Archive for October, 2011

Okay- I finally got around to posting it.  Here’s the collection of no sew T-shirt flowers to go with the no sew T-shirt scarves collection.

First, some tutorials from other sources.

For a folded petals flower, we’re going over here (the same place I found the simple loop ombre dyed scarf).  A scrap circle of t-shirt will also work as the backing, just as you would use the felt.  The felt may add a bit of stiffness to the flower if you prefer it.  Here’s what mine look like:  (if you can see the smudge of hot glue in the center, let it remind you to glue carefully!)  Different size petals make different size flowers.


ETA:  and if you want to make it a puffier flower with no button, there’s a tutorial here that’s very similar, but takes 9 petals and finishes it a bit differently.  

There’s another flower over here, but instead of folding them, you lay them flat and stack them.   There’s also a little size difference in the circle/flowers, and she adds some layers of poof that I didn’t add.  This one uses a pinched center instead of a button.  I found the easiest thing to do was hold the flower underneath, put a spot of glue in the center, and smoosh in from the bottom from all sides.

For a variation, you can just stack circles instead of flower shapes, and/or you can use pinking shears for a decorative edge.

The next flower is the readily available rolled flower.  There’s tutorials in a lot of places.  Here’s one, and as you can see there, you can make these flowers out of just about anything.  So I just used T-shirt strips to make the flowers.  Some  tutorials for the rolled flowers use a piece of felt as a backing, which I prefer- I think it’s easier to glue, your glue isn’t as likely to show, it ends up a bit sturdier, and there’s no chance of any little holes to see through.  Again, you can use a circle of T-shirt instead of the felt if you so desire.  And from a voice of experience, don’t make it too big using a striped fabric, or you end up with something that looks like a lolipop rather than a flower  (see below…).  Maybe cute for a little girl, but I’m not gonna be able to pull that one off.

Now, here are my chrysanthemums inspired by pics I saw searching images on google.  I didn’t find a tutorial for this when I was looking for flowers, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s one out there somewhere.

Here’s what I did.  Cut small strips of T-shirt, roughly 1/2″ by 2″ (choose bigger or smaller for different size flowers).   Mine are purposely varied a bit in length.  Stack and glue (or stitch).   Since there’s so many petals and you don’t want your glue to end up too thick, use either fabric glue or only a bit of hot glue.  My set up to hot glue worked best laying the glue gun on it’s side on the table.  as it slowly oozed, I  dabbed the center of each strip on the tip of the gun and stacked my petals off to the side  Make sure your petals are all ready to go so that you can work quickly on glueing.

If they’re varied lengths, try to use the longest in the bottom of the flower.  Hot glue on a button for the center, or cut another smaller scrap of T-shirt to put over the center.  You can pinch and glue the last two to give a bit more volume to the flower before adding the button or final scrap of T-shirt (or leave just the pinched center as the finish if you prefer).


You can leave the strips as is or you can hold the flower in the center and pull each petal to get it to curl the edges.  I prefer the curled edges myself.  If you try to pull the petals at the beginning, it’s much harder to stack and glue, because you have to get them to lay flat in the center again.

Once you’ve gotten your flower together, you may want to gently tug the flower from top and bottom to see how much “accordion effect” you may have where glue spots didn’t line up.  Spot glue places it pulls apart more noticeably to keep the flower from flopping forward/down once you try to wear it.

The last flower I’ve got for you is a variation on this daisy-like ribbon flower that I saw over here, but modified the materials and assembly with T-shirt scraps for a no sew loopy flower.

Cut two long skinny strips of T-shirt and stretch to curl the edges over.  My grey and yellow flowers  are two different lengths and widths of T-shirt strips.  That means one has shorter, fatter petals and one has longer, skinnier petals. My yellow flower had strips that are roughly 3/4″ by 12″.  They grey was a bit wider, probably 1-1 1/4″ wide.  Some T-shirt fabric will also stretch much more than others.  My yellow was a thinner t-shirt and stretched very well.  The grey was a bit thicker fabric as well as being a wider strip, so it didn’t stretch as much.

For the first t-shirt strip, glue the two ends together.

Fold in half and glue at the center in a + shape.

Fold in and glue at the half way point of each big petal to form roughly even sized small petals. Repeat with the second t-shirt strip.  Stack your two petal bunches together and glue.

Then glue a button on the center.  Repeat the check for “accordion effect” as in the flower above and spot glue where necessary to prevent a floppy flower.

Any of these flowers can be made into a tie on flower (glue a strip of t-shirt on the back) or a broach/pin on flower (glue a pin on the back).  I prefer the tie on.

The bonus with the tie-on flower is that if you use a long enough strip of T-shirt, you can use it as a headband!  A shorter strip and it can still be used to tie on a ponytail.

