Pull out all those old, oversized or extra t-shirts. In honor of the short spate of warmer weather we’re enjoying in the Midwest this week, today’s roundup of crafty inspirations is all about ways to re-imagine, re-fashion, and re-create that ubiquitous summer staple — the t-shirt.

Bolero jacket re-fashioned from t-shirtAprons fashioned from t-shirtsHat fashioned from an old t-shirt

  • If you can believe it, this super cute bolero with ruffled detail started out as a basic pink t-shirt. Thanks to the clever imagination of Positively Splendid, you too can create one of your very own with just some cutting, sewing. No extra fabric, notions or whatnots required.
  • We all know about saving old t-shirts to wear to while painting, but what about cooking? Ruffles and Stuff shares her easy directions for turning any t-shirt into a super cute apron. Get as fancy as you like adding pockets, or yes, ruffles.
  • This is just brilliant — with nothing more than a t-shirt and some heavyweight interfacing, you can sew yourself a custom sun hat. Imagine the decorative possibilities with a printed t-shirt! (tutorial care of At Second Street: A Creative Blog)

Christmas stockings made from favorite t-shirtsRecycled Roses WreathEmbellished Ruffle T-shirt

Tips for working with jersey/knit materials

As all but one of these are sewing projects, here are a few tips to keep in mind that have been generously shared by sewers across the web:

  • Set your sewing machine to “stretch” stitch mode (usually a setting, like buttonhole)
  • A zig-zag stitch can work in the absence of a stretch stitch mode, but use a shorter/closer together stitch to keep the seam from having gaps when turned right side out.
  • Use ball-tipped needles made especially for knits (standard needles tend to slice through individual fibers of knit material, creating tiny holes where you sew your seams; whereas ball-tipped needles push the fabric fibers out of the way)
  • Don’t pull the fabric as you sew, let the feeder foot do the work for you. Or considering using a walking foot.

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[weekend projects] More Stuff to Make from T-shirts   Stuff to Make from Buttons   Stuff to Make (1/21/11)
[weekend projects] More Stuff to Make from T-Shirts   [weekend projects] Stuff to Make from Buttons   [weekend projects] Stuff to Make