It’s springtime, which means one thing to me: T-shirt weather! It’s an exciting time here in the Land of Generation T, because as many of you know, it only gets better: After spring comes summer, which means we all get a little more scantily clad — T-shirts turn into tank tops and tube tops and ooh-la-la! So grab your scissors (to cut away some of that extra fabric, of course), crank up the color (bring on those fabric spray paints), and hop in your fabulous fashion time machine, because fringe is enjoying a bit of a renaissance this season. Last weekend, I dialed back the decades and dug into my craft stash to make some classic ’80s-inspired geometric tees.
1. Lay the T-shirt flat. Use masking tape to mark a horizontal line about 8″ up from the bottom of the shirt. Find the vertical center of the shirt and apply tape to the chest-region of the T-shirt to create a crisscrossing geometric pattern.
2. Insert the newsprint paper between the layers of the T-shirt to prevent the paint from bleeding through. Then apply fabric spray paint over the taped area. Apply another color or two, then let dry.
3. Peel back the tape, and then lay down more tape (I cut the tape strips in half, thirds, and quarters to make thinner lines) across your pattern to create a modified plaid pattern. Then spray paint more color!
4. Let dry completely before peeling off the tape to reveal your design.
5. Cut off the bottom hem of the T-shirt, just above the stitching. Then, using the tape marker you pressed down in step 1 as your guide, cut 1/3″- to 1/2″-wide fringe from the bottom edge of the shirt.
6. Cut off the sleeve hems, just above the stitching, and cut out the neckband, just below the neckband edge in the front and the back, and about 2″ wider on the sides.
7. Gently tug on the fringe to stretch it out (the fabric edges will curl in). Try it on!
8. Grab up additional T-shirts and experiment with your paint patterns and fringe — cut it on a diagonal, in a chevron-inspired V-shape, make it long or short!
Then pack a picnic, sling your boombox over your shoulder, and turn up any of the decade’s Billboard hits!
[ Posted on May 22nd, 2012 ]