Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Repurposing an Old Shirt

Today, I decided to do some repurposing.  Periodically, I go through my husband’s shirts and pull out the ones that look a bit worn.  If they are still in pretty good shape, I donate them, but if they aren’t they go in my fabric pile.  Here is where I started …

To save myself from pulling out the iron, I decided to cut off the edge of the sleeve, since it already had a nice fold.  I also cut a second strip about the same width, but not doubled.  The strips are about an inch and a half or so wide. 

I cut the strips to about 10 inches in length and used my sewing machine to run a basting stitch down one of the long edges of each strip (about a ¼ of an inch in).  If you don’t have a sewing machine, a running stitch sewn by hand works just as well.  In the photo below, I included a piece of muslin with a basting stitch running down it, since it is hard to see what I did on the patterned fabric.  I gathered the fabric so it was about ½ of its original length.

After the fabric was gathered, I tied off the thread at each end, so my gathering wouldn’t fall out.  Then I sewed the two short ends of each strip together, to form a circle. 

I frayed the edge of the piece that was just a single thickness before sewing the ends together.

To finish off the flowers, I gathered some buttons, heavy thread (I used a Karen Foster’s Scrapper’s Spools which is actually a paper thread, very cool!), and a few die cut shapes.  I needed the die cut shapes to give me something to sew my button to.  I used a cardstock scalloped shape on the back (to add stability to my flower) and a few scalloped circles cut from old dress patterns on the front side.  I then created a sandwich with the button on top, followed by the pattern tissue, then the fabric flower and finally the cardstock scalloped circle.  I sewed this together as if I was sewing a button on a shirt, using the scrapper’s spool.

I plan to add these to a scrapbook page very soon!   Don’t forget to post a comment on yesterday’s post to be entered to win a copy of Creating Keepsakes special issue, Scrapbooking with Fabric & Notions!


  1. Pretty cute, Miss Patty! Love the addition of the scalloped pattern piece circles.

  2. These are so pretty---and great job of re-purposing! I love it!

  3. How cooooool! will need to give this technique a try. I love the look of hand made flowers. The repurposing is a great idea!!!