How to Turn Your Old T-Shirts Into a Blanket, 2 Ways

The first way is: amusing and dysfunctional
The second way is: easy and cute, a little bit dysfunctional
Let's start with the second way.
9 Easy Steps to a T-shirt Quilt
There are lots of tutorials on making t-shirt quilts that are very clean-looking and time consuming. My way turned out just as pretty and comfortable, and I wasted a lot less time and t-shirt. Using my sewing machine, this took me about 5 hours work in total. Here's how I did it.
  1. Pick out your t-shirts. I used nine shirts, which made my blanket long enough to cover the length of my body.

  2. Lay them out how you want them on a blanket. Pick the order you are going to sew them in (read through this tutorial for my suggestions). I was using all the t-shirts I kept from middle/high school that I knew I was never going to wear again but that held good memories, so I laid mine out in chronological order, with a shirt from 7th grade at the top left and a shirt from 11th at the bottom right.

  3. Cut the sleeves off each shirt. Don't throw them away!!! You can use them as scrunchies, headbands, etc.

  4. Cut around the perimeter of each shirt, so you end up with the front and the back separate. Keep the fronts in one pile and the backs in another, but make sure they are in the same order so they match up on the finished blanket.

  5. Lay the fronts of the shirts out in the shape of the blanket with the outsides facing up. Lay the backs out in the same way, but remember that in order for the fronts and backs to match up on the actual blanket, the right-to-left order of the backs when they're facing out should be the opposite of the fronts.
    Okay, I understand that was the most confusing sentence ever written. Here's a high-quality, beautifully-rendered diagram:

  6. To sew shirts together, line two up on top of each other, each with the inside facing out. Sew along the side that you want attached (it will only be one side!). When you turn them right-side out, the stitches will be hidden for a clean look. Sew each row together, then sew the three rows together. I recommend sewing the back side first, so you get better at stitching it before you do the part that shows more often.

  7. Repeat for the front.

  8. To sew the two sides together, stack the two sides on top of each other each with the inside facing out. Sew along three edges. Sew about 3/4 way along the fourth edge, then turn the blanket right-side-out by pulling it through the remaining hole.

  9. Now stitch up the hole. If you don't want that last stretch of visible seam to show up, my mom who taught me everything I know about sewing suggests sewing ribbon on to make it look decorative.

I tried to do a cute photoshoot with my finished blanket but these are the pictures I took instead. 

I'm no seamstress, but I'm happy with how it turned out: a little messy and awkward, but worthwhile. Kind of like the high school experience the blanket commemorates. Unlike high school, this blanket is comfortable.

Now, the dysfunctional way.
  1. Gather some t-shirts. I used all my sentimental t-shirts from elementary school and a few from junior high.
  2. Arrange them how you would want them on a blanket.
  3. Don't cut them.
  4. Hand-stitch them together. Use a different-colored thread every time you add a new t-shirt.
I started this about a year ago and was almost finished when I found a bunch more t-shirts that I couldn't bring myself to toss. Over the past year, my blanket's grown, my skill at sewing by hand has definitely improved, my ability to lose needles in the couch and have my family find them the next day has improved. The blanket is a hot mess, sleeves flapping everywhere, knots and tangled stitches, lopsided, lots of fun. It gives me something to do with my hands and makes me feel productive while I'm watching Sherlock or Hamish Macbeth with my family.

If you make either of these, let me know in the comments below, on Facebook or Instagram @theblerghblog, or via email!

What to listen to while sewing, ranked

Worst: I'm In Love With My Car (Queen)- Results in erratic, roundabout stitches
Tolerable: Invisible Sun (The Police)- Okay. Makes me pensive
Best: She Wrote That. Podcast with Charlotte Varnes and guest journalist Savannah Behrmann

World peace and love,

Heather <3

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