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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How To: Make your own Tees

How-Tuesday: Raw-Edged Appliqué

The arrival of spring provides a much needed breath of fresh air, as well as sunny bike rides, crocuses showing their colorful faces, a lighter wardrobe, and a cleaner closest (well, maybe). Kick off your spring cleaning by clearing out your stash of fabric scraps. Refashion an old garment into a perpetual work-in-progress with this week's How-Tuesday project, shared with us by Jennifer Cooke of Raeburn Ink and Design Your Own Tees
Score your own copy of Design Your Own Tees right here on Etsy!

Appliqué is a lovely technique for embellishment; usually you finish the edges of your stitched-on designs to keep them neat and protected from damage during washing and wearing. For this project, however, leave the edges raw and create a stylish T-shirt dress that is defined enough to wear out on the town.
This is a great project for leftover scraps that are too small to use for anything else. Fabrics will fray at different rates, and some might eventually disappear in the wash, leaving the stitching exposed. Embrace the unpredictable results of this project, and you will have a truly one-of-a-kind tee.
Supplies you’ll need:
  • A T-shirt dress (or other garment)
  • Scraps of fabric in a variety of colors
  • Contrasting thread
  • Scissors or a rotary cutter + cutting mat
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Washing machine
  • Hexagon template

1. Make a pattern piece out of the hexagon template (download here), or create your own pattern piece in the shape of your choice using paper or lightweight cardboard. Adjust the scale of the hexagon template, if you'd like.
2. Cut out lots of hexagons from the fabric scraps. You can use scissos or a rotary cutter and a cutting mat. Note: Remember to always roll the rotary cutter away from yourself — it is very sharp and can give you a nasty cut. (I'm speaking from personal experience here!)
3. Arrange the hexagons on your T-shirt in a pattern that pleases you.
4. Pin them in place.
5. Stitch around the edges of the hexagons with a straight stitch. (I chose to stitch my whole project in one contrasting thread color to add some punch.) Remember to leave enough fabric around the edges to allow for some nice fraying.
6. Backstitch to secure each piece.
7. Now it's all up to chance. Wear your tee and delight in how much it changes each time you wash it.

Thank you to Jennifer Cooke and the good folks at St. Martin's Press for sharing this project. For more ways to revamp your wardrobe, check out Design Your Own Tees.

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