Sunday, September 8, 2013

New Use For T-Shirts

 Well I haven't blogged in more than two months.  Summer was busy with traveling to see our children and grandchildren in Denver and Sheridan, Wyoming.  While I was gone I did a lot of knitting and crocheting along with attending Quilt Wyoming, which was held in Casper this year.  While at Quilt Wyoming I worked on the knit jacket below.  In an earlier post I talked about using tee shirts as applique for knit garments and non wool sweaters.  This technique works great for those garments (knits/stretch garments, non-wool sweaters and loose weave sweaters).  I first start out with a selection of t-shirts I have purchased at thrift stores.  You need solids.  Men's t-shirts work great for this.  I also looks for stripes, polka dots and graphics.  Some stripes can be found in the men's t-shirts.  Usually you find a bigger selection in the women's shirts and I also check out the kids sections.

 I really like how this jacket turned out.  With this technique, I hand stitch the appliques down.  The knit was probably study enough to do a wide spaced zig-zag stitch, but when you machine stitch on a knit, I feel you risk distorting your fabric, and if you do a regular machine applique stitch it won't stretch with the garment.  I did this once on a knit top and the results were very disappointing.  Besides, I guess, it is not the look I am looking to achieve.

I found the sweater below at the thrift store and I feel in love with the black and white stripes and checks it has.  I knew right away I wanted to do something with it for embellishment.

The picture of the back shows knit fringe that I have already put on one sleeve

This was the first front I did.  I either draw out the flower pattern on paper and then cut out the t-shirt fabrics or I free form cut the flowers out of the t-shirt fabric.  I then pin them on the garment and after I have the design pinned on, I try the garment on to see if I like it. If I have placed the flowers where I want them or if I need more or less designs on the garment.  When I feel the design is like I want it, I then use #8 pearl cotton and do a medium running stitch to hand stitch the designs down. I liked this design but decided that the front flowers were too similar in shape, size and color, because white with black polka dots was the only fabric I had that showed up on the busy sweater. Course I didn't decide this until I had everything sewed down.  I could of lived with it though.
                                                          I love how the back turned out.
  After ripping out the first design, I ended up replacing the top left flower with a different design and fabric.  I like this change much better.
 This was a very stretchy, polyester velvet short swing jacket, which I loved, but knew if I did any regular machine applique on this jacket it would distort big time.  Also if you do regular machine applique it will not stretch on any knit or stretch garments or sweaters.  Again it poses a problem, so these t-shirts appliques are hand stitched down.  I also like how the t-shirts don't add a lot of weight to the knits, stretch garments and sweaters, which is important for the way your garment will hang. Also, if you are very warm natured or live in a very warm climate you probably don't wanted the added weight. 

    Again, I am very happy with the completed jacket.This last garment is a very, very loose weave sweater from the thrift store.
                                                           I really love how this turned out.
                 The picture below is a close up of the hand stitching I used to applique the t-shirts down.
I like the fact that I have figured out a way for me to embellish my knit items and sweaters.  It means I can have embellished garments for this very warm climate.