T-shirt Bracelet Tutorial

Not too long ago I spotted a really great fabric bracelet at a high end store.  Since I’m not a big jewelry wearer, I couldn’t bring myself to pay big bucks for a bracelet.  However, that bracelet popped into my mind this afternoon and it sparked a recon idea in my head.  I just gave it a whirl and while it’s nothing fancy, it’s a fun, quick project that’s perfect for a funky accessory.

The absolute simplicity of this project makes it a great summer project for a teen or pre-teen that’s trying out his or her sewing skills.  My 3-year-old daughter is begging me to make her one in ‘prettier colors’ as we speak.

Let’s get started!


Old t-shirts or any old piece of clothing made of knit or other stretchy fabric


Sewing machine

So…get your t-shirt.

Cut strips of fabric, making sure the the stretch goes down the length of your strips.  You’ll want the bracelet to stretch a bit so you can easily get it on and off.

My wrist is child-like in size and measures just under 7 inches, so I made my strips about 8-8.5 inches long.  I made mine too wide to start with and ended up narrowing them to about 1 inch.  This is all very approximate.  That’s the beauty of the funky little bracelet–the more random and rough it is, the more fun it looks!  Despite the yard stick in my photos, I didn’t use it once.  Just freehanded the whole thing.  Fast and fun!

Now, simply fold the strips in half and sew, using a straight stretch stitch.

Now loosely gather the ends and stitch across them to secure them.  There’s no rhyme or reason to how I need this.  I just bunched them up and stitched across using a slightly longer stitch length to accommodate the thickness.

To close this bracelet up, you’ll want a wider, shorter strip of fabric that is something like this:

It should be wide enough to cover the end seams on the strips on both ends and long enough to overlap when wrapped loosely around the ends.  Like this:

After you’ve stitched one end into the wide strip (should look like photo above), tuck the other end of your bracelet into it and repeat.  Easy enough, right?  Here’s my bracelet:

To make it more your style, you can mix and match colors, thread on some random large beads, change up thread colors.  Just have fun!  Grab the kids and bust up that summer boredom!

Halter top recon

So I posted before about entering The Fabric Floozie’s Recon-a-Thon….and here I am extremely last minute, entering a recon. February turned out to be a pretty busy month and I got behind on craftiness.

This afternoon, I grabbed this scarf from my scarf collection.

It was a favorite when I purchased it months ago, but it really washed me out and was a little bulkier than I cared for.  It’s been hanging unloved for too long, so the Recon-a-Thon was the perfect opportunity for it to be transformed into something that would get worn and loved.

I used my halter top pattern and got busy.  It was very sheer, so I lined it with muslin.

Now Elliott has a fun little hippie halter dress ready for spring!  She refuses to take it off now because it ‘makes me dance so pwetty!’.  Just add sunshine!

So…what do you think?

I double-dog dare you!

I think at one point or another all of us has had a piece of clothing lying around that we couldn’t bear to toss, but really didn’t have a use for anymore, either.  We glance at it from the corner of our eye, feel a pang of guilt and then just go on with our day.  From a dusty closet shelf, it cries out to us to take it down, wear it, love it.

And who hasn’t passed a skirt in a thrift store or garage sale and thought to themselves, “Hmm…I love that fabric but that skirt would never look right on me.”

Well, The Fabric Floozie knows how to handle these situations.  She’s the master of spotting a random piece of clothing and reconstructing it to work for her family.

For instance, she found these capris and didn’t adore them as they were, but the fabric caught her eye.

Armed with a great sense of fashion, the urge to be green and a good pair of scissors, TFF went to work.  In no time, she whipped up this gorgeous little dress for her lovely little daughter.

And this maternity top?

Another toddler dress!

But this one?  This is magic.  She was given this coat with a recon in mind.

Would you look at this??  This todder version of it is absolutely, 100% gorgeous.

So, are you feeling inspired yet?

Good!  Because The Fabric Floozie has a challenge for us all!  She’s hosting the 2010 Recon-A-Thon!!  She wants us to dig out that big dress from the early 90s with the horrid sleeves and give it new life!  Or recon that old prom dress into a magical plaything for you daughter?  What about that old sweater you just had to have from Goodwill??

Let’s do it!  I double-dog dare you to join me in the Recon-A-Thon. Reduce, reuse, upcycle, baby!  I’m on this like white on rice.  Like a duck on a June bug.  Like a 16 year old on Twilight.

We can each enter up to 3 items.  We simply put the Recon-A-Thon badge in our sidebars and post before & after pics on our blogs.

OH!  And!  The winner will receive at least 2 yards of fabric that they design themselves from Spoonflower.com!  Who hasn’t gone fabric shopping with a very specific mental picture of the fabric they need only to come home disappointed and empty handed.  How cool is it to design your own high-quality, eco-friendly fabric?? Whoa.

Now, I’m no recon-girl for the most part, so this will definitely be a challenge for me.  I think, though, that this is a great way to upcycle old items in a fun, competitive way.  It’s going to be a blast to see what everyone comes up with!

I’ve got ideas flowing like crazy!  And the cool part?  It doesn’t have to be a clothing item.  It could be anything that reuses fabric from an existing item.

Don’t know how to sew?  Get out the glue gun!

So…who’s with me??  Who’s up to the challenge?