How to Use Fabric Scraps: The Hair Clip

Felted Wool Sweater Blue Heart Hair Clip/Pin

I go through a lot of felted sweaters. Like, A LOT. I scrounge for wool sweaters at the ARC or Goodwill at least once every week from September until March (which according to thrifts stores is sweater season). I felt and cut up sweaters once every month or so and organize all my pattern pieces so they are easy to grab and use. My goal at this point is to throw away as little of the sweater as possible, so I’ve had to get creative over the years.

Plaidypus felted wool coffee cup cozy in the making

I started by only using sweaters to cut out patterns for my Coffee Cup Cozies. But there were all these parts left over. I began using the sleeves to make scarves, which helped ease my guilt, but I still felt like I was wasting some good scraps. I started looking online for small accessories I could create, and realized that hair clips were a worthy investment.

I found inspiration for the pattern I eventually made on the internet and at home.
After searching the web I found a few tutorials and photos that I really liked and tried to figure out why I liked them. For example, Here’s one that I liked because of the layering effect they used.

I also had a few hair clips at home that friends and family had bought me over the years that added to my inspiration and designs. Inspiration really is everywhere. Plaidypus felted wool hair clip pinI knew I wanted layers and I knew I wanted buttons (because I like buttons on everything. Who doesn’t like buttons?) so I messed around until I made something I liked and then stuck with that and made a bunch more.

Because I was just using up scraps that I would have thrown away otherwise, I was keeping costs low and could therefore keep the price lower for customers. Also, I felt better about not throwing away so much good wool (because wool is getting harder and harder to come by as acrylic and acrylic blends take over the sweater market).

If you don’t use sweaters, you can still make hair clips or pins out of other scrap materials you have laying around. I also use a lot of t-shirts and end up with a lot of scraps from that and I’ve been thinking about making hair clips from those scraps as well. A lot of people have scraps from quilting or sewing projects, and those can be made into hair clips just as easily. Here’s a website with a bunch of great collection of hair bow ideas that you can make with your fabric, yarn, and ribbon scraps.

Scrap yarn crochet flower headband featured on Plaidypus blogScrap fabric hair bows featured on Plaidypus blogScrap fabric hair flower bow headband featured on Plaidypus blog

 

Bonus: Plaidypus pink and purple felted wool sweater hair clipHere’s one of the first hair clips I ever made combined with the moment I realized how difficult it was to take photos of myself with an SLR camera. At least my hair looked fabulous.

 

Using those old T-shirts: 7 Websites with Fabulous Tutorials and Inspiration to Help You Use That T-Shirt Stash

Pile of t-shirts

T-shirts are my favorite source of fabric. They’re colorful. They have patterns on them sometimes. They’re inexpensive. They’re plentiful and easy to find. They’re stretchy. And they don’t fray. That’s right, they’re practically magic. They’re great for clothing and quilts and accessories galore. If you’re more of a book kind of person, then check out the t-shirt books referenced in my previous blog post, 6 Books for Recycled/Upcycled Clothing and Accessory Patterns.

Sometimes I’m more of a website, girl, though. My poor bookshelf already bows down in the middle of every shelf. So the whole every-pattern-you-could-ever-want-is-on-the-web fact is one I love. All you have to do is type into Google whatever you want to look for and a million (most likely more) results will pop up for you to sift through.

I sifted through a few pages looking specifically at patterns and ideas that use old t-shirts, and found these for you. They’re all pages with bulk t-shirt ideas. Maybe I’ll come through and make another post with more specific projects.

1. Personal Creations

Toggle Bolero White T-shirt Upcycle PatternThis is a great website because it not only tells you what the item is and where to find the pattern, but also gives you a photo of the item! You can go through and find something you want to make and know what it will actually look like instead of hoping it’s nice when you get to the second linked page.

My inspiration from this website is the Bolero Pattern they show. Definitely going to have to make this one. The website they have this pattern on, by the way, also has some other fun ways to fashion a boring t-shirt.

2. Saved by Love Creations

Apron made from recycled/upcycled t-shirt by Ruffles and StuffAnother big bunch of t-shirt projects rolled into one page. There are so many to choose from! This site also puts photos next to all the titles and links.

My favorite one from this is the T-shirt Apron. It looks easy. And I’ve been needing an apron for a while now. maybe it’s time to actually make myself one!

3. Infarrantly Creative

recycled/upcycled ruffled front t-shirt topFirst of all, I had to look up the word “infarrantly.” Fun fact: it’s not a real word. Here’s what the site says:

“What is an Infarrantly?   Haha!   One of the #1 hits I get from my site from Google searches is “definition of infarrantly”.   Since I made the word up I suppose only I can give you the definition.   My last name is Farrant and I was playing on the word “inherently” which means something intrinsic, innate, basically born in me.   So I am inherently creative…infarrantly creative.   Get it? Smile

Now you know.

There are some great ideas for kid’s clothing and accessories on here as well as for adults. My fave from this site is the Ruffle Front Top.

4. Buzzfeed (that’s right, they have more than just quizzes and funny pictures)

Recycled/Upcycled t-shirt tunic/dress with cinched waist from large t-shirtI was surprised to see Buzzfeed had this cool of a post. But it did. I haven’t tried all the links, but it looks like at least some of them are tutorials. Some might just be a pretty picture. Which, by the way, is also helpful for inspirational purposes.

