Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tee Shirt Scarves

Occasionally the meetings of the women's ministry at my church has a meeting where we do a craft project together. In the past, we have made facial scrubs, greeting cards, made pillowcase dresses for the ministry "dress a girl around the world".

This past Friday, our craft project was a tee shirt scarf.

I had never heard of a scarf from a tee shirt and couldn't imagine how it was done. We were instructed to bring a large tee shirt, scissors, a measuring instrument and a snack to share.

                    This leader had knotted two scarves together.

When we arrived, all the woman's ministry leaders had one of these scarves around their necks. They were awesome. Needless to say, we all jumped right in, snipping, measuring, kibitzing. Not a soul went near the food. Therefore, can we assume that crafting is more fun than eating.

I must note that when we were finished making our scarves and parading around looking at all the beautiful scarves our sisters had made, we did have a snack in our hands.

I do want to make an attempt to share with you how to make one of these beautiful scarves. A tutorial is in order.

1 - For the tee shirt  (cotton - no spandex), you can go to a charity store like the Salvation Army or GoodWill, or you can buy one at JoAnn's, Hobby Lobby or Michael's using your 40% off coupon, you can raid your husband's tee shirt drawer for ones he would donate if he could bear to part with the old thing.

2 - Lay the tee shirt out on a table, making sure the bottom hem is matching back and front. Pat it out so it looks all straight before beginning to slice.

3 - Cut across the bodice of the tee shirt, from arm pit to arm pit. Remove the top third of the tee shirt (the part with shoulders, neck and sleeves). You will just be working on the bottom 2/3's of the shirt. What you have before you now is a tube.

In this pic, you can see the bottom edge of the shirt on the lower right (under her hand) Also under her hand you'll see that she has removed the hem of the shirt and it is dangling down off the table. NOTE: you must cut off the hem of the shirt.

Up where you see the blue ruler in the pic, is where the shirt has been cut away from the top third, from arm pit to arm pit. On the far left of the pic, you see the part that was cut off and will not be used for this project (but would make a good dust rag).

The charming lady is slicing her tee shirt from one side seam up to - but not through - the opposite side seam. When she is finished slicing, the shirt will resemble a Hawaiian grass skirt. This is good.

Next comes the most fun part:  Run your hand between the two layers of the shirt at the seam that has NOT been cut through and gather up the uncut edge in your hand. Pick it up off the table while holding that gathered, uncut seam in one hand and with your other hand inside of the loop/strip pull and stretch as far as you can, each one of those loops until they curl up like a rope or cord. Sometimes where you've held onto the loop to stretch it doesn't curl up. In that case just pull both sides of the uncurled spot until it curls.

                                   Pulling loops until they curl.

Open up your big tube of cords into a circle (infinity scarf).  The part of the tee shirt that the cords are attached to (the seam that you didn't cut through) you will now cover with a scrap part of the tee shirt. Scrunch that part up as tight as you can and wrap the sliced off hem around this gathered part, securing it by tucking it in on both ends. Or as I have done with this turquoise one I made - I wrapped one of the ribbed cuffs from my shirt around it and hand sewed it neatly closed.

The cuff of my long sleeved turquoise men's tee shirt, raw ends folded inside and hand sewn together covering the connection part of all the strands of cord.

This is how my scarf looks doubled. I know by now you've noticed the braid. I didn't include the instructions for that in this tutorial. I don't think it adds much to the look. This was my first try. I think whenever I make another one, it will be without a braid.

I did also make a flower out of one of the sleeves. But, really, how much embellishment can you have on one scarf?


  1. Oh my goodness! I love it! I will put this on my list of crafts I want to try making.

  2. I have never heard about this type of scarf before. Thanks for sharing!!

  3. So cute! I've done the yarn from t shirts before, but love how it works for these scarves!