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1 Burnside Beauty and Fashion- Fashion and Costume

Generation T: 108 Ways To Transform a T-Shirt


Generation T: 108 Ways To Transform a T-Shirt Cover

ISBN13: 9780761137856
ISBN10: 0761137858
Condition: Standard
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Lets get a few things straight. Getting crafty with Generation T does not mean adding glitter to every accessory. It does not mean “BeDazzling” everything from your calculator to your toothbrush or affixing pre-tied bows to your blazer. No adhesives (that includes hot glue guns). No puffy paint. You need scissors, needle and thread, safety pins, and sheer moxie.

Generation T is all-inclusive—if you wear T-shirts, youre part of it. If you own a pair of scissors, youre already equipped to make one-third of the projects in this book. The others that do require a needle and thread can be made entirely by hand, no sewing machine needed—though some projects will go a lot faster if you use one.

But before you slash, read this chapter. “Tee Off!” is your reference; it includes the materials and the basic stitches and sewing techniques youll need to make all the projects in the book. Refer back to it whenever you hit the proverbial snag or need a quick refresher course.

Finding Inspiration

Beyond the 108 projects and 175 variations offered here, you can find inspiration for DIY fashion everywhere. From an item on a store hanger, a friends closet, or the outfit of a complete stranger walking down the street (just dont shadow the person for more than a block). Grab a piece of paper, a napkin, a receipt—whatevers handy—and sketch it out to try later at home.

If you see something you like in a magazine or catalog, tear out the picture and copy the design. Chances are you can make it—or something better. Observe the world around you. I keep my sketch pad handy and scribble down design notes about outfits I see people wearing on the subway platform, on the crosswalk, at an outdoor café. At a punk rock show I snapped pictures of fans backstage.

Some of my designs come into my head in very abstract ways—a shape inspires me here, a color catches my eye there, and then the two meet. Let yourself be inspired by your surroundings. I was sitting in Washington Square Park one summer afternoon, eating my lunch and sketching pictures of the arch under construction. Several of those sketches, combined with some from my daily street fashion observations, inspired the Cover Girl halter top design in Chapter 4. The lesson here is: Keep your eyes peeled, and your sketch pad handy.

Gathering Supplies

Each project in Generation T is written like a recipe, starting with a list of ingredients (a.k.a. materials and supplies) and followed by the steps needed to create it. Basic ingredients include a T-shirt (bare minimum), scissors (almost always), needle and thread, straight pins, chalk, and a ruler.

T-Shirts Youll need one or two T-shirts for most of the projects here. So where can you find them? My largest collection includes old softball uniforms, from Little League tees (a very hot commodity on the thrift store circuit) all the way up to high school summer softball tees. If you dont have quite the stockpile that I have, fear not. T-shirts are everywhere. Scout around for promotional giveaways (good sources for clever slogans or, at the very least, exciting splashes of color) and credit card sign-ups (you can always cancel them). Root around in your own bottom drawers for bar mitzvah tees, travel souvenirs, and rock concert treasures. You can even rescue one of your dads old T-shirts before its reduced to a household cleaning rag (never thought youd be raiding Dads closet, did you?). Youd be surprised at how many free tee opportunities there are out there. (If you opt for the thrift-store purchase, just make sure you wash the tee before you start slashing it.)

When youre choosing a T-shirt to refashion, pay attention to the weight of the fabric, as well as its stretch and color. The weight depends on the material (is it 100% cotton? a 50/50 blend?). T-shirts made from blended fabrics are slightly lighter than all-cotton ones and will drape more elegantly (theyre also more susceptible to static cling). Despite being heavier, all-cotton fabric is more breathable— which is why we wear it on the hottest summer days. You can make any project out of just about any T-shirt, but keep in mind what you want the final outcome to look like and use your common sense. If a shirt is stiff and rigid to begin with, its not going to make the flounciest skirt. And the super-soft lived-in T-shirt will never regain its shape, so dont expect a structured A-line skirt out of that one.

On to the subject of stretch. The beauty of jersey knit is that it stretches a little in every direction. Single-knit jersey stretches from 20% to 25% across the grain (thats horizontally across a T-shirt). Check out the stretch scale below. You can measure any piece of fabric against this scale to test its capacity for stretch.When spandex or other artificial materials are added to the mix, jersey can stretch more than 35% (and it retains its shape better).

I like to try on the T-shirt Im using before I start a project—even if Im making a skirt—to see how it stretches and hangs. Its important to be aware of the original fit of the T-shirt (the fabric will hug the same way whether its across your bust or your butt). For instance, if your shirt has 3% spandex and is a little snug around your shoulders and torso, cut off the sleeves and make it into one of the fitted tank tops— you avoid the tight shoulders and accentuate the tight torso.

