Friday, October 21, 2011

T-Shirt Scarves v1.0

There are a million different ways to make a scarf out of a t-shirt, but I'm just going to write about the one I did last year for a million people's Christmas presents. It's not as easy as others, but it provides a clean-but-hippie-ish look depending on what colors you use.

First, find some t-shirts. If you don't have some in coordinating (you're the only one who has to think they coordinate; everyone else can get over it) colors, or you don't have enough (finish reading the instructions to find that out), head to your nearest thrift store. T-shirts are normally sold for 99-cents at Salvation Army, or for $1.49 at Goodwill. Your best bet, since you only need color and aren't looking for awesome quality, is to go to a Salvation Army Saturday Night Madness sale, when all items of a certain tag color are 49-cents. I was making scarves for about 30 people, so I had a lot of shirts to buy. The bigger the shirt, the better - you can get way more pieces out of it. Look for ones without stains, and get a nice mix of color, pattern, and solids.

The two bags on top are from my Salvation Army run. I spent about $25, which means I got about 48 shirts!

At this point, you need to decide when to wash your fabric. Thrift stores do not wash the items they are given before they display them. I washed mine after I finished sewing them into scarves. In retrospect, I wish I had done it while they were still shirts, because now I have scraps that I still use for projects that aren't as easily washable.

Okay, let's get going.

Cut rectangles of fabric from the shirt. The length will go on the long way of the scarf, so you can always add another set the long way. but the width will be the width of the scarf, so keep a seam allowance in mind. I cut mine 8"x12".

Here's my pile of rectangles:

I made my scarves 6 rectangles long, but you can make them longer or shorter if you like. So, I laid mine out 2x6, but yours might be 2x7 or something. Lay two rectangles down, good side up, with the long sides next to each other. Lay two more rectangles along the width of these, and continue. Make sure you like how the colors look with each other in their spots.

Now, fold them over, so the good sides are together. Your array will now be 1x6. If you're right next to your sewing machine, you're probably better off than I was. (If your sewing machine is better than one bought 50 years ago on clearance, you're also waayyyy better off than I was. Mine jammed up every 12 inches or so. Very frustrating.) Sew each set of 2 rectangles together on one long side - only one side for now! If you're as bad at sewing as I am, cut your seam allowances straighter or smaller or whatever they need. You'll want them small - not so small that you're endangering the seam - but not so big that your scarf will be bulky. You should have 6 pieces now. Open them back up.

When you've got your 6 (or 7, or whatever) sets of 2, place the good sides together, and sew the widths together. Clean up the seam allowances again. Finally, you should have what you laid out on the floor, only sewn together. Fold it all in half longways, good sides in, and sew up the last long seam. Clean up the seam allowance, and turn inside out.

You're done! Here's what one of mine looked like, using a red and purple color scheme:

This project is way easier than I made it just sound, but it's not as easy as some other t-shirt scarves. However, it's really warm and soft and if you wash it and then give it to a college student they will love that it smells clean. :)

Hint: Look for t-shirts that have words you can cut out (I used one that said "Girl Power" on a scarf) or with pretty patterns. Vary these with solid colors.

Love and Scarves,

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