Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Make Something Monday: (almost) No-sew Braided T-shirt Collar

finished braid, with rouching effect!
I came across this fairly simple idea for updating/fancifying a t-shirt: creating a braid around the neck opening using the fabric of the shirt itself. Her inspiration came from a picture she'd seen on pinterest of a Banana Republic shirt with two rows of "braid" around the front of the collar.

G came over on Monday night with Odin to hang out so we decided this might be a low-key craft to do, and it seems to be follow our current theme of t-shirts.

slit cutting-guide
The t-shirt I used had a fairly wide neck, which we decided is key to making a successful fit. Because the braiding technique gathers the neck in a bit, using a smaller necked- shirt will result in an even smaller neck after braiding. The blogger we followed used a v-neck that seemed fairly wide necked.
I started by turning the t-shirt inside out and marking the slits I was going to cut. I pretty much winged it on the size and spacing, but they're about an inch apart and about one and a half to two inches long.

After cutting the slits the "braiding" began. Her directions were pretty easy to follow:
  1. Pinch the fabric between the second and third slits, and pull it through the first slit, from the inside of the shirt to the outside
  2. Pinch the fabric between the third and fourth slits, and pull it through the loop created by step 1, from the inside of the shirt to the outside
"braiding" the collar. . . it's a lot
like a very basic crochet stitch
Continue pinching and pulling until you have made one last loop. This is where the almost no-sew part comes in. Mine is currently safety-pinned as I didn't have a needle and thread with me. Ideally the last loop should be tacked down with a few stitches. There is also a gap at the first slit, so I will probably tack that closed, as well.

The braid creates a rouching effect across the front of the neck and definitely pulled the fabric in a bunch. I like the way it looks, and when I do it again will probably find a t-shirt that's a size or two larger, with a wide-ish neck so that it's not too constricting.  
finished t's
g's on the left, mine on the right

t-shirt in action.
the long sleeve shirt was great for covering the safety pin
and small gaps at the shoulders, but not so great
for the unseasonably warm temps we've had this week

Sky Blanket Update: February

it kind of looks like the sky, right?

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