When I meet people who inspire me to think about my purpose in society and consider how I can contribute to the greater good, I like to keep them around me. Since meeting Jenelle at Craftcation, we have stayed in touch. I was lucky enough to share part of her story on the podcast and we often chat about our future projects. When she said she was writing a book about upcycling t-shirts, I could not wait to see it.
Let’s start with the book! The Upcycled T-Shirt Book, published by Stash Books from C & T Publishing, features 28 projects ranging from clothing to home decor, all using upcycled t-shirts. The cover is a flexible and sturdy paperback and the paper shows the illustrations well. I love the illustrated project steps. Jenelle also includes sewing tips and additional ways you can upcycle other shirt components. As a Bernina ambassador, Jenelle’s sewing experience shows through in the easy-to-understand and simple-to-construct instructions.
There are 28 projects and I want to make ALL of them. I have already asked my husband to clean out his side of the closet in hopes I can upcycle his funny ones. Since the reality of a blog post deadline breeds decision, I finally narrowed down my project choice to both kitchen unpaper towels and produce bags.
For our family, the new year means time to clean up and de-clutter! Not only is it after the holidays and the start of new resolutions, it is also the time before we have company over for Miss No No’s birthday! Unpaper towels will be very helpful with the cleaning effort. I followed Jenelle’s instructions with two exceptions. Since my pinking shears were close by, I pinked the inner edges of the towels before I turned them right side out. Also, I added a bit of quilting to the towels. I thought it might make the towel more sturdy.
From the leftover t-shirt, I was also able to make a produce bag. It is a bit smaller than the suggested size in the book but large enough to hold a ginormous pomelo grapefruit. I hate using the plastic produce bags in the store so I can see myself making quite a few more of these.
Each project took me about twenty minutes to make. I know I would be even faster if I just cut but no… I wanted the perfect fussy cut images. HA!
In addition to working on fabric and textile recycling, Jenelle is also trying to set a world record for the largest ball of t-shirt yarn. In order to set the record, she needs your help! To participate, follow the directions in the video below to make t-shirt yarn:
After you make your yarn, you send it to Jenelle (with your name somewhere on the package) by October 1, 2016 to:
Later in 2016, a group of volunteers are going to wrap the t-shirt ball in a public & celebrated event, where it will be judged by the Guiness Book of World Records. The World Record will be held by everyone who participates.
When the world record is recorded, the largest Ball of T-shirt Yarn will go on a book tour with Jenelle and be displayed publicly. She will then host a second challenge to anyone who signs up to participate by returning large balls of t-shirt yarn to bloggers, school clubs, and organizations to see what they will make or come up with. I can’t wait!
To find out more about Jenelle’s fabulous book and see some fantastic projects, be sure to follow all of these stops on the tour:
January 4 Jenelle Montilone // trashn2tees.com
January 5 Amy Johnson // makermama.com
January 5 Christa Watson // christaquilts.com
January 6 Sandi Sawa Hazlewood // www.craftyplanner.com (YOU MADE IT!)
January 6 Mandy Leins // mandalei.com
January 7 Julia Vidile // titesmains.com
January 8 Christopher Thompson // thetattooedquilter.com
January 8 Andrea Davis // sewtofit.com
Can’t wait to see what you make from her book!