Upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

How’s that for a title? ” Upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial” doesn’t really roll off the tongue, does it? Nonetheless, it is an accurate description!

Recently, my friend Amos introduced me to this method of no-sew rag rug making that I am completely hooked on (get it? crochet? hook? funny). Today I want to share it with you!

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

All you need is a few t-shirts (depending on how big you want it), a pair of sharp scissors, and your fingers.

Start by cutting a slit up the side of your t-shirt (I went up about 2″, but make you can make the strips any width). Then start cutting (make sure you are only catching one side of the shirt), as evenly as you can. When you get back around to where you began, curve around and continue. You will have to snip off the outer corner.

When you get up near the armpits, slit the sleeves open at the inside seam, and lay them out flat. Continue to cut around, keeping it all one strip.

Don’t forget to trim off the outer corners here, like you did on the bottom.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

Keep going around, until you can’t go anymore. I always cut the neckline out and save it in one piece for future upcycling projects.

Repeat for as many t-shirts as you want to use.

You will want to join the strips together (if you are using multiple t-shirts). Place one end on top of the other (both facing the same way). Don’t worry if they aren’t exactly the same width. This is a forgiving craft for sure.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

Fold them both over about 2″ from the top. Make a snip in the center. Then place one on top of the other (going in opposite directions), aligning the holes. Take the end of the one on top, and put it through the holes from underneath.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

Pull tight! Now you are ready to begin. Have you ever tied a necktie? It is going to be a slip knot like that.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

Lay one end out like the above photo.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

Flip the tail across over the loop.

 

Bring the tail around the back of the loop, then through the loop and down throught the knot.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

Basically you are going to make loops go through loops. Take the loop you made, and make a loop with the long end. Now pull that new loop through the old one. You now have the begining of a chain…of loops.

How many times do you think I will write the word “loop” in this tutorial? Ha!

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

When your chain becomes long enough, you need to start your spiral.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

Take the small tail (on the very end of that first loop) and weave it through the begining of your spiral, and knot, to hold it together.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

Take your long end and put through a bump in the spiral before pulling through the loop. To keep it flat, I alternate between just putting it through the loop, and putting it through the bump then the loop.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

Keep going around and around until you have the size you want! This one is trivet size, but my friend often makes them into rugs. I have the Trashion show coming up, so I used this techinique to make a hat to go with the outfit I made!

  upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag hat

Instead of alternating between “stitches”, in the places I wanted the hat to curve in, I just put the new loop through the bump and then the old loop, every time, and pulled them tighter.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag hat

I hope you try this out. Once you do, if you are anything like me, you won’t want to stop!

Recycled Jeans turned Denim Jacket

My friend Audrey over at Skirt Fixation made an incredible denim quilt that she posted the other day, out of upcycled jeans. When I read she made it for a refashioners challenge (which is right up my alley), I knew I couldn’t resist making something to enter myself (although that quilt is pretty hard to top)! The contest is over on Makery.uk.  After taking all of the jeans out of my upcycle pile (doesn’t everyone have one of those?!), I decided to make a Denim Jacket for my Falafel girl.

Upcycled Jeans turned into a Denim Jacket

I have always wanted to make one of these! Of course, when I started looking, I could not find a pattern to use. So, my next thought was “what pattern do I own, that is close enough so I can adapt it into a jean jacket?”.

Upcycled Jeans turned into a Denim Jacket

I fell back on one of my favorite patterns, the Bookworm Button Up (affiliate link). You can see other Bookworm Button Ups I have made here and here and here.

Upcycled Jeans turned into a Denim Jacket

I used it as a base, and then made some obvious changes. I shortened it, and extended each of the front pieces instead of adding plackets, and I broke the back up into sections (and took out the pleat).

Upcycled Jeans turned into a Denim Jacket

The most fun I had was in embellishing it! For the back, I used the same method I used here with water soluble fabric (affiliate link). I think it adds a little whimsy, at the same time it uses up a bunch of scraps.

  Upcycled Jeans turned into a Denim Jacket

A friend had made me those wool felt feathers, a few years ago, and I have been holding on to them to use on the right project. I think they are perfect for this!

Upcycled Jeans turned into a Denim Jacket

For the hem, I unpicked a wasitband on one of the old jeans I had, and used it, as is (just upside down).

