I started recycling t-shirts more than 20 years ago. They are one of my favorite things to work with. T-shirts are such a part of pop culture, I can't help but find them compelling. Pictured below is a skirt I made this past Friday.
I've made this skirt forever, but last year one of my favorite T-shirt artists and designers, Natalie Chanin came out with a great book titled "Alabama Stitch Book." You can purchase the book at her website–
Definitely have a look, Natalie has been doing great things with T-shirts for years. (she actually makes clothing that is simply amazing, I'm sure some of you have seen her work) She shows you how to make a 4 panel skirt, the one I made Friday is 6 panels, I wanted a little more swing, and I added a second piece to my panel for substance and length. I also bleached down old t-shirts to get that faded tie-dye feeling. Here are some detail shots….
Shelly inspired my color palette.
I made t-shirt rosettes for a little polish, and did beading between the gathers. I should do more beading, but I need to brush up on my beading skills, I haven't done this in a while. It's really simple to make–honest. Natalie sews all of her things by hand like I did with this skirt and you can see the genius in this on how the skirt will give with your body, and they are extra durable. I use buttonhole twist, and double it. These skirts are so durable, I own several, and throw them in the washer and dryer. If they develop a worn spot, just hand sew a little patch!
I also made this jacket on my machine a while back.
I made the pattern myself by cutting up an old jean jacket I purchased at Target and tracing it on to newspaper. I cut each piece 3 layers thick and then quilted each one heavily before putting them together.
This makes the fabric very thick and heavy. Almost like a denim, but still soft like a t-shirt. It feels really nice. I made it dip down a little more in the back, and left a little of the t-shirt graffiti for interest.
I made the lining a contrasting orange for more detail. The looping was very easy to do.
Both of these projects can be done in a busy weekend. If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me. If the idea of recycling t-shirts appeals to you, you will definitely love Natalie's book….