Boro Inspired Neck Warmer From Old T-Shirts




Introduction: Boro Inspired Neck Warmer From Old T-Shirts

This instructable is a sequel to the "Boro Inspired Vest From Old T-Shirts" so I recommend to go and check it up first. But even if you won't, you'll not loose anything very important for this project. And like with some sequels I'll copypaste some "flashbacks" of important things because I'm too lazy to rewrite them in new words.

So after making the vest I started to thinks of others things I can make in this technique and a simple neck warmer was a suitable idea for a project and just to play a bit more with the concept. One thing I want to emphasize is that I'm not trying to show here my sewing skills and experience but rather demonstrating the concept of my boro fabrics interpretation. Also I'm showing how to make neck warmer.

Step 1:

But first I want to say a couple words about the inspiration behind the project.

///you have to imagine this step in black and white and in wavy sort of motion because it is a flashback///

Boro is a name for traditional Japanese technique of reparing clothes, which implements applying patches of cloth by sewing them onto the clothes with multiple stitches (mainly in parallel lines). At the old times fabric was very expensive so even more wealthy people used to repare their kimonos in this fasion. Over the time layers of patches were accumulating making the cloth thicker thus making the clothes more suitable for colder weather. On the photos of boro fabrics you can see that the cloth on the highpoints is often rubbed through which makes underlaying layers of fabric of different color visible. That creates interesting unintentional decorative effect. Practical side of things like this facinates me and I'm finding the overall aestetics of boro textiles pleasing for me, so in my project I'm trying to replicate both, not in strictly direct way, but rather in more stylized fasion.

Step 2:

Flashback has gone and everything is motionless and colorful again, which is pretty convenient bacause I'm showing the t-shirts of different colors I'm going to use in this project. Miami and Jamaika are those that'll be visible on the front.

For this project you're going to need a few t-shirts. Maybe old ones of yours or you can buy some at the second hand shop. It's even ok if they have some small holes in them. For my NW I used 5 but even 7 or 8 is a reasonable number if you want to get thicker and warmer vest.
With having one shirt of contrasting color you can implement some nice looking decorative effects into your design, as I did, but generaly it's a wide field for artistic experiments so you can try something different colorvise, or, in opposite, make it very simple. You're also going to need thread of suitable color and a sewing machine along with some different common tools and supplies. And if you're good at handstitching and don't mind doing a lot of it, you can accomplish this project without a sewing machine, although from some point in the tutorial the procedure will be somewhat different for you in this case.

Step 3:

In the same way as for making the vest I'm using a cardboard frame for positioning the shirts. But this time it's a simple rectangle a bit wider then the t-shirts are used.

Step 4:

Before pulling the shirts on the frame cut off all the lables. Then start to pull them onto the frame one by one. The first one determins the coloring of the inside (inlay) of the NW (neck warmer). Two last ones (in my particular case) will determin the coloring and the look of the face side. The intermediate ones can deternime the coloring of the edge when it'll be folded and sewed down later.

Step 5:

The last t-shirt I had was significantly wider than the rest, so I had to cut out a section and than sew the shirt back again.

I'm not going to describe this step in details. All the procedures are on the photos and if something isn't clear or interests you, ask me in the comments.

Step 6:

So, after all the shirts are placed on the frame it's time to have a flashforward, so yeah... quickly visit the next step and return here...

... and here you back. And I want to sorry for this timeline disfunction because the whole "movie" was kind of an improvisation and right ideas doesn't always come in right order. Also for weird lighting effects.

But let's return to the project, because it's time to look at a bunch of photos on which I'm showing all the markings I made for sewing and cutting out the NW. I didn't include some minor markings and I really don't feel like explaining every single line or a group of lines on each of those photos, so I decided that we all will win if I'll draw some scheme. In further steps I'm going to reffere to that scheme.

The width of my piece was 26 cm, which is reasonable for most cases of adult person. Other dimmentions are not that important and can be eyeballed according to understanding of what's going on.

Step 7:

///Flashforward. Everything looks very bright and extra wavy but not to the point where it starts to look like an acid trip... just right amount of saturation bust and wavynes... ok...///

Secure t-shirts on the edges with binders, pins or whatever you have to do the job.

Now return to previous step...

Step 8:

Here I'm basicaly continuing to make markings and looking to the window.

Make sure the the ends of the corresponding markings on the back and front are coinside.

Step 9:

When all is marked baste all the future seams (blue lines on the scheme)

The horisontal line in between top and bottom edge is made for preventing layers of fabric from sliding and shifting too much when the piece is released from frame. Even two of those can be done for more accurate finish. This seam will be incorporated into design later.

Step 10:

Now you can cut the detail out of the frame according to the red lines on the scheme.

Trim edges for more accurate and uniform apperance.

