If you haven’t gathered your supplies just yet don’t worry, you can do that as we go along. For a full list of what you’ll need see this post. Obviously, the first thing we need to do is transform all of our t-shirts we are going to use into t-shirt yarn.
You can do a few at a time or do them all at once, it is entirely up to you! For me, I am in the camp of doing a few at a time, probably more so because I only have an hour or two every day to spend on my creative projects and I like to do a lot of different things. So I’ll cut up a few t-shirts, braid them, sew them, see how they look and then go back to cutting. It’s up to you, but as you know we can’t braid until we make the yarn!
To Make the T-Shirt Yarn:
STEP 1: Make the T-Shirt Yarn. Each t-shirt can make a continuous piece of yarn that is 2″ wide by 20 or more feet long!
Start by laying the t-shirt flat on a cutting mat. Then cut off the shirt just under the armpit. We’ll deal with that top portion a little bit later… Now, fold this bottom half of the shirt back onto itself leaving the folded portion about 4 inches from the edge… Next, what I like to do is use a ruler that I can see a 2” marker and start from the left side (the underarm) and work my way down to the hem. This is slightly different from my first post about t-shirt yarn way back last year. Trial and error I guess, but this method works really great for me and is just a bit faster. So start at the left edge and line up the 2” mark on the ruler and slice through the 4 layers of shirt all the way up from one edge BUT NOT THROUGH the other edge! Next, open up the un-cut side. You’ll then start at one end and slice the beginning on a diagonal…
Then continue the diagonal cut to eventually yield one long continuous piece of 2″ wide material! Now, here’s the cool part. Start stretching! Really stretch the fabric. It will lengthen and curl the raw edge into itself!Roll up this length of yarn into a ball and now let’s work on the top portion. But before I begin that part I want you all to know that this top portion is optional. You don’t have to use it if you don’t want to as it will have sort of a different feel in your hands while you braid because it will include the shoulder and sleeve seams, something that not everybody wants. If you are a hard core up-cylcer and want to use it ALL then this is definitely is for you. For the braided rug that I’m going to be showing you this time I did use THE WHOLE T-SHIRT.
So for the top of the t-shirt… Slice through the underarms to open it up… Now remove the neckband, just cut it out… I am just setting these aside until I get a number of them. I’m thinking these might be a good edge trimming for some kind of cardi/sweater creation I have in mind but you can do whatever you want with these. I can’t say if they will work in the braid just yet as I haven’t done that but I don’t see why they wouldn’t if they are sewn together and trimmed…
Which are perfect to add little splashes of color as you braid but are also good for starting the braid!
To join the Braid-A-Long visit the Sewingforlife! Flickr group and upload your pictures of your braid. I’d love to see what you all are working on. Here is the link…. Sewingforlife! Projects Group on Flickr
That’s going to be next! Until tomorrow!