Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Fun Project

I started buying men's shirts from thrift stores when I was in Tennessee and then continued when I got home.

When I had myself a fine little pile, I started thinking of different things I could make out of them. This isn't so different from Brooklyn and Madison's trash monster project in my last blog. It's fun to make things out of "trash". Only, my "trash" was old shirts.

Here are a few things I've made so far....

Coasters for your drinks.

A little cell phone bag for Nana. She needs to keep her cell phone on her when she is by herself in her house in case she falls or has an emergency. This is made from a french cuff in a men's shirt. The 4 button holes lined up perfectly for me to thread the thin rope through to make the strap. I sewed up the sides and added a little clay bead I made. Her cell phone fits nicely inside.

I also use men's cuff's to put around a cold soda to keep hands from getting cold and wet. I used to use paper napkins around a drink. This works perfectly. Neato.

Here is a very simple bookmark. It's made from shirt scraps. I fused the white flower (a scrap from a white shirt) and used a black pen to make it look like button hole stitches. I just added a little button on some yarn and there you go....

Ok, now this one got me excited. I used the back panal of a men's shirt to make a very simple apron.
The side and bottom seams are all finished already from the constuction of the shirt. I just sewed up the top, added ties and a pocket and buttons from a thift store dress I cut up. I've been wearing this apron all evening.

Here is my new variation on the taggy's I make for babies.
I cut off the points of the collar on the shirt. I used these points instead of the usual ribbon. I think it makes it more appropriate for boys. This one is for Donovan and he can fiddle and suck on the points all he wants. (Dave and I get to go see Donovan and Scott and Kiana next weekend for his Blessing. We can't wait!)
The other side is a soft blue fleece.

I love to make pillows.
Here is one I made from the same shirt as my apron. I added a blue shirt for the border.
Now the cool part is the back.
I used the front part of the shirt with the buttons. It makes it easy to insert the pillow form into the pillow, and then you button it closed. I had cut off the one side of the shirt for a lining (with pocket included) for a cute bag I'll show you later. So I sewed on the pink poka dot fabric which makes it cuter anyway.

This pillow I made about 12 years ago. It needed a boost, so I made some yo yo's from a shirt to add some fun.

I found these wacky pajama's at the salvation army. Cute dogs having lots of summer fun. I plan on using most of it for a quilt.

I did make a cute bag though. I used the waist strings for the bag's ties. I lined it with the white shirt I mentioned earlier. Using a shirt with a pocket already on it makes it an easy way to line a bag with a pocket. I love this fabric. It cracks me up.

My plan is to make a simple quilt with these thrift store shirts.
Do you have any ideas for more fun projects to make with them?
Let me know so I can try some more projects.


sheppy said...

what a great collection of ideas, thank you very much for sharing!

James Shipley said...

Cool mom!

Carrie said...

Fun fun! I love sewing when I don't have to buy lots of expensive fabric. The shirts are a great idea!

Glenda M said...

Jan, I love all your ideas! You are soooooo creative.

shipley said...

I love them all, but my favorite is the apron! I love the one you made me when Scott and i got married too!

andi said...

so jan; when's your book coming out? each and every one of those are just so cute and clever! (and ...YOU'RE amazing to get all that done, let alone think them up) thanks for sharing. yeah...and you even find time to!

the craig i know said...

wow mom! You're so talented! Not that I didn't know that before! =)

robin said...

i love it all. i especially love that snazzy dog fabric.

jamie said...

hi jan! thanks for sharing your inspirational thrifting. i don't normally think of looking amongst the clothing for pieces to cut up.

love your work & great ideas!!

The Word Is Happiness said...

I am so inspired by you. Your work is amazing.

Ruthann Logsdon Zaroff said...

Hi, Jan! I LOVE the idea of using men's shirts! I've begun frequenting my local thrift shops and have found some fabulous deals. Now I'll look at the shirts, too!

The Perfect Pear said...

oh what a great way to reuse mens shirts! too cute! :)

Sandra (Cherry Heart) said...

Thanks so much for coming over to my blog to visit, so lovely to hear from you there. My goodness, 8 grandchildren. I bet that keeps you busy! I love your patchwork coasters, the stripes are lovely.

S x