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Thursday, 31 October 2013

Day 1 - T-Shirt Bandanna Cowl + Free Pattern

So for Day 1 of Recycled/Upcycled Gift I give you the Reversible T-Shirt Bandanna Cowl with Free Pattern!

Yep that's me so no giggling at the old model!!!

Ok so this is my first sewing tutorial and pattern.

Step 1 - Download the free pattern here.
Step 2 - Print the pattern pieces.  There are 4 pages.  Print them with no page scaling.
Step 3 - Cut off two sides of each page of the patten.  I leave two sides for overlapping but cut off two to                   get the pieces aligned properly.
Step 4 - Tape page 1 and page 2 together

Step 5 - Tape page 3 and page 4 together

Step 6 - Tape the top and bottom together

Step 7 - Cut out your pattern of course!!  OK I know the last few pictures were probably not necessary but               I wanted to make sure it was clear.  Since there are only 4 pages it would have been easy to just                   say print, tape and cut but whatever.  Here are badly taken pics :)

Step 8 - Find an old T-Shirt and fold it in half then pin your pattern to it..  This is where you get to be really                creative.  Find a shirt that the person you are  giving the gift too (or yourself) loves or has some                      connection too.  For my example I chose an old  t-shirt of my sons but I plan on making a few from              shirts that mean something to me.  AJ's shirt was my "test" and it totally worked!!  I am so                            happy with it because it's  my first totally digitally designed pattern.  I have another one coming up                  soon though.

Step 9 - Cut :)  You can also iron your shirt prior to pinning the pattern to it.  I didn't because of the print on              the shirt.  I was worried it would melt if I ironed it.  Seeing how wrinkled it looks in the pictures is                  making me wish I had ironed it though.

Step 10 - Fold each of your pieces right sides together so that the two short straight sides line up and sew.  I                 marked where to sew with a white line in the picture below.

Step 11 - Turn one of your pieces right side out and slide it inside the other so that the right sides are facing.                   Then pin around the curved edge and sew.

Step 12 - When you get to the seam just press both of them open and with your needle in the down position                 (down through your fabric) turn your fabric and continue with the rest of the curve.  My thread                       broke right before I got to this point so it looks a bit messy.  Doh!!

Step 13 - If you have pinking shears you can use them to trim the seam allowance.  If your don't it's ok, just trim the seam allowance down a bit and then clip your curve.

Step 14 - Turn your cowl right side out.  It will look like the picture below.  The you push one side into the other so that both of the sides facing out are "right" or "good" sides.  It sounds more complicated than it is.  Essentially you want the top to look like the bottom of a pant leg but double layered.

Step 15 - Match up your seams and fold under each edge.  I didn't measure but just made everything look                    nice.  I find when I work with old t-shirts it can be hard to get everything exact.  The t-shirts are                    stretched and often hard to get perfect.  I've leaned to live with it and appreciate the lived in look                  of it.  You could also bind the top edge if you know how to make knit binding, just make sure it's                  as stretchy as needed to get over your recipients head!

Step 16 - Top stitch the bottom edge of your cowl if desired.  You certainly don't have to but I love me                        some top stitching, especially in a contrasting color!!

Here I am modeling my Reversible T-Shirt Bandanna Cowl again.  Wow that is a mouthful!  The pictures were taken by my sweet Sidney girl.  Thanks Sid :)


  1. This is a great and easy pattern. I love up-cycling and finding new uses for old tees. Thanks so muck for sharing.

  2. This is a great and easy pattern. I love up-cycling and finding new uses for old tees. Thanks so muck for sharing.

    1. You are very welcome Wendy! I hope you can make something to keep yourself or someone you love warm :)

  3. I love this I think it's a fabulous use for old band T- shirts, the ones you really don't want to part with even though you know you should, and can't bear to use as dusters! - but I can't download the pattern ! I have ended up with a software download for the site but not the pattern. Is available as a pdf?

    1. Michelle when you click the link it brings you to 4shared. Once there click on the title of the pattern in this case blue_maple_cowl.pdf Yes it's a pdf pattern :) Hope that helps and let me know if it doesn't. Thanks!

  4. A great way to reuse pre-loved t-shirts!

  5. I've featured your refashion today...

    1. Thank you so much!!! You made me smile from ear to ear :)