Okay- a couple more last minute additions I just ran across and really thought I should add the links for:

A no sew carnation, made similar to a pom-pom over here.  The picture from her site:

If you’re brave enough to get out a needle and thread for a simple running stitch, there’s a beautiful t-shirt flower tutorial here.   Unfortunately, I can’t get the picture from the site.  When I make one, I’ll post it.  

For those of you on the fence about the needle and thread:  a running stitch is simply going up and down through the fabric in relatively big stitches.  This allows you to pull the string through the fabric to gather it.  Just knot the end of the thread so it won’t pull through completely.  Here’s a picture.  You want it to gather a lot, and it’s okay to add on if you don’t have one piece long enough for the whole flower.  Just make sure it’s the same width and keep on stitching.  I didn’t notice where the piece was added on in my final flower without searching for it.


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Colder weather is here, and scarves are gaining some appeal to me.  Here’s a collection of 8 variations of T-shirt scarves, all are NO SEW for those of you that don’t get along with sewing machines!  Some are tutorials I found and tried, others are tutorials I made up for you.  The pictures below include my trial of the scarf as well as a picture from the source for each.  Enjoy!

ETA- HERE  is my collection of no sew T-shirt flowers to go with your scarf!

Note:  Most of these work best with a seamless T-shirt tube.  Look to see if there is a seam between the armpit and the bottom of the shirt at the side.  You want the kind without that seam.  The others can work, but you need to monkey a little more to hide the seam or it doesn’t look as good.  The best way I’ve found to hide the seam is to glue the two exposed edges together making the seam hide inside the tube.  THis works okay for the braids and the big loops, but anything requiring a bunch of skinny loops is going to take a lot of fussing to do it this way.

I tried the first 5 from tutorials found elsewhere (click on links for more details):

Variation 1:  plate swirl- so quick and easy, and cute!  The tutorial I followed is here, the picture below is hers.  I walked into our MOPS steering meeting with mine on and found our “not crafty” fearless leader showing some of our other steering members the one she had made- no phone calls to coordinate it!  I used a smaller plate and wished it had been a bigger one.  Mine was also only 6 circles.  A few more look nicer to me, but it’s personal preference.  ETA- I tried the longer length and surprised myself my NOT liking it as well.  I salvaged the longer strips with my updated option below, which also allows you to use a smaller shirt.


My only modification was a band to hold all the spiral strips together in the back.  Just a 4×6 or so scrap of T-shirt.  Begin to wrap the scrap around the strips.  Use a fabric glue or glue gun to start securing it.  Roll the scrap the rest of the way around.  Glue 1 more time while wrapping, then secure the edge of the scrap with a final bit of glue.

ETA:  Here’s a few more pictures of the process.  It was brought to my attention that it might be difficult to understand some of the steps in the tutorial above for some people.

You put a plate on the shirt and trace around it.  Then you cut the circle out and cut the circle into a spiral.  I drew lines on this circle with chalk so you could see.  You don’t have to draw the line on, but if it helps you, do it!


My salvage/smaller shirt option: This scarf used only one ladies size large casual T-shirt.  It is 3 plate circles that were thinly spiraled and cut in half (equals 6 spiral strips total).  More ideally, I would have used 4-6 smaller plates cut out and spiraled.  Rather than wrapping all the strips around my neck and tying, I made a collar strip from the T-shirt.  It was about 4″ wide and as long as the T-shirt from side seam to side seam.  I glued the two short ends together and knotted the spiral strips over this glued seam to cover it.  


Variation 2:  Simple loop with flower.  The tutorial, including how to ombre dye it is here.  Super simple.  Just a chunk of T-shirt- the portion between the armpits and the bottom seam.  Take that big loop and stretch it.  The more you can stretch, the longer it gets.  I stretched an XL and thought it was too long, so I had to pull the fabric the other way a bit to take out some of the length.  A flower makes this one cute.  I’ll try to get a post up soon of the T-shirt flowers I tried.


Variation 3:  infinity ringlets- easy, but a bit more time consuming.  The tutorial and pics of several other versions is here.  Using that tube section between the armpits and the bottom seam, cut long, skinny loops.  Stretch them to make the fabric edges curl, then loop them around your hand several times.  The more you loop, the shorter and “chunkier” the scarf links will be.  Mine are looped 6 times, and I used 16 loops.  You set the loops aside neatly (and separated, don’t try to stack them, or you’ll get a confused jumble of loops!)  use some scrap of the shirt you have left to cut little ties.  Roughly 1/2″ wide and 4 inches long, and stretch.  Tie the ringlets together with a square not (right over left, left over right).  If you use a granny knot, it will pull apart under stress.  You can use different colors and leave the end open or connect them all.  There’s pics of lots of variations at the site I found this, including the next one.  I thought I could get away with some printing on the fabric, but I was wrong.  If you have a print, make sure you’re okay with it showing- not a class T-shirt from the next town over with names you don’t know.


