Perfect for Father’s Day, here’s a last-minute T-shirt how-to, courtesy of Jessica at The Blue Basket blog. Here’s what happens: Make the shirt (templates are provided, or you can improvise!), have Dad put on the shirt, instruct Dad to lie face-down on the floor, and invite the kids to play. As the kids drive the cars over the map, Dad gets a massage! Brilliant.
- White T-shirt (in the size of the intended recipient)
- Tape and Printer with 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper (if you want to use the template)
- Fabric paint or fabric markers
- Toy cars to drive on your map!
Make it: 1. Print the templates over at The Blue Basket blog, piece them together, and tape them in place. (Or, if you want to improvise the map drawing, it might be nice to keep in mind where on Dad’s back he’s feeling particularly tight, and add a traffic circle or some parallel parking spots!)
2. Slide your template inside the T-shirt and use the fabric paints or markers to trace the image to the back of the shirt (not the front, or the result could end up as a massive tickle-fest!).
3. If you used fabric paint, let it dry. Then pull out the toy cars and trucks! (And make sure Dad’s willing to share his new wardrobe staple when Mother’s Day rolls around!)
You’ve probably seen the Beanbag Chair from T-shirts here. And you can always renew the seat cover of a chair with T-shirt fabric following the tutorial here (stay tuned for an actual T-shirt one soon!). But in this T-shirt rescue, I did a modern take on traditional chair caning (or, rather, weaving with a wicker-like material called “paper rush“). I was obviously inspired by the original pattern, but wanting to take it in a new direction!
(Photo by Peter Stanglmayr)
On a rainy Sunday in May, Build It Green! NYC (@bignyc) drew all sorts if creative types to Gowanus, Brooklyn for Krrb’s (@krrbsale) second annual DIY Chair Workshop. Sponsored by Alabama Chanin (the sustainable, slow fashion outfit in Alabama, @alabamachanin), as part of #makeshift2013, Build It Green gathered up its collection of discarded and beat-up chairs for us to renew.
(Photo by Peter Stanglmayr)
Materials: -Structurally sound old wooden chair
-Lots of 3-4″-wide T-shirt fabric scraps (cut horizontally across the T-shirt for maximum stretch)
1. Find a chair whose seat is crumbling (note the packing tape holding it together!), but has framework that is still in good shape.
2. Clip off the seat (and peel away all the tape). Use the prongs of the hammer to pry out any nails left in the bars of the seat. Set them aside and note, as you deconstruct the seat, how they were used in the original construction.
3. Cut the T-shirt scraps into 3″- to 4″-wide strips (as long as the scraps allow) and loop them together by cutting a small hole in each end and weaving one through the other (sort of like a cow hitch knot). Stretch the “yarn” out and wrap the end into a ball to make the weaving more manageable. (Though I found, to really make it workable, I wove a length, then added more, then wove, then added more — if the tail of yarn is too long, it does get cumbersome.)
4. Wrap one end of the yarn tightly around one of the bars of the chair seat. Use the nails you pulled out in step 2 (and the existing holes, if possible), and hammer them back in, securing the fabric in place. Starting in one corner, weave the yarn around two bars on a diagonal, crossing them in the middle in a sort of figure-eight. I went almost halfway across the seat, making sure to pull the yarn taut as I went, and then started a new length of T-shirt scrap yarn from the opposite corner.
5. Once I had tightly woven the yarn from the two opposite sides (leaving a gap in the middle), I started again at one of the open corners and “stitched” up the gap separating the two sections by cross-weaving into the sections. (I also had the brilliant idea of moving my chair onto one of the work tables so I could stretch out my back a little!)
6. Tie and then thread the ends of the weaving into the inside of the chair seat. There will be some rough edges where the scraps were pieced together — embrace the texture of it!
The workshop was amazingly fun. Amy Devers of A&E’s “Fix This Yard” was on hand to help out — she and Natalie reworked a whole bench (see Natalie at work on it below). I met Kay Gardiner (you knitters might recognize her from her popular books), who learned how to wield a power drill (see her in action below, too!) to refashion her chair. I met Stacey of Patternix knit design studio — who kindly helped me finish my chair after her woven knit creation was done. Many of the completed chairs are now available in an online silent auction on Krrb (we adopted mine!). So, go bid on your favorite! All proceeds support Build It Green NYC (New York City’s only non-profit retail outlet for salvaged and surplus building materials).
And at the very least, click through for more photos of the event and more refashioned chairs! One of the attendees wore a very cool refashioned T-shirt. Can you spot it in the gallery of photos?
All photos by Megan Nicolay unless otherwise noted.
I always bring a craft project when I visit my niece, Dorothy. One time it was Embroidery Day, another it was Felt Cat Ear Day…this time it was Tie-Day Day! Our goal, which we nobly chose to accept: to tie-dye an entire wardrobe. As you can see, we got pretty darn close…
So, despite all my T-shirt proclivities, I have to confess I actually have never tie-dyed in my adult life. I don’t know what made me think that it would be so hard, but honestly, the only thing that could have made this easier was a nice picnic table outside to craft on (and that’s just me asking for a luxurious upgrade).
The takeway: Tie-dye. Is. So. Easy.
