Fabric Remnants Shirt

Thanks to a dear friend, I recently received a box of wonderful fabric remnants from a sweet lady that I've never even met. It was like exploring a treasure box.... me and my daughter sitting cross-legged on a shaggy rug in my studio rummaging through all of the different pieces and patterns and coming up with ideas of "stuff we could make".

Here is the first project.....
a square fabric remnant shirt design, that I LOVE wearing!

I started with two 36"x36" square pieces like this
 I put them together, right sides facing one another and laid them flat on my table.
Then I pinned the edges and folded them in half, making sure they were lined up correctly.

Now here's a little warning:
The rest of what I did is rather unconventional and not up to the standards of any real pattern, sorry. I'm kinda that way a lot. Like with recipes.... which I use as a general starting point and then just make adjustments to suit my taste as I go.

I had a general idea of the size and shape I wanted the shirt. I wanted a long shirt that would fit at the hip but be loose everywhere else so while it was folded in half I cut a slightly curving line in from where the sleve would be and straight down to the bottom.
Then I unfolded the pieces and pinned them carefully.
I sewed a straight stitch about 1/2" in from the edges to attach the front and back on both sides.
Then I sewed a straight stitch in from each side at the top to finish the sleves and create the neck opening.

Next, I turned it right side out and tried it on. At this point I could see I needed to adjust the neck opening because it was too large and the shirt was falling off my shoulders too much.
Turning it inside out again I adjusted where needed and hemmed my sleves and the bottom of the shirt  (folding the fabric under twice about 1/4"  width on the sleves and 1/2" on the bottom hem)

As you will see in this next photo the finished shirt fit pretty much the way I wanted it to but the front looked exactly like the back and it didn't feel quite complete.

So I cut a slit in the center of the front panel of the shirt from the top (approximately 4").
I hemmed each side (folding under twice 1/4") and secured the bottom of the slit with a bar stitch.
Then I added a long black and white soft string tie (it had been an extra piece that came with a dress.... yes, I save all kinds of stuff, just for times like these)
As a final touch I also sewed a straight stitch along the front and back neckline to make sure it would lay nice and flat.

And here is the finished piece.
*(you will notice from the photos that in certain light the fabric sometimes looks a bit navy blue, but it is actually black and white)

Create Your Own Unique Frames for your Artwork

I love working with non-traditional materials in my artwork, so why not make a non-traditional frame to show it off!

Below is a mixed media portrait I drew of my daughter. It is finally framed and hanging on her bedroom wall! Yay!  
(It's only been sitting un-framed on a display wall in my art studio for the past two years or so.)

So here are a few easy steps to consider in creating unique frames for non-traditional artworks:

  • First of all, my original work was done on a 2'x2' square piece of hardboard.
  • To create the frame, I took a large piece of white paper and folded it in half (making sure it was at least half the width of my artwork). I sketched the shape I wanted on the paper and cut it out. Once I unfolded the paper I had the template for one complete symmetrically drawn side of the frame.
  • The artwork was placed on a large piece of MDF board and the template was used to trace all four sides of the frame around it. We also traced around the artwork itself and then measured in 1/2" on each side before cutting the square out of the center. My wonderfully handy husband did all of the cutting and even routed and sanded the edges and they looked fantastic!
  • Next I dusted off the frame and took it in the studio to paint. I used an interior acrylic paint, giving it two thin even coats for good coverage.

  • After the paint was completely dry I centered and attached my artwork using Liquid Nails (since MDF often splits easily if you try to nail close to an edge). Be sure to follow manufacturer directions and wait 24 hours before hanging.
  • To hang the artwork, we drilled pilot holes (at least an inch away from any sides) and screwed in small eyelett screws and attached picture hanging wire. Since it was a little bit heavier than a traditional frame we made sure to put an anchor in the wall where it would hang.

*Note: The paint on my frame is solid and simple and there is only one layer of wood, but I'm thinking there are many possibilities with this project for some very creative decorative designs on the frames. Have fun creating and show it off!

Here is a little close-up of the portrait of my daughter. 
We had all been enjoying these huge ice creame treats on a hot afternoon during a magical summer vacation trip in Leavenworth, Washington with some of our dearest friends and I snapped a quick photo.