Sunday, March 27, 2011

T-shirt Necklace

I got crafty again this weekend. Actually this was a multi-step project, which does not have to be. This week the kids and I tie dyed shirts again, at the same time, I decided to dark wash two pairs of jeans. After I removed the jeans from the dye bath, I threw in one of H's old white undershirts. Actually these shirts are nearly new, they shrank badly and are really too short to be a reasonable undershirt and I kept them tucked in a drawer for a rainy day or a special project.

So into the dye bath went one of these shirts. I soaked it overnight, then rinsed it and chucked it in the washer. In the end I got this lovely gray/blue/purple.

Now I got this idea from a pretty penny. In fact this t-shirt necklace idea is what lead me to her blog. I also watched the You Tube video she links to before I got started.

Naturally, I decided on doing something slightly different. Because I was using a men's large undershirt and not a women's fitted tee, I needed to rethink the sizing slightly. I also had decided that I wanted add some embellishment.

Step 1 - Flatten out the t-shirt. Note: You need not go through the dye process. Any old t-shirt will do. Have a t-shirt you love, but it has rips or stains, this is the ideal t-shirt for this project.

Cut off the bottom hem and discard. (or keep it for some other project, like I did.)

Step 2 - Begin to cut strips. I wanted spaghetti fine tubes, so I carefully cut 1/2 inch strips. I cut strips of the t-shirt up to the arm pits. Fatter, say 1 inch strips will yield chunkier tubes.

Step 3 - Take the strips and stretch them out, causing the material to curl in on itself, creating fabric "tubes."

Step 4 - this is decision time. You can proceed as Penny outlines on her blog or as I did as a modification of her project. As you can see the fabric tubes are very long. If I were to bind them as Penny did, this necklace would be down to my navel and that was NOT the look I was going for at all. So I decided to double them over. Before I did that however, I pulled out three strands, to modify with my embellishments.

Step 5 - Cut the selected loops and attach beads. I bought some small metal rings at Michael's, which I tied onto the t-shirt strings at various intervals. After I attached the embellishments, I carefully tied the ends back together, pulling the knot tight and trimming the excess.

Step 6  - Lay the loops out and organize them neatly, interspersing the embellished loops carefully. Holding the middle of the loops, connect the ends with a reserved loop. Tie it first and then as Penny did, wrap and weave the loop, creating a decorative closure.

Then presto - you too have a t-shirt necklace or interesting scarf.Again, if you use a small/medium fitted T-shirt, you will end up with graduated loops and there will be no need to double the loops, but in my case, I need to account for the uniform size of the unfitted t-shirt.

(fashion photo by E. He is pretty good at this also...)

I am still experimenting with placement of the necklace to best show off the embellishments. Overall I think this will pair well with jeans and be great fun for spring.

As I write this, I find myself wondering. What would it look like if I used a tie dyed shirt...mmm, we will have to ponder that...

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