Variation 4:  “mane” version- has a chain of ringlets like above, but then has extra strips added. The description is here.  My color combo is a bit bizarre- it’s what scraps I had to work with at the time.  My husband also said he would NOT be seen in public with me if I wore it, and it was something that should be given to our girls for dress up.  However, if you’ve got a more daring sense of fashion, it could be neat.


Variation 5:  fringe- get that chunk between the armpit and the bottom seam again, and cut the bottom half or so into fringe.  The idea came from here.  Choose a shirt size that you will like the total length if it will be one ring, or plan to tie off part of it (with an odd, overgrown rolled flower that looks like a lollipop…).  Again, odd color shirt, and that fringe look, and hubby said he wouldn’t be seen with me in it 😛


I made up the next two based on pictures.  The braid and loop has a few tutorials, including the one here and here, but they require sewing, and I wanted a no-sew version for my lovely MOPS ladies to try (most of them are, I think, deathly afraid of a sewing machine, and not very interested in a needle and thread, either)

Variation 6:  Braids and big loop


This is done in 3 parts.  You will likely need at least 2 shirts, maybe 3, or at least some scraps from another shirt.  Try to make sure they are similar sizes.  There is some stretch forgiveness, and there is some shortening that occurs with the braiding.  You just don’t want to start out with drastically different sized shirts!  Same colors or mix them up, your choice.

Part 1:  On the first shirt:  cut the tube between the armpit and the bottom seam.  stretch. This is your loop section of the scarf.

Part 2:  On a second shirt:  Cut the tube section  below the armpit, then cut the tube into 3 even sized loops.  Stretch.  Put the loops together, step on one end of the loops with your foot.

Then hold the other 3 in your hands, stretching the loops.  Braid- the loops sit on your hands and you pass them back and forth.  It causes both sides of the loops to braid together at the same time.

Don’t worry that the bottom isn’t a tight braid, but do pull the loops out to the sides as you go to snug up the braids.

Continue until your braids meet at your hands.

Slip a scrap from the t-shirt between the loops- 2 loops above the scrap, 1 below.

Tie the scrap around the 2 loops with a square knot (right over left, left over right) so it won’t slip.

Weave the ends of the scrap into the braid so it’s hidden.  Can you see where it’s tied off?  More noticeable is the big bumps from my “fixed” seams, since I didn’t use a seamless T-shirt.  The tie off and weave in is to the right of the big bumps.

Switch the loop/braid around so that you step on the scrap you just put in.  Finish the braid on the now top side and repeat the scrap to tie off the braid and weave in the ends.  Section 2 done!  Whew!

Part 3:  from a 3rd shirt, or scraps from the above shirts, cut 3 narrower loops and repeat the braiding from part 2 for a slender braid.

Now, gather all 3 parts, cut another scrap of T-shirt, approx. 4″x6″.  Begin to wrap the scrap around the 3 parts.  Put in a line of glue to hold the scrap on.  Continue to wrap around, tightly, to secure all 3 together with a smooth band.  Glue 1-2 more times to get it to lay flat as you wrap and secure the end.

It’s long.  There will likely be a bit of variation in the lengths of your 3 loops/braids.  It’s okay, as long as it’s not drastic.  Now just wrap to wear.

ETA:  I realized in searching for many T-shirts for a group project that it’s hard to come up with large quantities of XL or larger T-shirts that don’t have side seams.  I did run across a bunch that where Mediums and Smalls.  So here’s a picture of one I made that is a single loop and is worn a bit longer,  made from the medium size shirts in the same method as the one above.  It still could double around my neck, but felt about like a snug turtleneck (too tight for me, but some might like it).  Of course, you could make it even shorter using size small our youth size t-shirts, and if you want it to be chunkier, you can add some more layers of braids or loops.  

Variation 7:  Half braid with loops.  I saw it on pinterest, (no tutorial, it was on Etsy and now it’s gone), and wanted to make a no sew version.  Like Part 2 of the braid and loop above- cut the tube into 3 even sections.  Repeat the braid, but only on one side- don’t flip it over to complete the braid.  Tie off where the braid meets and weave in the ends.  TIghten your braid to desired look, secure the end with another small scrap and weave in the ends. You can cut one, two, or all three of the unbraided section into smaller loops.  I cut two of them into 7 strands each. Stretch to curl the edges.  Cut carefully.  They could be cut at the beginning, but then you have to braid with all those little strands.  Pick your poison.