Upcycled Jeans turned into a Denim Jacket

I left the distressed spots that were part of the jeans. For some pieces, I actually turned them inside out for some color variation.

Upcycled Jeans turned into a Denim Jacket

I had so much fun with this one, and the best part is, it used up some jeans (and scraps) that were taking up space!

Upcycled Jeans turned into Jean jacket

AND my girl now has a snazzy new jean jacket to go with her sassy new haircut!

jeanjacket7m

What have YOU upcycled today?

BIG news

Hey you guys! I have reopened my Etsy shop!

Upcycled White Rope Basket

This time, I am combining my passion for upcycling/ recycling with my passion for making rope bowls! They go pretty well together.

Upcycled Rope Basket

 I am making some plain, and then playing with color for others. Eclectic and fun.

Upcycled Rope Basket

All of them are made from upcycled/recycled rope. A little something for everyone. I am actually amazed at how very sturdy they are!

Upcycled White Rope Basket

If you want to make your own, I do have an instructable to show you how. If you want a rope bowl, but do not want to make it, hop on over to my Etsy Shop to purchase your very own!

Inspired by The Little Mermaid Sail Dress

This post contains affiliate links

My Bee decided to make herself a dress inspired by the one the Little Mermaid wore when she became human. She had been thinking a lot about this, and even worked out where we would photgraph it.

mermaid

She came up with this:

Inspired by the Little Mermaid Sail Dress, made with an old curtain, sewn by my teen

(Inspired by) The Little Mermaid Sail Dress

Inspired by the Little Mermaid Sail Dress, made with an old curtain, sewn by my teen

I am so impressed (and I don’t impress easily)! She draped the entire thing, which I have never done. My girl did say she would teach me, though. It is so cool! The best part is she used an old curtain (more comfortable than a sail, I would think). You know how I feel about upcycling (just look at the category above if you don’t).

Inspired by the Little Mermaid Sail Dress, made with an old curtain, sewn by my teen

Here it is without the belt. It isn’t a super complicated dress, but I think, well exectued. She was, at first, unsure about the piece that comes to a point in the front instead of the back, but we both agreed that it works.

Inspired by the Little Mermaid Sail Dress, made with an old curtain, sewn by my teen

The sun was in the most inconvenient spot (and I have not figured out how to move it), and we only had 30 minutes to photograph this between activities. It resulted in some artful photography.

Inspired by the Little Mermaid Sail Dress, made with an old curtain, sewn by my teen

Instead of rope, she used a belt in her closet, for a more modern look .

Inspired by the Little Mermaid Sail Dress, made with an old curtain, sewn by my teen

Her friend made her that seashell necklace a while ago. Perfect for this!

Inspired by the Little Mermaid Sail Dress, made with an old curtain, sewn by my teen

Do you recognize this dock? That time I didn’t photograph a mermaid that turned human, though.

Inspired by the Little Mermaid Sail Dress, made with an old curtain, sewn by my teen

Inspired by the Little Mermaid Sail Dress, made with an old curtain, sewn by my teen

I love when my girls are inspired to create something solely on their own, especially when it consists of using materials we already have! I am completely ecstatic to support them any way I can when they do this. Whoohoo! Way to go, my girl.

What have YOU upcycled today??

Office Chair Refashion

I found this chair on my local Buy Nothing Project group.

The upholstery had holes and was worn, but the chair had “good bones”, so I grabbed it for my daughter. When I brought it home, I did a simple Office Chair Refashion that made us both happy.

Office Chair Refashion

I started wiht asking my 10 year old what kind of fabric she wanted. She said soft and warm, like flannel. That narrowed it down, nicely. I then went through my fabric stash, and found this adorable woodland creature flannel and she was in love.

Office Chair Refashion

If you have never recovered one of these rolling chairs, it really is super easy. Unscrew the screws on the back, remove the old cover (and any staples) and cut a new piece of fabric to fit. After the fabric is in place, secure it (either staple or even tape) making sure to get all the wrinkles out, then place the backing and screws back on. Repeat for the seat part.

Office Chair Refashion

The only thing I was in doubt about was giving my child a white chair. Ha! She does not keep many things white, for long. So far, though, she is treating it gingerly, and lovingly. I do hope those fuzzy creatures help her maintain it. But if they don’t, I can always recover it.

Office Chair Refashion

What have you recovered today?

