Saturday, May 21, 2011

T-shirt Blanket: Veronica's MASSIVE Blanket.

Status update on my sister's blanket - I would say it's 85% done. I need more shirts in the one corner, so I haven't finished sewing the reinforcing stitches, outlining every shirt with the zig-zag stitch. But, taking a step back, here's the process:

  • First, I cut the shirts. I don't cut them down to a size, but I cut them leaving the most room around the graphic, and focus on getting the sleeves off, the collar off, and anything that really doesn't have a place in the blanket.
  • Then, I play around with arrangements. This is the tricky part. In some cases, like in the Pittsburgh Blanket, the shirts all fit the same size square, and then the blanket can be nice and square. In the case of Veronica's blanket, she had already cut the shirts, so I had a lot of wonky shapes.
  • Then I start sewing. I use a normal, straight-line stitch, and sew on the backs of the shirts. I place the right-sides together (the sides that you want to see), and sew on the back. I work my way around the entire blanket like this. 
  • After that, I sew the t-shirts to the backing, which is usually a few yards of fleece cut and stitched to size. In the case of Veronica's blanket, I sewed around with the right sides of the blanket, close to the edge, because those stitches would be covered with the ribbon edging. In the Pittsburgh Blanket, I sewed the blanket inside-out, and then did a hidden stitch after I flipped the blanket back out.
  • Then I do the reinforcing stitch. This isn't always necessary, but in the case of Veronica's blanket, where shirts were cut with very little excess in some cases, stitches can easily pop, so it helps to hold the blanket together. It's also a nice border around each of the shirts, and can give it a more polished look. For this, I use a zig-zag stitch and trace around the shirts on the right side of the fabric (so it's going through and showing on the shirts and the backing - I do it this way because I like the 'quilting' effect on the backing).
  • Lastly, I sew on the ribbon binding (that's probably not the correct name, but it's the stuff at JoAnn's that's always right next to the zippers and by the thread).
Is that clear? If not, please don't hesitate to tell me! I can break this farther down into pictures if it'd be helpful. Update: I broke this down into a three part series. See here for the prep, the sewing, and the finishing steps).

I need more shirts at the bottom left, and then to line it all with a purple ribbon I found that matches her favorite shade. Almost there.

Update: I took the blanket home, and it's taller than our 7 foot ceilings. It's definitely bigger than a king-size blanket, and Veronica is very excited. Check it out on her bed in her picture blog.

And hey, if you've popped over from Pinterest, why not hang around for a bit? I've got tutorials, random life posts and pictures of my apartment for you to virtually house creep. Is it just me, or does everyone love a good peek around a new house? It absolutely fascinates and inspires me. Now that we've got that out of the way... Welcome!

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