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With Earth Day falling in April, I felt it was important to create an Earth-friendly project for my latest New Year’s Resolution challenge - to create one item of children’s clothing each month during 2013.
I grabbed two of my husband’s old t-shirts that were misshapen through regular washing and wearing, my favorite child’s tee pattern - I am using the Raglan Tee pattern from the book Sewing for Boys and my favorite Fiskars orange handled scissors.
Re-using old t-shirts is not only Earth-friendly, is also saves you time. You can avoid having to hem the bottom edge as well as the sleeves of your new tee if you line up your pattern correctly.
Start by salvaging the front and back of the first tee you are going to use as the main body of your child’s tee. I cut up the side seam and along the underarm sleeve, on both sides. For ease, you can also remove the sleeves.
Next, fold the front piece in half and pin on your front pattern piece. Be sure to reuse the bottom hem that is already finished on the tee as it will save you from having to hem it yourself! Repeat for the back piece and cut them both out.
Take the second tee that you are using for the sleeves and lay flat on your cutting table. Pin on the sleeve pattern piece to the front and again, line up the pattern so that you can reuse the hem that is already sewn. Cut out your sleeves.
You will also be able to salvage enough fabric from either tee to cut a neckband if your pattern requires it. Now, follow your pattern directions and sew up your tee. The pattern I am using is a cute raglan sleeve pattern. It is quick to sew up and the finished garment is adorable! I recommend using a ballpoint needle on your sewing machine which is great for working with jersey knits.
If your sewing machine does not have a ‘stretch fabric’ setting, you may want to sew your tee up with a loose zig zag stitch instead of a straight stitch. Test your stitches on a piece of scrap fabric beforehand.
Because you are not having to sew hems, you will be able to sew up the tee in record time!
Not only is this project quick and easy, there is a huge sense of satisfaction when you’re able to repurpose old garments and make them into something brand new and wonderful! Minimal impact, low cost and big smiles!!
2 tees suitable for re-purposing
Your favorite t-shirt pattern