And lastly, color. Feeling timid about picking your color palette? Heres an exercise: Throw all your T-shirts in a pile on the floor and look for colors and patterns that work well together (match complementary colors and mix primary and secondary colors). Also, pay attention to logos. In a project that calls for more than one T-shirt, pair a maroon shirt that has mustard-colored text or graphics with an all-yellow shirt. And as you place them together, remember that precision doesnt matter in terms of the angle of the logo. If you get the chance, turn the logo on its side. Note: Theres no need to find T-shirts exactly like the ones used in this book; even if you do, your version of each project will, happily, be unique.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 10 comments:

jpropp1, July 16, 2007 (view all comments by jpropp1)
This book is awesome!!!!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(23 of 47 readers found this comment helpful)
halofriendly, June 30, 2007 (view all comments by halofriendly)
So there are lots of books out there showing you how to rip apart/tear/cut/sew back together and generally reinvent your basic t-shirt until it's unrecognizable from the one you bought at the thrift store.
Why this particular book then?

1. It has easy to read/easy to execute instructions.

2. More than 1/3 of the book has a "no-sew" option for those of us who haven't had the money for a good sewing machine yet.

3. Not only do you get to reinvent your clothing, you also get an education on the history of the t-shirt, along with fun trivia facts sprinkled throughout the book.

4. Color photos are included to show you what your t-shirt could potentially look like on beautiful, paid models.

And finally...

5. Ideas on what to do with the t-shirt scraps after you've made your masterpiece.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(28 of 50 readers found this comment helpful)
christi, May 2, 2007 (view all comments by christi)
There are quite a few of these transform your tee books out right now, but this is by far the best. I love this book and the designs are actually cool - not just a can do. Some of them work for kids tees, too, which makes this a double dip for moms and dads.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(28 of 52 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 10 comments

Product Details

Nicolay, Megan
Workman Publishing
Clothing and dress
Textile Arts - General
Clothing and dress -- Alteration.
Beauty and Fashion-Fashion and Costume
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8 x 8 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Textiles
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Beauty and Fashion » Fashion » General and Costumes
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Crafts » General
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Crafts » Sewing

Generation T: 108 Ways To Transform a T-Shirt Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.50 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Workman Publishing - English 9780761137856 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The scope of Nicolay's how-to book is broader than its title suggests. It's a breezy, trendy call of encouragement to a young crop of do-it-yourselfers, with enough ideas to inspire experienced crafty types, too. The T-shirt is the starting point; the 108 end results — many of which have an edgy, even punk-like feel (much like the projects in Debbie Stoller's Stitch 'n Bitch) — range from slightly modified tops requiring no sewing to much more intricate fashion products like the sexy 'sidewinder' skirt and the two-piece 'teeny bikini,' with variations suggested for many projects. Offering celebrity tidbits ('In the 1950s and early '60s, James Dean, Marlon Brando, and Elvis Presley delivered a triple dose of T-shirt sex appeal onscreen and onstage, turning the garment into an icon of rebellion') and 'tee trivia,' a condensed history uncovers one of the world's favorite pieces of clothing. The book starts with an introduction to design terms, tools, measurement, materials and stitches, making it accessible to beginners. And because the author — who got into transforming Ts by gathering friends and hosting 'Brooklyn Tee Parties' to resuscitate old T-shirts — is budget-conscious (and so are all the projects in the book), anyone can afford to experiment with this kind of fashion design. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Interspersed throughout the book are tidbits of T-shirt trivia and anecdotes about celebrities and their tees. An excellent choice."
"Review" by , "While the styles are counterculture, they are overall a creative and great way to experiment when recycling old t-shirts."
"Synopsis" by ,
Make it yours. This inspirational guide with DIY attitude has everything you need to know about the worlds great T-shirt: how to cut it, sew it, deconstruct it, reconstruct it, and best of all, transform it. • Features more than 100 projects (plus 200 variations) for customized tees, tank tops, tube tops, T-skirts—even handbags, a patchwork blanket, iPod cozies, leg warmers, and more. • Not a DIY expert? Not to worry. More than one third of the projects are no sew, meaning anyone who can wield a pair of scissors can put a personal stamp on her wardrobe. But the sewing basics are here too: backstitch and whipstitch, gather and ruche, appliqué and drawstrings. • And the mission statement for Generation T: Ask not what your T-shirt can do for you; ask what you can do for your T-shirt. And then Do-It-Yourself!
"Synopsis" by , More than half of these projects for customizing and reinventing T-shirts require no sewing. Patterns are provided for 30 T-shirt projects, 30 tank top projects, 30 tube top projects, as well as a two-tiered skirt, pillows, leg-warmers, tablecloths, and braided rugs.
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