If you’ve clicked through all of these that I’ve posted you’ll start to see some repeats at this point. Pay no mind to those. They’ll happen if you hang out on the internet for more than an hour (if you’re like me and you’re searching for the perfect pattern, you’ve already been on the internet for at least that long.)

The thing I’m definitely going  to have to make here (and then see if it actually looks good on me) is the T-Shirt Dress with Cinched Waist.

5. Trash to Couture

Okay, not all of these are from old t-shirts. So sue me. They’re all recycled/upcycled basket woven t-shirt pattern/tutorialREALLY cool patterns, though. There are links and how-tos and everything. Some of them look pretty simple. Some look hard, but cool (maybe they aren’t hard. Maybe I’m just convinced that if there’s an intricate-looking pattern on something it’s difficult. You’ll have to try it and let me know).

I was really digging the Basket Woven Shirt idea they had going on. I put it on my long list of things to make.

6. Of Dreams and Seams

Of Dreams and Seams refashioned/recycled/upcycled t-shirt dressThis woman is amazing. Again, not everything she writes about is made out of t-shirts. But dang, this woman knows how to upcycle old clothing and make fabulous new clothing.

She does use a lot of t-shirts, though! Like this dress made from 3 old t-shirts. But there are also other cool things. Just click through her blog. I promise it’s worth it.

 

 

 

7. Julie Ann Art

Here are some cute accessory ideas for your old t-shirts. Some of them only need scraps. Which is good because you will end up with so many scraps from all the other patterns you’ve alrrecycled/upcycled t-shirt bow eady done from this post, right?

I’ve already decided I’m going to make this cute T-shirt Bow and put it on a headband. Or maybe as an appliqué for another t-shirt. I’ll figure out why I’m making it after I’ve made it.

The Headband: For Those of Us Who Don’t Want to Let Our Hair Down

Plaidypus upcycled t-shirt headband - Purple with black and purple buttons

Yes, you can let your hair down. Or you can put it up. It’s really up to you. But if you want a way to put it up (because it’s summer and it’s hot and if you have long hair you probably get that thing where your hair sticks to your forehead when you’re outside and it feels uncomfortable), there are a lot of options out there right now in the fashion world.

For one, headbands are coming back. I’m not sure if they ever actually left, but suddenly I’m seeing a lot more of them around here. I personally like the bigger, thicker headbands because otherwise they get lost in my hair (I always have more hair than I think I do…)

You can make your own headbands by cutting up t-shirts and braiding them in cool ways (I’ve seen this, but never figured it out myself because braids with more than three strands confuse me), by sewing some pretty fabric to some elastic, or by covering a pre-made headband of any size with fabric. Heck, you can even embellish a pre-made headband until it looks nothing like it’s original form. Here’s a website/blog post that gives you some ideas and some tutorials if you have creative energy and time to kill.

If you would prefer to buy a handmade headband, well then you’ve Plaidypus upcycled t-shirt headband - Orange with rainbow lacecome to the right blog post! Plaidypus makes some lovely thick headbands from upcycled t-shirts. They come in many colors and textures and with many embellishments, and unlike many headbands, they don’t start to give you a headache after ten minutes of wearing them. Check them out in our Photo Gallery or on the Plaidypus Etsy Site.

 

6 Books for Recycled/Upcycled Clothing and Accessory Patterns

Making your own clothing and accessories is fun. Well, I think it’s fun, at least. If you are like me, then you probably hunt the internet and bookstores for projects you can create using your old t-shirts or jeans.

They’re great not only for the patterns but for the inspiration you can find. Some of the things Plaidypus sells were based off things found in books like these or on websites (someone remind me to do a post on websites…) So here are some of my favorites. You can find them pretty easily on Amazon.com, but I linked them for your convenience.

1. Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-Shirt

This is one of the first sewing books I bought. It looked like fun and I had a lot of old t-shirts and all the patterns looked really interesting. Still one of my favorites. You can freshen up old t-shirts or turn them into something completely different with the patterns in here, and they’re all pretty easy, too.

2. Generation T: Beyond Fashion: 120 New Ways to Transform a T-Shirt

I liked the first one so much, that when I saw they had just come out with a second book, I bought it immediately without even having to look inside. Was not disappointed. It’s more fun clothing and accessories.

3. Jean Therapy: Denim Deconstruction for the Conscientious Crafter

This one has some patterns as well as photos of more intricate ideas that they don’t give you instructions for but that might help inspire you to go further with the old denim. It’s nice because they tell you how many pairs of jeans probably go into the different patterns. I’ve used the patterns in this book directly, as well as tweaked the patterns for my own purposes.

4. 99 Ways to Cut, Sew & Deck Out Your Denim

There are options for everyone in a book like this. With 99 patterns, you’re hard-pressed to not find something to your taste. I haven’t gotten to explore this one as much (hey, there are a lot of patterns to look at!) but from skimming through it looks pretty awesome.

5. The Sweater Chop Shop

I like to use wool. You see, you can felt wool and it doesn’t fray. And I like fabrics that don’t fray, so I use felted wool a lot. Wool sweaters are a great source of material, because you can find them in your local thrift store pretty easily (check the tags to make sure they’re at least 80% wool if you’re going to felt it).

6. Sweater Surgery

This one has more accessories whereas the Sweater Chop Shop has a lot of clothing that you can make. So if you want smaller things, this one might be your best bet. It’s got some cute clothing patterns and ideas in it, too, though.