A Tale o’ Two Tee Shirts

Life wouldn’t be the same without our tee-shirts. Can you imagine a wardrobe without them?

We have a family member who works at Thread Pit, where you can buy cool tee shirts, cheap.

But what will you do when your tee-shirt slogan becomes passe or the fabric gets threadbare or you just plain outgrow the shirt? Landfill? According to a story on ArticleClick, remnant fabrics and used clothing take up 10% of space in landfills in LA.

Lucky for me, when I was shopping at the local Hospice Thrift store, I spotted two tee’s from bygone rock concerts (or maybe Wal-Mart, who knows?) One, a bejeweled Led Zeppelin and the other, a Nirvana, each a couple of $’s apiece. Only bad thing was, they were both size SMALL.

Another day, I scooped up some remnants at the Wal-Mart cutting counter. This pink cotton jersey knit, which set me back about $2.40, turned out to be an almost perfect match to the Nirvana shirt.

Remnant tee shirt project

All I did was 1) cut the side seams of the tee-shirt all the way from sleeve to hem. 2) Cut two five-inch wide strips of the remnant (by the way, I washed it first) and 3) serged the fabric strips to the tee shirt seams, right sides together. I turned down a hem at each end, then after serging the side seams, I sewed the hems with a 2.5 zigzag stitch. I did go back over the seams, too, that had been serged, with the zigzag for reinforcement. It took me less than an hour, I think, while singing “hey! wait! I got a real complaint!”

side panel

Remnant redo Nirvana

So that’s one less crusty band shirt and remnant roll in the landfill today.

Next is a shirt I made from a 1-yard remnant of knit fabric that, if not sold 1/2 price as a remnant, would have been $14.99. It was quite stretchy and a bit hard to work with. That is why I wanted to use it to make my first Emma Seabrooke SewkeyesE project, the Claire Tee Top. Seabrooke markets “Knit Patterns for the Hard to Fit” in which tops are based on shoulder size, cup size and bust measurement. She also sells a line of knit stay-tapes. I picked up a few of these at the Quilt Expo, and I love working with them.

Me and tee

The point is that as we go from the size small to the large, do our shoulders really grow in the same proportion as our wobbly bits? No, not really, except for maybe bit of fatback accumulating up there. And then when you get into the larger sizes, you get even more hit and miss when you try on clothes. Some L sizes are bigger on top, some bigger in the hips and smaller on top, all permutations, etc. Good luck!

I like the way it fits in the shoulders but skims the body and doesn’t hug the spare tire like Saran Wrap. Do you think it is an extreme contrast to the sliced and diced Nirvana tee? I will definitely try more of Emma Seabrooke’s designs for the hard to fit, while trying to avoid putting more fabric in the landfill.


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Karen Berthine
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 15:36:35

    The ever so versatile t-shirts! At my daughter’s 8th birthday party, I set up a long worktable in the back yard, arranged several squeeze bottles of dye I mixed in the kitchen, and gave each guest a t-shirt and a plastic bag … yup, tie die party! Instead of bringing home candy and such momentos, each person left with a new t-shirt!


  2. Na Na
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 19:47:46

    Love your new t-shirt. Have you tried making your undies from t-shirts yet? Perfect fit and last just about forever. Very easy to make. I have the tutorial on my blog if your interested. .


  3. rosyragpatch
    May 02, 2012 @ 14:46:26

    I liked your teeshirts very much. I will follow your advice and try smaller sizes – I usually cut down from larger.


  4. Trackback: Totally distracted this weekend by a pattern | Fibercrush
  5. Kendra Richards
    Apr 24, 2013 @ 02:05:13

    Oh my goodness! You are so cute & I am drooling over your Nirvana shirt! AND IT”S PINK! That is hard to find! I have a cute black one that has an image of the band & says “Nirvana” in pink and it was tough to find it. I love that you shared on this & what an amazing bargain! I have actually been looking for some jersey knit fabric myself — seems my WalMart does not carry it. 😦 Thanks for sharing how you made this tee work. I will remember this tutorial. You sooo rock the Nirvana shirt!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Phoenix Wear LLC

Fun Stylish Clothing Just for Boys

Shaking The Branches

My Search For My Scots & Irish Ancestors

Rabbit Lane

Memoir of a Country Road (by Roger Baker)

Swamp Ape Studios

Metal clay the swamp ape way

Katzenworld Shop

Official Shop of www.katzenworld.co.uk

It's a cats life !

the life of cats

How to Provide

for your family


Jane Roberts: Yorkshire-Based Professional Family History Researcher

Whitewater Musings

Life as a Farm Wife, Busy Mom, and Believer of Miracles

A Tree Grew in Oakland

Oakland County, Michgian

Piedmont Trails

Genealogy and History in North Carolina

Adobe for Fashion & Footwear

Online tutorials and live face to face web tutorials using Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign in the fashion and footwear industries

383 Degrees

383 Design Studio's Digital Fashion Design Blog

Synchronicity Of The Heart

"like amnesiacs in a ward on fire we must find words or burn" Olga Broumas


Solutions for ADOBE program questions

Visual Sketchpad by Queenie Lamb

Design with passion. Create with imagination. Express with Inspiration.

Muddling Through My Middle Age

Definitely older, possibly wiser....

Sketching :: Drawing from Observation

Painting to See :: Peindre pour voir

My Site

Just another WordPress.com site

The Treeographer

Every tree has a story

Journeys of Len

Me, my Camera vs. the World


thrifty creations

Fictionspawn Monsters

Illustrated Short Stories

The Museum

An artist's blog : drawings, photos, and words

Become a Civil Engineer

Learn more about the field of civil engineering and how to become an engineer

Journey through my Journal

Subjective realizations from a collective experience


Illustrator & Writer

The Citron Review

An Online Journal of Brief Literature

My Time Stitching

And whatever else I have been up to...


Trial and error-the best way to learn

medical plaintalk

Medical topics based on author's columns for The Elks Magazine, the official publication of the fraternal order of the Elks of the United States of America.

Here In Fowlerville

Our Journey with Family, Faith, Friendship, and Fun


A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

The Patchwork Pirate

Keeping up with life, the universe, and everything!

My Creative Corner3

One Stitch. One Block. One Row at a Time--Vicki Holloway

The other side

Blogging on autism and art.

Fascinating World

A small attempt to gather unusual and amazing facts about elements of Nature.

Tanglewood Knots

Crochet Stories and Yarns

Yarn, Books & Roses

life with a chronic disease and a really big yarn stash

Tricia, Daisy and May too

Where dachshunds garden.

Don Cormier

" Your body is your temple"

%d bloggers like this: