching.  

Enjoy repurposing your old clothes or thrift store finds.