Sewing Rope Baskets

Remember the change purses I made for teacher gifts? I never had the chance to show you the rope baskets I made for the end of the year teacher gifts. Now that things have quieted down, I can finally do that.

Sewing Rope Bowls

Sewing Rope Baskets

Sewing Rope Bowls

Sewing Rope Bowls

Sewing Rope Bowls

Sewing Rope Bowls

I absolutely adore making these. It is incredibly cathartic. You can see more of these here, here, and here. They make great gifts and you can create any size you want. I think my favorite kind, though, are made with found or recycled rope. Especially if they are stained. It adds such a cool look. So for this batch, I purposely spray painted them with watered down acrylic paint (like I used in my spray paint tutorial). For some of the baskets, I even used blue thread. Ultimately, I think I prefer the white thread, though.

I think for the next batch, I would like to try to make really large ones. Doesn’t that sound like fun?!

What is your most fun sewing project?

Recovered Case

Recovered Case using the old case as a pattern

Recovered Case

Recovered Case using the old case as a pattern

Recovered Case using the old case as a pattern

Recovered Case using the old case as a pattern

Recovered Case using the old case as a pattern

Recovered Case using the old case as a pattern

Recovered Case using the old case as a pattern

I wish I took a photo of the original cover. It was pretty thrashed. Lots of tears, and the fabric was brittle. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I could do this. You’ll have to use your imagination.  A friend of mine runs a non-profit music program for kids, regardless of income. It is pretty wonderful. She has a few of these cases that are extremely worn, and she gave me one to play with. I wanted to see if I could recover it, and you know what? I can!

It is far from perfect, being the first one I ever did, but it totally works, and it looks a heck of a lot better than it did. I completely seam ripped (carefully) the old cover off, and removed all the hardware, and then used the old case as a pattern, adding a half inch seam allowance all around. The best part is, I managed to save the zipper and the straps, and reuse them. It is difficult to find a 52″ zipper, so I am thrilled to be able to use the old one.

One case saved from the landfill! I can’t wait to do more.

Upcycled Quick Sew Tween outfit

upcycled quick sew tween outfit by falafel and the bee

Upcycled Quick Sew Tween outfit

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know how I feel about upcycling. If you are new here, you can see some more upcycled projects by clicking on the category “Upcycling” under the banner on top of this page. You’ll get the idea that me and upcycling, we are close.

upcycled quick sew tween outfit by falafel and the bee

That means that people give me things. All the time. I end up with linens and worn clothing and all sorts of things that people don’t want anymore, because they know I will do something with them. And you know what? I love that.

upcycled quick sew tween outfit by falafel and the bee

This outfit was made from a small square lace tablecloth, and some mysterious heavier-weight fabric (maybe drapes) that was in my stash. I have no idea of what it was in it’s past life, but it was perfect for the skirt.

upcycled quick sew tween outfit by falafel and the bee

I will start with that shawl shirt. It was so simple, it took literally minutes to make. I turned the square diagonally so it looked like a diamond. I then folded it so the top point met the bottom point. I cut a small semicircle out of the center. Then I hemmed it. I also sewed a straight line from the bottom up to her armpit, on each side. That is it. Because it is lace, it stretched a bit when she put it on, which she loves.

upcycled quick sew tween outfit by falafel and the bee

As an aside, let me tell you that I am still blinking at the fact that my youngest is now a tween and we are all finished with Elementary school.

upcycled quick sew tween outfit by falafel and the bee

Because this girl of mine is now going on to Intermediate school, she is very appropriately more picky about what I make her, more specifically, about what she will actually wear.

upcycled quick sew tween outfit by falafel and the bee

The skirt was a bit of an experiment. I just finished thumbing through Sewing Happiness by Sanae Ishida *affiliate link* and the origami pillows caught my eye. I could not stop think about making a garment with this technique!

upcycled quick sew tween outfit by falafel and the bee

I just spread out the front panel of the skirt (much larger than it would have to be to account for the shrinking from the pintucks) and started to fold and sew. It was actually a whole lot of fun. I just sewed it up as a simple skirt (like here, here, and here,)with a casing for the elastic in the waistband.

upcycled quick sew tween outfit by falafel and the bee

I made this outfit, and she instantly put it on, and then wore it to the graduation party we attended over the weekend. I’d call that a success.

upcycled quick sew tween outfit by falafel and the bee

What have YOU made today?