How to Upcycle a T shirt
Winter is so last season. Spring here we come....This week Threadbanger meets up with the Sistahs of Harlem for a long overdue T-shirt recon.
Rob Czar: Hey! What's going on everyone? Rob and Corinne here, welcome to Thread Banger projects, your weekly up-cycling source for DIY tutorial.
Corinne Leigh: A couple of days ago, Ida from Norway sent us in this video.
Ida: Hi, Thread Banger! This is Ida from Norway. I'm new to your show. I love to make new stuff out of my old stuff, and I wondered if you could show something you can do with T-Shirts without a sewing machine by just sewing by hand. If you could do that, that would be great and I love your show.
Corinne Leigh: Ida, thanks for the request. Baptistballerina and bernee_mac also left comments requesting some new t-shirt recons. So you know what that means; it's t-shirts time.
Rob Czar: Right. Anyways, we are ecstatic to present to you the radsome reconstruction duo the Sistahs of Harlem. Check him out.
Corinne Leigh: Radsome huh! That's a new one.
Carmia Marshall: I am Carmia Marshall.
Carmen Webber: And I am Carmen Webber.
Carmia Marshall & Carmen Webber: And we are Sistahs of Harlem.
Carmen Webber: It actually started as a really quick investment in starting to sell t-shirts and handbags on the street, at street fairs, and we actually did a phenomenal business with that. And then we involved into a complete collection, but we have always been based on being eco-friendly in the sense of recycled clothing.
Carmia Marshall: But we just took it from t-shirts to denim, to sweatshirts to blazers to just whatever we could pick up and find that we can convert and transform to something that was more modern and cutting edge.
Carmen Webber: Sistahs of Harlem has worked with a lot of the celebrities; to begin with Erykah Badu, Alicia Keys, Questlove from The Roots. I was one of the contestants on Season 4 of Project Runway. It was a great experience to work with all those little designers and to meet Tim Gunn. I love Tim Gunn actually, he is great. We also have books out now, 'T-Shirt Makeovers: 25 Transformations for Fabulous Fashion'.
Carmia Marshall: 'DENIM MANIA: 25 Stylish Ways to Transform Your Denim'.
Carmen Webber: And then look out for 'Chic Sweats' out at the end of the year and they are all based on projects of showing you how to take a t-shirt or some denim or a sweatshirt and recycle it and turn it into something absolutely delicious.
Carmia Marshall: Today, we are going to teach you how to make the t-shirt shirt. This is a Sistahs' classic. Whenever I am in a hurry and I have a really cute boxy t-shirt that I want to chop down and wear out, this shirt is perfect.
So you need a t-shirt that you like, some tailor's chalk, fabric snips, thread, a measuring tape, an iron, an ironing board or just a flat surface. I am going to choose this t-shirt here. Since I like the back of the shirt better, I am going to make this the front of the t-shirt styled shirt that we are making today. What you want to do first is iron this shirt. You want to make sure that you keep your iron on low because if you don't, you can burn your t-shirt.
I am turning this shirt inside out because right now I am not using a pressing cloth. So I want to make sure that I don't burn the sub-screen. So I want to iron this to get all the wrinkles out, and I will like to get it as flat as paper.
Now, once you have ironed the shirt, you want to fold it in half. You want to create your center front fold which is this line here. Now, for this style, you only need three measurements; that's your bust, your waist and your hip.
Now, depending on the length of the shirt, if you want it to be shorter, you want to get the measurements for your upper hip which is normally 6 inches below your belly button. If you want it to be longer, you want to go with your lower hip which is normally 9 inches below your belly button.
This is your first measurement and this is your bust measurement. So you would want to mark it on the shirt. If you are 32, you want to divide it by 4. Your second measurement is your waist. Again you need to divide by 4 and your last measurement is your hip, whether you chose upper hip or lower hip.
Second step: now you want to draw the neckline, which we are going to make a scoop neck. It's approximately 3 inches away from the collar of the t-shirt. So now you want to draw the new shape of the t-shirt. We are going to start at the sleeve and go down to the lower hip. You are connecting the dots. Now, that's all the marking you need to do in order to make this t-shirt. Now, it's time to cut.
Rob Czar: Hey! We will be right back with the rest of the t-shirt recon. Stick around. Hey! What's up Thread Bangers? Alright, so if you don't know yet, we have an awesome promotion going on with two of our favorite companies. You see we have got the Thread Banger Genome sewing machine over here. Really, what's a sewing machine without the thread?
Corinne Leigh: Our good friends over Coats and Clark Thread Company are hooking you up with 50 spools of Dual Duty XP thread to get you started with your new machine.
Rob Czar: The rules are simple. Buy yourself a Thread Banger Genome sewing machine, send us the receipt, I don't care how you get it to us. Scan it, send a snail mail and then bam! You are walking away with 50 spools of thread.
Corinne Leigh: For all the details, head on over to the Thread Banger blog and check it out.
Male speaker: You are watching Thread Banger.
Corinne Leigh: Hey! Welcome back! So where were we? Here you go.
Carmia Marshall: Now that's all the marking you need to do in order to make this t-shirt. Now, it's time to cut. We are going to eliminate the bottom of the t-shirt, because you are going to need that piece later and silly as this piece may look, do not throw it away; you will use it later.
Now, you want to cut out the neckline. When you are cutting out the body of the t-shirt, you want to cut on the line where you have added the seam allowance. Now, I am going to pin this using straight pins and because I am sewing by hand, I am going to insert the pins horizontally.
Now, it's time to sew. I want to use a basic basting stitch. It's basically in and out, in and out and that looks like a perforated one. Now, repeat the same step on the other side. There you go. It's coming right along. You want to us snip a sleeve, lay your shirt flat, cut on the fold until you hit your shoulder seam. Repeat the step on your other sleeve.
Now, remember this piece? It's the bottom of your t-shirt, cut in half. These become your should ties. As simple as they are, they have a great function. A lot of times our shirts tend to fall off of our shoulders. If you use this tie and put it underneath your bra, tie it to your bra, your shirt won't move.
Now, that you have your shoulder ties, you tie right on the shoulder seam, just your basic knot. Now, the cool thing about your tie is that these can be anything. They can be another piece of material, whether its lace or its leather scratched from another t-shirt.
Carmen Webber: It just brings like memories like when you are a kid, you just want the sequence on everything.
Carmia Marshall: That's the one of our sequence on everything.
Carmen Webber: On everything.
Rob Czar: A big thanks to the Sistahs of Harlem for hooking it up with this week's lesson.
Corinne Leigh: If for some reason you don't have any old t-shirts lying around, there is a plethora of them waiting for a good home at your local thrift and charity on the cheap.
Rob Czar: And speaking of on the cheap, we are giving away three copies of Carmen and Carmia's book 'T-Shirt Makeover'. How do you win? Simple, start following us on Twitter and if you are already following us on Twitter, you have already entered to win. If not, head over to Twitter.com, press Follow.
Corinne Leigh: And if you are looking for some more T-shirt makeover ideas, head over to the Thread Banger blog for our top ten favorite T-Shirt week fashion about style. Sorry, I couldn't resist.
Rob Czar: Right. Until next week, burst out the scissors, start chopping up some t-shirts and send your creations in to Threadbanger.com.
Corinne Leigh: See you.
How to Upcycle a T shirt
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