T-Shirt remakes

 My dear Husband wears a uniform of sorts… khaki pants and Izod shirts.. He is a neat-nick and spots no matter how small will be NOT worn in public.  I however will not waste those perfectly good shirts and I remake them into shirts for me. Well… and other smaller sized family members too… but for this blog it’s about me!!

I mix and match color, texture, fabrics…. everything goes because it’s like free… I can’t wreck anything because it was already before I started, it doesn’t matter what I do or if I mess up. Knowing that takes the pressure off of creating. It frees the whole process up!

This one is in the process… I have the basic design now… I need to add texture to it. I like the simple running stitch to add details and depth, but this time I might add beads to outline the design.

This Shirt with the two colored reverse applique is detailed  and highlighted with the running hand stitch with the knots exposed. This idea/process is perfected by Natalie Chanin and the Alabama Stitch and Studio books. She is my hero… check out her Blog at: http://alabamachanin.com/journal/

Natalie Chanin uses all hand work which is exquisite. This take time and patience, but the final product is soo worth it. I have made two T’s completely by hand and they are really my favorite. My others are a mixture of machine work , tracing and stitching, and also machine embroidery work, both tecniques are then combined with some hand work.  I like beads, and yarn and couching to embellish for depth. There is no “one” way to do regular or reverse applique. Each shirt is different, and when I teach a class no two shirts are alike.

This Past January I taught a T-shirt workshop at Sewing at the Beach. It was a two day workshop,  Friday we patterned drafted and created a pattern to fit.  I had 9 ladies and everyone was a different size and shape and by the end of the day all had a T-shirt pattern and a mock-up tshirt made to fit them! It was for me a real treat to really take the time to perfect the pattern. Saturday we all started off with gusto and had a blast.  We knew that all the time we were spending creating an artful T-shirt was going to be realized once it was put on…. and sure enough they fitted fabulously! Everyone had the pattern and skills to make more and save more and DO more.

I must say that this Years Sewing at the Beach was my favorite year yet. My classes were all mine..I had four day classes and 3 evening classes They worked like clock work and a success. I loved my t-shirt class because of the fact that we had time to make a proper pattern for each person.  I also had Janice Ferguson as my roomate… awesome woman!! Check out her blog:


I’ll leave now with some more shots of T-shirts… Enjoy!


8 responses

  1. Your t-shirts are exquisite! My friend, Janice Ferguson told me about your blog. What inspiration! Is the white T with the tone on tone done by hand or machine? I must give this a try…just as soon as I get all the g’baby sewing finished.

    1. Oh Thank you…. I love all your work Janice shows off on her blog! The shirt is both hand work and machine work. I used a pencil and traced a floral design on the top layer. Then I used a straight stretch stitch (and stretch needle) going around the lines. Then I clipped away the top layer. The hand work is lazy daisy flowers and french knots with pearl cotton. Do try this as it is so much fun!

  2. I made a butterfly one only I used a bright multi colored fabric in cotton in reverse applique and it turned out like a stained glass window look for the buterfly . Great job on your shirts they are beautiful.

  3. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I’ve truly enjoyed
    browsing your blog posts. After all I will be
    subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  4. I just love the fern design. I have one of Channings book aldo snd always meant to do this.

  5. I’ve been reading Alabama Chanin books and looking at posts to get inspired to do this. Hand needle-work is a joy for me. I especially like how you mixed the Alabama Chanin techniques with machine sewing! Beautiful Work! Your T’s are Art.

  6. Beautiful! (So glad I fell into this site.) Not sure I have the commitment to do this myself, but I sure am impressed with your work. Soooo cool.

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