Monday, February 20, 2012

T-shirt Blanket Tutorial: Prep Stage.

We're doing another t-shirt blanket, and this time in excruciating detail for posterity's sake, if nothing else. You've been warned.

  • T-shirts
  • Thread: color doesn't matter, but I like to stick with the neutrals
  • Sewing machine, unless your into the torture of doing this all by hand
  • Scissors
  • Fabric for back - I like to wait until the front is done to get this
Optional supplies:
  • Cardboard or some other thicker paper to make a rough template
  • Blanket edging - totally depends on your style.


1. Make your first cuts into the shirt to get the piece you want free of the sleeves and collar. I star by cutting up the sides and just below the collar. I try to avoid all seams because those areas are thicker and just make it a little more difficult. I know the picture is horrible, but I've cut up the right and am going across the top, just under the collar, where the fabric is folded to show that contrast.

2. Next, if your t-shirt pictures are all around the same size, you can use a template to cut them all the same size (later- just fold for now). This makes it ten times easier. You can make uniform rows and columns instead of fitting it more like the puzzle that was Veronica's blanket

For this blanket, all of the logos except for one were able to fit the same size. I used the cardboard as the template and folded the excess underneath. I'm a better-safe-than-sorry girl, so I wanted to see the layout with the folder shirts before I cut off more.

3. Lay out your blanket. This is where it's helpful that you've just folded your shirts to the template size so you can made adaptations. The white shirt in the middle with the brackets and lots of wording was the one that wouldn't fit to the template size. I was able to make up for his larger size by making the blue shirt at the bottom of the middle row smaller. See? Adaptions.

Once you're happy with your layout, take a picture of it. I inevitably forget what I have set out perfectly when I move a piece to sew or a cat slide tackles onto the shirts. The latter happened fairly often - I worked on this at my mum's house, and as she was cat-sitting my sister's cats, the precocious cats couldn't leave this alone.

4. Start cutting your shirts to size with a seam allowance. I used pinking shears for extra fray-check security. I cut about an inch in from the fold. You can always cut off more later - but you can't add back easily.

At this point, you should feel pretty accomplished. You're about a third of the way there and this is the most manual step. Up next: the sewing.

See part two and part three over here.

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