Saturday, 5 July 2014

How to cut up a shirt for material

Hello everyone!  I hope all my fellow Canadians enjoyed a fabulous Canada Day (147 years old!  Woo-hoo!).  I hope all my American friends enjoyed a fabulous July 4th!!

I'd like to share one of my pastimes, snipping up clothing for  fabric.  My latest obsession with Netflix means that I spend too much a lot of time watching TV.  I can't sit there with idle hands, so I'd prefer to snip up clothing, or knit, or mend.

Behold, here is how I repurpose clothing into quilt material. 

Rolls of reclaimed fabric and buttons!!!

 The equipment you'll need is a pair of scissors, and a pair of manicure scissors (my preference), or a stitch ripper. 

Manicure scissors and scissors.

The scissors will be used to cut along the seams of the clothing - so it should be of fairly good quality (hint - hide your good sewing scissors from your children, otherwise it will become dull from inappropriate use).

The manicure scissors or stitch ripper will be used to snip buttons off of the shirts (save the buttons!!) and to pick off sewn in labels.

Start by snipping off the buttons.

Cut off the bottom seam, it will leave a nice ribbon-like piece of material.  Cut off the collar.

Take a minute and examine the shirt for stains, rips, worn spots etc.  I use a Sharpie to circle this type of damage.

Cut along the sleeve seams.

Once the sleeve is off, cut along the seam as shown in the picture below.

You will be left with a piece like you see in the picture below (look at the piece on top).

Once you cut out a sleeve,  the body of the shirt will look like the pictures below.

Snip off both sleeves, snip off the seams too.

Cut off the yoke of the shirt.

The body of the shirt will look like the picture below.

Fold and stack the pieces on top of each other.

Roll the pieces up and use the long seam to tie up the roll.

Now you are left with a nice tidy roll of reclaimed fabric...and buttons!!  Here is a stack of fabric that I cut between errands (pardon the sideways shot :).

Reclaimed fabric!!

There are a lot of benefits to using reclaimed fabric.  Textile manufacturing uses a tremendous amount of water and it has a significant impact on this planet.  

This is one of the reasons why I try not to buy new fabric (plus I'm cheap).  I'll try to use what I have, or go to thrift stores first.  I admit that I break down and buy fabric - especially if I'm craving a change.  I am proud to say that most of my quilts made of at least 50% reclaimed fabric.

If you know of any fabric stores that sell ethically produced material, or manufacture material with the smallest carbon footprint possible, please let me know.

happy thrifting :)

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