I would go so far as to say it’s foolproof! Next time you have a family reunion, skip ordering the printed T-shirts: Set up a tie-dye station for all the siblings and cousins–by morning, you’ll have a full set of T-shirts perfect for a very colorful family portrait!
-Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye Kit (color: “Vibrant” — includes rubber bands, bottles, dyes, two pairs of plastic gloves, and an instruction/inspiration sheet)
-Cotton things to dye: We picked T-shirts (in two sizes, for the two cousins), tights, and socks!
-plastic table cloth or plastic garbage bag to cover your work surface
-plastic cling wrap or zip-lock bags
Note: If you’re working with new T-shirts, pre-wash and dry them to make sure any shrinking that’s going to happen has happened!
Hop on over for the how-to at the I Love to Create Blog! (Plus a cute photo-bomb by my niece.) We tie-dyed spirals onto T-shirts, sunbursts onto tights, diagonal stripes onto another T-shirt, horizontal stripes onto socks, and a bullseye design onto yet another T-shirt.
After her cousin, Niko, woke up from his nap, it was time to try on the matching Swirl design tie-dye T-shirts!
Did I mention tie-dye is also great for obscuring grass stains? An added bonus, for sure! There’s definitely more tie-dye to come this summer — and quite likely in my size this time.
There’s a new member of the Generation T family! Can you spot her, all the way off to the right there, standing with the really impressive posture? If you could hear her talk, you’d know she has a pretty hot accent, too.
This introduction is clearly the moment you’ve all been waiting for: Generation T: Beyond Fashion is now available in Russian — and in hardcover, no less. Добро пожаловать, русские читатели! (Welcome Russian readers!)
What do you think about the changes from the English-language cover? Do you like to see more projects pictured? Do you prefer the purple to blue on the spine? What about the halter top I’m wearing (do you prefer it in red or white)?
Calling all knitters! This is one of those times that I wish so hard that I was a better knitter. Because this hand-knit T-shirt is something I would totally make.
Main Color (MC): 2 skeins of Habu’s 20/12 Bamboo, 100% bamboo. This is the color White. For Habu’s Dyed Bamboo options, click here. If you wish to substitute a different yarn, you will need 765 (880, 990, 1100, 1200) yards.
They say that April showers bring May flowers. And in some parts of the country this year there’ve even been April flurries to herald in the blooms! While Mother Nature keeps us on our toes, here’s a colorful springtime project that really brings the flowers when it rains. It’s just one of a slew of ways to decorate an umbrella with paint (because let’s face it, sometimes a purple umbrella isn’t quite bright enough). It’s part pop art (a gumball machine!), part impressionism (Monet’s gardens at Giverny) — and a whole lot of color to brighten any dreary day! We often think of fabric paints in the context of T-shirts and other wearables, but it’s fun to experiment with paint on other fabric-based surfaces: embellished pillows, couches, canvas director chairs, curtains, and…umbrellas!
Happy Earth Day, friends! Today’s “from our readers” feature introduces Brenda, a Canadian expat living it up in Mexico and slashing up old T-shirts whenever she can. She asked me a question over Twitter awhile ago, and I was just too slow in answering (I do so understand when the scissors start getting a little twitchy, and one needs to forge on!), so Brenda, resourceful lady that she is, found a design on the Internets to help fulfill her vision (if anyone knows the source, let me know so I can properly link it! UPDATE: Properly linked to the source shirt!). See the result of Brenda’s T-shirt snipping (white T-shirt, left).
It’s a beautiful day here in Brooklyn, the short sleeves are out, and so is the sun. It finally feels like spring, which as you all know, means one thing over here at Generation T HQ: It’s T-shirt weather! Here’s a song by the Lucksmiths that we’re obviously smitten rather with. Enjoy!
If you are a lover of books, you may often find yourself, as I do, turning a book over in your hands, looking not only for the author’s name or the designer credit, but at the spine where the publisher’s name is printed. These are the books I most admire, the titles and pages that have shaped my life and helped me grow. And there’s one name, in particular, that has been remarkably consistent:
On Sunday morning, the founder and publisher of the company whose name is printed on the spine of my two books and countless more titles that have impacted my childhood and my life, died at his home in New York City.
Peter Workman‘s passion for books, for ideas, for trying the unexpected and having faith in the unlikely, was infectious for those of us lucky to have worked with him. He was a generous spirit, a visionary publisher, a wise teacher, a brave dreamer, and an extraordinary human. He will be missed by so many.
May his spirit and vision continue to live through the fine works that populate our bookshelves and engage our minds.
I love it when the T-shirt refashioning community rallies for a cause. Sure, Earth Day is around the corner, and the more old T-shirts that can be saved from the trash bin, the better, but this amazing photo from Valerie, a high school teacher in the Bay Area, really warmed my heart. Valerie’s homeroom group used the Generation T books as inspiration to craft pink superhero capes, pink headbands, pink hats, and pink belts from old T-shirts in honor of Pink Tsunami, a school-wide event created to rally against bullying of LGBT students.
The day, which was founded in response to an incident involving a boy being bullied for wearing pink, has become an annual tradition at the school (which has been featured before on Generation-T.com!) — and this particular photo was from a February 2011 celebration. T-shirt sleeves were transformed into hats, scraps were braided into headbands and belts, and students wore handmade superhero capes all day to show support for the anti-bullying message. And, of course, they had a blast doing it.