Introduction: Upcycled Wall Scroll Shirt

Show off your old fandom with a new style!

I recently cleaned out from under the bed and found a pile of old anime wall scrolls that used to adorn the walls of my apartment. Over the years, I've traded posters for frames, but I didn't want to give these remnants up to the thrift store. I decided they needed to be refashioned into a cool top for summer.

I won't be outlining how to make this specific shirt, as your supply of wall scrolls and style choices will not likely coincide with mine. However, I will outline how to create a pattern to plan out your own choice of garment and provide some tips for sewing with wall scrolls.

Step 1: Materials

wall scroll(s) - I ended up using two and would have needed at least two for the shirt I made. However, a different pattern may require less or more, and your design may be cooler with more. Consider the thickness of the fabric. I felt the thinner scrolls were better for the shirt I made, because they flowed better. However, thicker fabrics may be better for different garments.

plastic shopping bag

permanent marker

straight pins


sewing machine

cotton thread

Step 2: Pattern Prep

Of course, you could just buy a pattern, but where's the fun in that. Besides, choosing to recreate a garment you already own and like the fit of is a great way to guarantee you'll like the finished product.

Before starting to draft your pattern, you'll need materials to make it with. I use plastic shopping bags because they're free, easy, and sheer.

Cut the bottom and handles off the bag.

Then, cut just to one side of the logo on the bag.

This creates a long strip of flat plastic to use for your pattern.

Step 3: Pattern

Be sure to choose a garment you know you can sew. If you can't figure out how it was put together, you're better off with something simpler or buying a pattern. You also need to consider the fabric. Choose a garment that is made with a similar material. You want it to flow like the fabric of the wall scroll.

Once chosen, lay your garment out on a flat surface inside out.

Lay your plastic bag over a section of the garment and pin it in place.

Trace the hem lines with a permanent marker. Be sure to leave a 1/4" for the hem.

If the piece you're tracing is symmetrical, you can trace half and create a pattern piece designed to be put on a fold.

Move the plastic to another section of the garment and repeat until you've traced each piece.

Be sure to label each pattern piece with a name, how many you need cut, and if they need to be on a fold.

Step 4: Pattern Placement

This step is optional. If you don't have Adobe Photoshop or don't know how to use it, don't stress. However, I wanted to plan out what section of each wall scroll would be on each pattern piece. To do this, I took a picture of my pattern pieces and the wall scrolls on the same surface at the same distance.

I then put all the pictures into Adobe Photoshop and created a sort of stencil of the pattern pieces so I could play around with their placement on the various wall scrolls.

Once I'd settled on their placement, I made sure I could cut them all out without overlapping and created the first two images in this step as a plan for pattern placement.

Step 5: Wall Scroll Prep

Pop one end off each plastic tube.

Pull the fabric from the tube.

Cut off the plastic stiffener at the ends of the fabric.

Put the caps back on the tubes. (You may want to reuse these for new wall scrolls.)

Step 6: Cut

Consult your placement plan and pin your pattern pieces in place on your wall scrolls.

Cut each piece out.

Step 7: Construct

Again, I can't give you specific directions on how to sew your garment together, but there were a few things I learned specifically about using wall scrolls as opposed to fabric you will want to keep in mind.

Reference your original garment to sew your pieces together in the right order.

Like most fabrics, the wall scroll fabric has a grain. The thinner of the two scrolls was where most of my curved edges were and it began to fray the more I handled it. I've used materials that frayed worse, but you may want to keep it in mind.

I used a very thin scroll for most of my shirt and found it was easier to use a zigzag stitch on the edges than attempt a hem. This of course resulted in a wavy edge, but I was happy with that style choice.

I ironed the fabrics a lot, and didn't notice any transfer from the fabric to my iron or to other fabrics until I was photographing the finished shirt. I had used my iron on its highest setting when it was finished, but had used a lower setting initially. Apparently some of the image transferred from the front onto the back. It isn't very noticeable on the back and undetectable on the front. Most likely this could have been avoided by using a lower temperature on the iron. I recommend using the lowest setting that gets the job done.

Step 8: Enjoy

Show off your old fandom with a new style!

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