Mine the T-shirt treasure trove in the back of your closet

 

Nothing to wear? Worried that this year’s back-to-school clothes will bust the budget? Megan Nicolay might just have a solution.

And, she says, that solution is probably right under your nose and taking up closet space: Old T-shirts you can’t bear to part with that can find a new life as a sweet outfit that costs nothing more than time.

On the heels of her first book that offered 108 ways to transform a T-shirt, Nicolay is out with a new book, Generation T Beyond Fashion, 120 New Ways to Transform a T-shirt (Workman Publishing, 2009). It is filled with ideas for cute outfits, kids toys and clothes, pets and home items that keep those T-shirts out of the landfill while preserving the memories attached to them. Many of the projects don’t even require sewing.

“I think a lot of people don’t necessarily realize they may be sitting on a gold mine of materials,” Nicolay says."… We all have these T-shirts. It’s sort of the closet form of a scrapbook.”

Nicolay has been cutting up T-shirts since she was a kid. Her parents challenged her and her sisters to do something with all the T-shirts theyhad collected but never wore. That summer, the girls made a lot of new outfits.

While Nicolay says the books grew from the green movement of recycle and reuse, thrift is the"in” thing these days.

“To be able to outfit your kid in cute one-of-a-kind clothes for a couple of dollars and maybe an afternoon, it’s hard to argue with, right?”

 

The Little Empress
(toddler dress)

Transform one of daddy’s T-shirts into a poufy, empire-waist dress for daddy’s little girl. Before you know it, the princes will be lining up outside the castle gate for a chance to slay a dragon for her affection.

You’ll need:
•1 T-shirt (L or XL)
•Ruler
•Scissors
•Measuring tape
•Chalk marker
•Straight pins
•Needle
•Thread

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