Ruffles and Spirals and Bows

T-Shirt Shapes
I had so many t-shirt scraps from an upcoming and very exciting collaboration with the talented Maya from The bits were too big to throw out and too small to come up with an immediate use.

I wanted it to be fast, improvised, but interesting enough to be explored further. Here is where I got so far:

T-Shirt Bow
A little bow my daughter liked:
T-Shirt Bow

Cut a t-shirt strip 1 to 1.5 inches wide, roughly 13 inches long along the grain. Pull a bit to give it some shape. Then tie it into a bow leaving a 3 inch “tail” on the right. Taper the edges a bit. Sew it onto a t-shirt neckline for a sweet french look or sew it onto a hair band. Experiment with different sizes.
Next one is a ruffle:
T-Shirt Ruffles
Cut a t-shirt strip 1 to 1.5 inches wide,  roughly 5 inches long along the grain. Gather with a running stitch and close into a circle. Just shape it after it’s done and knot off. Sew it onto a hairpin, or a t-shirt as a little flower. Takes less than 5 minutes.
T-Shirt Hair Clip
And then some little spirals I liked:

T-Shirt Spirals

I think they would like to be a necklace.  They are easy to make and look less impressive as one, but make a lovely collection.

Cut a strip of 1 inch by 10 inches along the grain. The ends will curl inward which makes it look a bit like bias tape. Then you sew through the middle on top, grabbing both sides so the spiral stays together like in the picture below.

T-Shirt SpiralT-Shirt Spirals
I’m not done yet with the t-shirts. Some soft jewelry might be in order. Any other good ideas what to do with little t-shirt bits?
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12 Responses to “Ruffles and Spirals and Bows”

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  1. MissKoolAid says:

    Great ideas. I like the idea of a necklace out of the spirals. I use bits of fabric as stuffing for other projects.
    I thought you'd like to know that, following your tutorial, I made some fabric tape of my own. You can find it here:

  2. alexandra s.m. says:

    Hello Anne,

    I've just discovered your blog ( thanks to my Mom who lives in France )
    I love your style, your posts and general outlook on life, keep it up!
    Thank you also for sharing so generously…

    greetings from the Windy City ~

  3. chppie says:

    I'm thinking some fringe might be nice. Especially the kind where you sew down the middle like railroad tracks. Would be a different take on the popular ruffled neckline. Now I think I'll root around in my T-shirts to see what I have. Thanks for the inspiration. I'm new to your blog am really enjoying it.

  4. iHanna says:

    I like the last tutorial best, I agree with you they would look great in a necklace. I would also make rolled beads wrapped in string, those are so much fun and probably would work with tshirt fabric too? :-)

  5. Claudia says:

    I like the stuff you make! I´ve found your blog via a link to the fabric-tape-tutorial – adorable! Thank you for your great tutorials!

  6. Naturalearthfarm says:

    Such wonderful ideas! I have saved some hand-me-downs that didn't fit anyone and I just know that I will be able to use the growing pile for something…
    Warm wishes, Tonya

  7. Tanya says:

    I love them all. Wish my husband would wear brighter colours!

  8. Sharon says:

    love these! i am currently making little tee necklaces with pearls/silver finding and/or beads hanging from tee shirt "cords" from thrifted shirts…I made some little coils (similar to yours!) and put 3 of different sizes together, stitched them and "hung" them from the cords…they look really fun when you wear several choker style around your neck…some with the spirals and some just cords! i call this little line "green-tee"…so fun

  9. Queen Pea says:

    ooooh, so much to do, so little time!

  10. acqua says:

    I was inspired by your idea and tried to carry it on. This and that is what I've come up with.

  11. Not as clever or wearable, but I use the scraps in the garden as mulch if they are 100 percent cotton. Some people may be worried about the dyes breaking down, but I don’t worry about it. Taking an old white t-shirt and putting it around the base of a tomato plant is a great way to keep the moisture locked in for a better growing season. Unlike dirt it doesn’t wash away and it keeps the soil and roots intact. You can even put dirt on top of the shirt (especially if used at planting time ) and create a decent weed barrier.

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