Saturday, December 3, 2011

DIY strikes again

For those who know me well, it is no surprise that I like to take my old clothes and accessories, and make them new again. I sometimes rescue items from the back of my closet (the ones that otherwise would never again see the light of day), perform some creative modifications and turn them into fun, fashionable pieces.

If you read my last post, you already now about a few examples I've shared on my site. Since I received a positive response in the comment section, I thought I'd show you another one. It's so simple, and I'm sure most of you probably have what you need to make it.

Although my mom taught me to knit, I also like to make scarves out of fabric, like today's project, a two-tone, cotton infinity scarf (a scarf that connects at the ends to create a loop; you may have seen it referred to as a circle or loop scarf). Here's how I made this one out of two old cotton shirts.

First, rummage through your closet or drawers to find two cotton t-shirts that you haven't worn in a while. I had gotten these two while pregnant and later breastfeeding, so now that I'm no longer in either of those categories, I decided I didn't want to dress like I was (even if they weren't actually maternity shirts).

Matthew has a tendency to purchase me more than one of the same item in different colors, therefore, I lucked out to have two old shirts of the exact same size. This is important, as you want shirts to match up when you sew them together. It's also nice if they're in colors that compliment each other.

Hopefully, the shirts you select are not too fitted at the bottom and possibly flare a bit like these. The width of the bottom of the shirts will determine the size of the finished scarf and how you will be able to wear it.

The first thing you'll need to do is decide how wide you would like to make your scarf, tacking on an extra inch or so for seam allowance (you'll be sewing the two sides, which will result in a smaller finished product). I decided to go with 8 inches total.

Then, with a piece of chalk or a pencil (chalk works well on darker fabrics and will dust off when you're done, while a light pencil will show up on whites and pastels) mark that measurement up from the bottom of the both shirts in several places. Connect the dots to make a straight line.

Cut along the marked line on each shirt to remove the bottom band of fabric (don't worry; you can do it. You're bringing new life to these shirts). If you measured correctly and consistently, both bands of fabric should be the same size.

Put one band of fabric inside the other (this will be like a lining), with the top sides of the fabric facing in toward each other (the end seams will be facing away from each other).

Using a running stitch (the most basic of all sewing stitches; if you've ever sewn anything, even a pillow, you know what this is), to connect the two fabric bands together all the way around the bottom loop (sew slightly above the original bottom shirt seam, which will work as a guide).

Next, flip the bands, so that the seam sides are touching and the top of the fabric is facing outward. Now, you will need to attach the other side of the loops together. I used a ladder stitch/hidden stitch to do this (this lady has a pretty clear tutorial for this stitch), and enclosed about 1/2 inch of fabric from both loops inward toward each other, as I worked (sorry that I forgot to take a photo of this step; I guess I just got caught up in my project ... and watching Blythe Raw Live as I worked).

If this step sounds too complicated, use the running stitch again. Just make sure you are using a matching thread and that your stitches look pretty. However, if you provide a little extra seam allowance, the ends of the material should roll up over the stitches to hide them (cotton t-shirt material is magic like that; no need to finish off the edges, as you can see in my example pic to the right).

Your completed scarf should look something like this. Here, I'm wearing it just draped around my neck, as is.

You can also twist it to give it more interest. I think it resembles a chunky fall/winter necklace this way.

My favorite way to wear it is to loop it around my neck in as shown (drape it around your neck, twist it into a figure 8, and put the bottom of the "8" over your head/around your neck). It keeps my neck nice and warm, and is cute, too.

Let me know, if you make one, or have any other DIY fashion ideas. Have a good weekend :-)