Shirt Destruction Update

I got  lots of questions and suggestions after I told you about my shirt destruction.  One idea especially caught my attention (an idea from Bingo Bonnie) and since then I have changed the way I am taking shirts apart.

Last week I told you about my shirt destruction project.  I got several comments and decided to answer some of them in this post and give you an update.  Bingo Bonnie left a comment that mentioned that she lays her shirts out on her cutting table and uses her rotary cutter.  Her idea was WONDERFUL!  I can’t thank her enough for leaving the comment.  My old way was taking about 10 minutes a shirt…this new way is taking about five minutes….

I lay a shirt out on the cutting mat and make two slices with my rotary cutter around the arm seam on each side of the shirt.

Shirt-1

Next I cut the side seams out.  With cutting the arms and side seams I cut through BOTH layers.

shirt-2

I flip the shirt over and cut out the neck.  I throw the neck into a big grocery sack to deal with later.

shirt-3

I open the shirt up and cut along the yoke seams.  The yoke goes to my ironing pile.

shirt-4

Next I rotary cut the button placket off and put it into the grocery sack for later.

shirt-5

I lay this piece on top of the back piece and fold it up like a fat quarter.  Then I work with the other front piece.  The button hole section goes to the garbage.  I rotary cut the rest as shown.  All of these small pieces go to the ironing pile.  I cut out the seam cutting through both layers.

shirt-6

Next I deal with both of the arms.  I cut off the cuffs and put them in the grocery sack and deal with them later.

shirt-7

Next I cut out the sleeve placket.  I cut the button off and put it into the grocery sack.

This method is so much easier.  I can’t thank Bingo Bonnie enough for leaving the comment.  It has TOTALLY taken time off my project!   I also appreciate the idea because I was ripping the fabric before and the edges end up slightly distorted…now they aren’t.  After writing this whole post and taking the pictures, I went to link back to Bonnie’s blog.  She made a similar post.  She takes shirts apart just a bit different….If you are thinking about shirt destruction, check out her post too.

Emilie asked about the quality of the fabric.  I have not sewn any yet but I am not afraid of it.  When I selected shirts, I checked for quality.  If any are iffy, I throw them out.

I got more questions about my scrap saving system, and if I’d share my chart….I’ll save that for an upcoming post.

5 thoughts on “Shirt Destruction Update

  1. Saska

    This is exactly the same way I do it. I use to set down and cut them up by hand, but the rotary cutter is so much easier. Does anybody save the buttons? They’re usually thin and break.
    I do usually go ahead and cut the fabric into strips/blocks/bricks while I’m cutting too. One less time to handle it and it’s ready to go.

  2. bingobonnie

    isn’t it fantastic how we learn from one another! :) Seeing your post just now gave me the idea to cut thru both layers at the same time down the sides under the sleeves – until now I’ve been snippin and rippin… but your idea would work great too! :)

    I’m all about shaving off some minutes! Also thanks for the link to my blog! :)

    Love from Texas! ~bonnie

  3. kwiltnkats

    I do jean quilts and use this same idea when cutting them appart. Take them to the cutting table and use the rotary cutter! My grocery bag collects the pockets and labels. Excited that you’ll share your chart! Have a great day. Sandi

  4. bingobonnie

    also forgot to say that I have a box I keep close by for all those yolks, collars and cuffs….. and when it gets full I ship it off to Quiltville, USA If you read in Bonnie’s Scraps & Shirttails II book in the beginning she makes a brief reference to her “shirt parts supplier” lol

  5. bingobonnie

    also forgot to say that I have a box I keep close by for all those yolks, collars and cuffs….. and when it gets full I ship it off to Quiltville, USA If you read in Bonnie’s Scraps & Shirttails II book in the beginning she makes a brief reference to her “shirt parts supplier” lol

    I’ve also started sending her any panels with pockets to use as well. I find that I don’t like dealing with them… and it’s sooo fun playing I-Spy thru the lovely quilt photos and spotting a few shirts that I sent to her! :)

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