Donnerstag, 24. Mai 2018

T-Shirt Upcycling - The Knitter's Way

I started this project back in 2016, when I was quite into watching DIY videos on YouTube (especially sewing toturials). I had the idea of upcycling thrifted stuff, but with a certain knitting element :). I first tried the general idea on an old black T-Shirt I had, but the finished product had so many flaws so that it wasn't fit to be worn in public. But you learn from your mistakes, right?
So I started with a similar idea on a nice dotted t-shirt that I had bought at the thrift shop. However, it was a bit tight especially around the arms, so I decided to make it a bit wider by inserting a ribbon into the sideseams ... but this ribbon as well as a piece for the neckline are hand-knitted :)

This is NOT a tutorial, but just an explanation of the basic idea.

Creative Commons License
This work by Knitting and so on is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

The Materials I Used
  • an old T-shirt
  • thin cotton yarn (fingering or sport weight)
  • knitting needles the yarn calls for
  • scissors and a seamripper
  • sewing needle and thread 

How I Did It
  • First I decided on the design. Since this piece had a low back that I didn't quite like, I decided to turn it around, but to include a knitted panel in front to make the neckline not quite as low.
  • To get the measurements of the pieces to be knitted 
    • I measured the distance from the bottom hem along the side seam to the end of the arm hem
    • and with a piece of paper inserted into the front, I drew a semicircular shape that I'd need for the front piece - and cut that out (plus about 5mm seam allowance around the curve).
  • Then I knitted the three pieces:
    • two garter stitch ribbons (10 sts wide) that are as long as the measured distance from the bottom hem along the side seam to the end of the arm hem
    • the semicircle (starting with a few stitches and increasing symmetrically)
  • And I gently blocked my hand-knitted pieces.
  • I seamripped the side seams of your T-shirt - including the underarm seam. 
  • With a sewing needle and thread that matched my yarn I handstitched the knitted pieces to the T-Shirt (starting in 2016 ... and finishing just now :)

Even though I'm not completely happy with the result, I think the idea of combining T-shirts with hand-knitted elements has a certain potential. (T-shirts are also knitted, after all :). Plus, I think that upcycling (or reusing) old stuff is a good thing. But I guess before I achieve something that is wearable outside, I need to work on my sewing skills - e.g. learning to do this on a sewing machine ... and get over my "fear" of using a sewing machine on my hand-knitted pieces.
Have you ever combined hand-knitted (or hand-crocheted) pieces with cloth (jersey or woven)? If so, do you have any tips how to apply a sewing machine to hand-knitted pieces? I'd be grateful for anything helpful :)

9 Kommentare:

  1. I love this idea and have done similar with crochet :D

    1. <3
      Are there any photos of your work available on the web? I'd love to see it.

  2. The one thing I don't like about handknitting is sewing the pieces together. I knit a sweater for my granddaughter out of worsted weight cotton and was having some trouble with it. I just sewed up those seams on the machine--worked like a charm!

    1. Same thing here, I have quite a few half finished project that basically only need sewing up ...
      But I suspect that you know how to handle a sewing machine better than I do :)
      I will practice, though, so that I can do it better someday.

  3. Fantastic idea of reusing the old or unfitted top. Definitely I will try it some time.

  4. I love this! Now I need to go check out my t-shirt drawer -- I know there is at least one that is too tight and would benefit from this treatment. thanks!