Saturday, February 13, 2016

Repurposed Heart Pendants From Upcycled T-shirts

Aren't we always looking for new and creative ways to capture our favorite memories? Whether you're an avid seamstress and fabric hoarder, trendsetting fashionista, scrapbook queen, or a big mushy sap of a human like myself (or hey! perhaps you're all of the above!) Today I'm sharing a project that I originally published on the Pellon blog a few years ago. These repurposed and upcycled t-shirt pendants have created such a buzz among my friends and I'm always humbled to hear the stories behind how/why others have used theirs. I designed this as a quick and easy way to reuse scrap t-shirts left behind and you can also find some other clever scrap busting projects in my book The Upcycled T-shirt

You'll Need: 
T-shirt or Fabric Scraps
Needle and Thread
Jewelry Findings (Chains, bails, jump rings
E600 Adhesive or Hot Glue Gun

1. Cut t-shirt material (2 layers) and Pellon® Clear-Fuse® to the same size. Fold your Pellon®Peltex® in half and cut desired pendant shape. This will give you two exact shapes. My pendants are approximately 2 inches. I tested out different shapes including tear drops, rectangles, hearts, and circles.
2. Press Clear-Fuse® following directions. Tip: Let cool & be sure to remove clear plastic film before proceeding to Step 3.
3. Stack both Peltex® shapes on top of each other and place onto fabric. Tip: If you don’t have Peltex® on hand you could substitute with cereal box cardboard or the like.
4. Cover with second layer of t-shirt and press.
5. Use needle and thread to hand stitch around shape.
6. Cut out pendant shape.
7. Finish pendant either a jump ring or gluing a bail to back. Tip: I love the jump ring because it offers a little more versatility and you could use 2 different colors for a reversible pendant. 
Many of my tutorials offer you a creative way to curb waste and pollution, and inject a sense of color and wondering into our communities. Doesn’t it feel good knowing that you’re creating change? Be sure to tag your creations using #TRASHN2TEES and share with us on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram. I'm looking forward to connecting with you there. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Sew Your Own Socks

I was on a mission to repurpose an ugly christmas sweater after the holidays and decided to try turning the sleeves of the sweater into a pair of knit socks. Then as my mind naturally does- I wondered- why aren't I do this with t-shirts? Well, ladies and gents one craft maven I know has done all the hard work already. Check out Jess's tutorial for transforming your t-shirts into spunky socks for kids of all sizes. Take the technique she shares & make a pair for yourself this weekend!
 Tutorial: Turn Your T-shirts Into Socks 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Adult Coloring Books Strip You Of Your Genius

Adult coloring books are counter-productive and feed into the same mainstream bologna that stripped us from our creativity in the first place. There is a guaranteed outcome. We feel safe and comfortable.  We don’t have to get our hands dirty or compensate from any mistakes. We simply have to fill in the spaces between the lines in a mindless exercise of back and forth coloring. Sure, it is relaxing - but is it cultivating creativity?
I'm not going to start off by convincing you of all the benefits of coloring on pages of adult coloring books. It's been a long time since I've spun around on a merry-go-round until I was cross eyed and queasy. Being a kid was fun and full of adventure. Do you remember that feeling? On a recent project I published with BERNINA, I'm encouraging people to mix their crayons with their sewing machines and tap into the stress relieving benefits of coloring & creativity. It's cool, it's trending, and it's bullshit. 
As an adult, we are plagued with worries. Priorities. Meetings. Bills. Some days we feel like we can't even function without a direct IV of caffeine. We are focused on survival or simply getting from point A to point B. This focus leaves little room for flexibility.  What we lack is imagination. Some of us are fortunate to have jobs, hobbies, or outlets that allow us a glimmer of imaginative play. This is a topic I've explored again and again with creative reuse, innovation, and creating viable sustainable solutions in the waste sector.  How do we foster these qualities in our future generations and not only encourage but nurture them towards being divergent thinkers? 

To further prove my point; people who are buying coloring books are coming home and Googling "How To Color My New Adult Coloring Book" because obviously they've forgotten everything they learned in Kindergarten. Even worse, someone thought enough people were coloring their pages wrong to write the post in the first place. 
Albert Einstein once said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge. The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination."  
Can reliving childhood past times help you be a more imaginative and creative adult? While I strongly encourage you to build a sofa fort, go for a bike ride, color with crayons but not on a pre-printed coloring page.
There is no reason why adults can not recapture their creativity and imagination. It just takes a shift in mindset and a bit of practice. Adult coloring books are counter-productive and feed into the same mainstream bologna that stripped us from our creativity in the first place. There is a guaranteed outcome. We feel safe and comfortable.  We don’t have to get our hands dirty or compensate from any mistakes. We simply have to fill in the spaces between the lines in a mindless exercise of back and forth coloring. Sure, it is relaxing - but is it cultivating creativity? Adult coloring books are stifling your genius and duping you into thinking you are creating art. Put down the crayons and start relying on your own ability and skill sets. Creativity can be nurtured at any age by viewing the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions.

Do you think creativity and imagination are lost as we age? What ways do you reconnect with your creative side? I'm interested in hearing your thoughts and hope you'll join the discussion with a comment below- 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Blog Tour: The Upcycled T-shirt Mop Cover with Lynn Harris

The amount of clothing paired with the average speed our kids outgrow their clothing can be mind boggling! Lynn Harris is a designer who doesn't like to waste she published a book of her own called,  Every Last Piece: 12 Beautiful Design Inspirations Using Scraps, String, and Applique. She joined us for The Upcycled T-shirt Blog tour earlier this week to share progress on how it inspired her.

Lynn chose to work on a project from the No Longer Disposable chapter. In this chapter I designed & share projects that are practical and attainable ways to add reusable items into your home and routines. With the help of her BERNINA Ruffler Foot Lynn sewed together a reusable mop cloth from her daughters out grown dress.

Head over to Lynn's blog pad, The Little Red Hen, for really beautiful tutorials, tips, and scrap busting projects!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Your New Favorite Hoodie Sewing Pattern Review: The Upcycled T-shirt

Catching up on the The Upcycled T-shirt Blog tour today- we are being translated in French. That's exciting in it's own right. Featured on where Julia regularly sets out to upcycle & refashion clothing she shares her experience creating a unique piece from the Your Favorite Hoodie pattern in the book

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Crafty T-shirt Upcycling on Craftyplanner

Are you willing to ask for someones opinion (even if it's brutally honest?) I'm fortunate enough to have Sandi by my side as she is a person I can always turn to for real feedback and advice. Today on her blog Craftyplanner she gives a real review of The Upcycled T-shirt book and demonstrates how quick & easy it is to make multiple projects from the book from 1 tee!

I'm really proud of all the great things Sandi has going on with her podcast & pushing personal boundries through her sewing adventures. Be sure to follow along!

Next Stop on The Blog Tour: Mandalei Quilts

Win a copy of my book with Mandy Leins of Mandalei Quilts Mandalei Quilts. Her introduction gave me the warm fuzzies and we are lucky to have become great friends through BERNINA where we both serve as brand ambassadors. I can't wait to share some of the exciting things we are working on together for 2016  (eeeeek! It's so. so. good!) but until then please be sure to check out her amazing long arm quilting skills & genuinely sweet soul.

You'll find Mandy's book Wanderlust Quilts alongside my own, both are available through C&T Publishing. And both are pretty awesome. 

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