And this one’s my own creation- at least I haven’t knowingly seen anything like it out there yet.

Variation 8:  Faux braids:  This looks a lot like a braid, but is a series of slits cut and connected to each other in a chain stitch.

It reminds me of crochet, and if you have a crochet hook, it will help make small chains go quicker and easier.  Bigger chains are made by using wider spaced slits.  Just be aware that wider spaced slits also gather the fabric more quickly.  So that size large T-shirt loop ends up fitting closely around your neck.  To keep it looser, either pick a bigger T-shirt loop or make smaller chains.  THe length of the slit also affects how much the chain gathers.  You need it long enough to complete the chain pull through process, but if they’re too long, you get gaping holes.  I cut a few on the short side and see how they work, then adjust larger as necessary.  You can also lengthen after the chain is done if necessary, but it’s a little more difficult.  I did this with the top chain since it was a bit too snug, and it loosened just enough to be comfortable.

(Somehow I overlooked adding the pics of the steps below before, so here they are now.)

So, I cut wide placed slits (approx 1 1/2-2 inches apart, same slot length) in my tube.  I repeated this step in 2 rows- one was centered, the other was at the top edge.  Start with one “tab”.  Pull it over the next tab.  lift the next tab from under the first tab.  Now pull it overtop of the first tab and over the 3rd tab in line.  Pull the 3rd tab over the second tab.  Repeat all the way around the tube.


The last tab is snipped in the center (pic 1) and only one half of the tab goes through the first tab (pic 2).  Tie the two halves in a square knot- right over left, left over right- so it won’t slip out (pic 3).  Repeat for the other large chain.  Check your fit as you progress to see if you need to cut slits longer to loosen the chain or lengthen the finished product a bit.


The bottom edge I did small slits closely placed (approx. 3/8″ wide with 3/4″ slit length).  I did an asymmetrical edge.  You could do a simple straight bottom edge.  This is where the crochet hook comes in especially handy.   Repeat what was done for the large chains, but use the hook for lifting the tabs.

We’ll be making scarves from these options for our next MOPS meeting, so any of my MOPS moms, enjoy the sneak peak!

And for those of you wondering about my model, she’s my double, made with a close friend and some sticky back packing tape.  Here’s directions on how to make your own.

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I’m behind the ball as usual, but I’ll post it in case anyone else can gather some inspiration from it.

We made lanyards out of ribbon, a round key chain, and a clip.  Our ribbon length is 30″ and a small safety pin secures it in the lanyard shape.  I had needle and thread for anyone who wanted to stitch theirs, but only had one of 15 take that option.

I picked up plastic sleeves to hold the name tag at Office Max.  I cut 3×4 pieces of scrapbook paper in a variety of prints to glue the puzzle pieces onto.

I used 2 puzzles.  It’s fine if pieces are missing!  The puzzle with larger pieces I glued together for our ladies full names.  I put mine together and glued every other seam together.

I painted the backs in 3 colors for choice/personalization.  Painting on the front and on the glue doesn’t work well.  The smaller puzzle pieces I painted blue and pink on the back.  These we wrote our children’s first names on- blue for boys, pink for girls.

We wrote names on with sharpies then glued to the scrapbook paper, letting it dry while we made the lanyard part.

Slide the keychain ring onto the ribbon, but keep it close to one end.  The only trick for the lanyard- lay the ribbon flat and bring the two ends together.  Just before attaching (with pin or sewing), flip one end of the ribbon over so wrong sides meet.  This allows the lanyard to rest flat in the front and see the print of the ribbon on both sides rather than the backside of the ribbon showing.

Assemble once the pieces are dry- paper with puzzle pieces into the plastic sleeve, then clip onto the lanyard.

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First Chantecler eggs!

It seems like forever since I posted last.  It’s been a ridiculously busy summer.  I’m hoping to catch up a bit and post some of the projects I’ve been consumed with for so long soon, including some MOPS projects and maybe I’ll get to some of the VBS crafts I did.

I’d just about given up hope of seeing any eggs this fall.  But my Chantecler girls pulled through for me today, to celebrate turning exactly 25 weeks old!  I got 2 small light brown eggs today!  I’ve got 4 Chantecler hens (and 6 roosters) and 2 bantam Ameraucana hens (and 2 roosters).

I thought chickens all started laying at about 20 weeks.  Maybe the Chanteclers take a bit longer to mature, since they’re a heritage, dual purpose bird?  Either way, I was so encouraged to actually get eggs today!

ETA:  I had to include a picture comparing the INSIDE of the eggs too.  Guess which one is the home-grown egg and which is the store bought?

That deep orange means lots of good stuff in that egg… and I’m happy to report there was a decidedly different taste, too!  Yum….

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