Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Is it a scarf or a necklace?

For the last few weeks I have been very busy with DIY projects. Some smaller than others in scope, nonetheless the creativity has been flowing in full force. Pinterest is the place I go when I am looking for a tutorial lately. There are so many wonderful DIY/craft bloggers out there... Pinterest makes it so easy to find them.

I have been experimenting with fabric necklaces/scarves on and off for a year. I had an old t-shirt I thought would make an interesting necklace/scarf. I found two tutorials for making one with braided lengths of fabric. I was drawn to this, because it creates a more scarf like weight to the necklace. It makes it more of an infinity like scarf.

The first tutorial was on this old dress and I liked it, but I was seeking more weight so I when I found this tutorial on tip junkie via nette, I broke out my scissors.

Since I was using cotton t-shirts, mixed with one poly blend tee, my braids have a very different feel to them. What appealed to me about nette's version is it has a weight and body to it. After my Pinterest post, a friend and I were tweeting back and forth and he accused me, in jest, of being a magpie.

I don't deny it. Sometimes I am inspired to try something and even verbatim based on a tutorial. More often than not, I like to use a variety of tutorials to shape my thinking. It is creative inspiration. I have accepted that for knowledge, I can read from a book or listen to a lecture. That works for me. If however, I am physically creating something, well then I learn best by doing. I don't seem to be able to translate something that should be in 3D form from a flat page.

But if I can walk through the steps or as in the case of french seams last year, if I can watch a video, I seem to pick up the new skill very quickly. (After watching the video like a million times.)

So after the back story, I know you are all wondering what I came up with.

So here it is... 

After this photo, I have tweaked it a bit and cleaned up the edged just a touch.

My process:

First I cut the t-shirt strips. I used three shirts. The stripped one was a cotton long sleeved shirt from Old Navy and was over 6 years old. It was way stretched out. The purple, was a tank top, size 1X from my mom's closet. It was faded and had very little stretch left in it. The grey is a poly/cotton blend from my mom's closet. It was newish, but had a stain in the middle. I love the feel of this shirt and it curled beautifully when I cut my strips, something the other two did not do.

After I had the strips, I gathered them in a variety of groups, so I could braid them. I knotted then on one end and then using a pin, pinned them to the office chair, so that I could make nice tight braids. In total, I braided three ropes. (I did this the other night when the kids were having a sleep over. The girls jumped in and "helped." I let them make bracelets using scraps of fabric, similarly braiding the strips together. L even made a key chain with some of her braids for her backpack.)

I also used two wider strips of the grey shirt as a base.

Building the scarf was a bigger challenge than I thought. I tried a few methods and settled on making one rope out of the three braided sections. Then I used the two wider grey strips as my base and attached the rope using a smaller braid to wrap.

The result is a long infinite type scarf that I can them double over and arrange to suit myself.

While it is not as neat as Nette's version, it does have the weightiness I was hoping for and it fits nicely. I have a few more t-shirts on the pile, so I may try it again. I think L would like one too...

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