When questions come in from blog readers that I think others might like the answer to, I answer them here on the blog. Today is one of those days.
Today’s question came from Bobbie:
Do you only use the backs of the shirts? How do you use the fronts and sleeves?
This question came after I had been working on Baby Friedman’s quilt….
This quilt was made entirely of shirts…minus the red of course.
I’ve made several quilts from shirts and I absolutely love them. They are instantly vintage especially if you can find a good 100% cotton sheet for the backing. Seriously, one washing and the quilt feels like you’ve had it years. I love that feeling.
I think my favorite shirt quilt is Rectangle Wrangle….Read all about the quilt HERE.
I love-love-love it!! Being I get shirts at such a cheap price sometimes I feel like I’m sewing for free. I’m not but it sure feels that way sometimes.
I didn’t know anything about sewing with shirts until I heard about it from Bonnie Hunter. Once I heard, I was right on board as I have had good thrift stores in my area.
But…back to the question…”Do you only use the backs of the shirts? How do you use the fronts and sleeves?”
The answer is…Some of each. Sometimes I get LOTS and LOTS of shirts in all at once and then I get a little overwhelmed with them all so I take the backs off and then sell the rest of the the shirt to blog readers via one of my auctions. When I feel like I need to get “caught up” and this is a quick easy way to get caught up.
Cutting up shirts does take time but it you get into a system, it’s not bad at all. Most of the shirts I have gotten recently, I’ll be cutting up the whole shirt. My scrap users system is low on strips so now is a good time to replenish.
I’ll show you what I do….Here’s the shirt I am working with….
I start out by making a slit on each of the sides along the buttons. I then rip up to the collar.
Then I take a scissors and and I cut around the collar. Then I have this…
From here I make a couple cuts in the collar as shown then rip. Interfacing in the shirts is always different. Sometimes it’s stuck on the fabric. If so I throw that piece.
This is what I have “harvested” so far…two great strips for my scrap bucket and buttons. Yes, I save buttons. I have yet to figure out why.
Next on to the cuffs. I cut them off.
I make the slits and again rip.
I cut off and save those two pieces.
Next, these get cut off.
Then I cut the sleeves off. I often cut through both thicknesses of fabric at the same time. I also cut off the seams….
Next I cut on each side of the seam at the TOP of the sleeve. Then I rip.
With that, the sleeves are done.
Now I start on the rest of the shirt. A slit goes on each side of the side seam.
I rip up to the under arm and then start in on scissor work. I cut out the yoke and cut the back off.
Then cut the fronts off. I’ve gotten so I can do a shirt in about 7 minutes. Time consuming yes but I still feel very well worth it.
This is my harvest from one shirt….. Continue reading