The first (lowest layer) t-shirt was a bit smaller than others so it was stretched on the frame a little more than them, so after releasing the tention all thing shrunk... which is a thing to concidere in your project.

Step 11:

All the seams we've basted now have to be sewed with a sewing machine. But here's a thing: the foot of the machine tends to shift layers of fabric and create wrinkles, thus to avoid making a sort of a mess I recommend to separate different seams in a few goes and accomplish them by mowing from the centre of the piece in a symmetric manner. This way the pattern of created wrinkles and diformations will be atleast symmetrical on both sides of the piece.

Undo the basting stitches after the sewing is done.

Step 12:

To createthe apperance of boro fabric and to bind the layers of fabric functionaly we have now to make a series of parralel seams all across the body of the piece. But notice the change of pattern shown on the photo. I'm implementing this difference in density of the stitching in different areas for practical reasons.

Dense stitching pattern provides more regididy to the resulting fabric which is what I want for the parts on the front. I want those areas to lie flat on the chest when the finnished neck warmer is worn. And, in opposit, I want the area that wrap the neck to be softer and able to wrinkle more easily, which is achieved by less dense stitching pattern.

By running ahead I want to say that despite whole this separate areas thing was being an experiment at the moment I was right with my way of thinking and it worked exactly as I predicted, so listen to me here because I'm the smartest person in the existance.

Ok, so, devide the whole piece in thirds or fourths lengthwise and mark some lines in one third (or fourth accordingly) from the edges thus creating three areas. I'm just using existing seams on the t-shirt as such lines.

Making numerous seams in this manner, especially on this type of fabric, will create a lot of wrinkles. They will accumulate the most at the ends of the seams. You can reduse the pushing preassure of the sewing machine foot, or ocasionaly lift it up to relese the tension but for the most part you'll just have to sew those wrinkles down. This creates distinctive pattern on the surface and to avoid assymetry mark a line across the piece at the centre. Accomplish further sewing in two goes moving either towards or from the centre line in symmetrycal fasion.

In created halves do all the seams moving in one direcrion. Start at the centre line (see the scheme) and move towards the edge (or in opposite dirrection). Do each new seam using the previous one as a guideline.

Step 13:

The next step is to finish the edges.I'm doing it the same way I did on my vest, although at this point I'm starting to think of something more accurately looking.

Anyway it's working solution so let's proceed. Basicaly I'm just separating layers of fabric on the edge in two, folding them onto the front and back respectively and sewing down along the edge. Special foot on a sewing machine helps a lot.

Also by choosing at which layer to separate the fabric you can choose the color of the edge finish (according to what the shirts you're using can provide).

Step 14:

And now we can go for making decorative cuts on the surface of the fabric, but first, because I don't want to have tose cuts on the back area and at the same time I don't want them to end abruptly at the edge of those areas, I'm making some additional markings... a bit mysterious at this point...

Step 15:

With small scissors start making cuts between seams in the top layer of fabric. To make the transition between areas smoother I'm changing the pattern and using lines I made in previous step as a guidelines to know where to stop the cuts. You can create your own pattern for this.

Using this technique allows to create really original and, depending on the patterns of fabrics you're using, unique decorative effect.

Step 16:

The last thing to accomplish is to make the NW attachably-detachable in a way.

Some suitable big buttons can be used (you can wrap them in leftover pieces of t-shirt fabric) but I decided to go my way.

From remaining scraps of shirts I used, I cutted two strips and sewed them to the edge of the NW by the middle (see the fotos for positioning).

Tie knots at the ends of the strips.

Step 17:

Then I made corresponding holes on the other edge. First the edges of holes are reiforced with dense zig-zag seams, then the openings are cutten.

To secure edges when the NW is worn pull the strips through the corresponding openings and tie a simple knots. If openings are not too big and the knots at the ends of the strips are not falling through them too freely you can put the NW on and off without having those strips being pulled out which is convenient.

Step 18:

So this is is for this project. Now I have a nice warm thing that completly doesn't fit my style and preffered color scheme of... wearable things, but I had a limited choice of materials and thus I decided to do what was best for the project, rather than me (I'll wear it at the workshop).

I don't know whether there'll any more sequels to this project, but probably not in close time anyway.

Thank you for your attention and I'll shave eventually.

If you like what I'm doing and want to see more projects from me with with increasing qualitie, please considere to support me on Patreon

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    6 Discussions


    1 year ago

    This is probably the most inspirational and innovative post I have seen in a long time!!! I love the look of this finished scarf! I want!!!!

    Waldemar Sha
    Waldemar Sha

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you.


    2 years ago

    Nice! Regardless of style, the process opens the door for all sorts of things. And any constructive justification for hanging on to favorite old t-shirts is a good one.

    Waldemar Sha
    Waldemar Sha

    Reply 2 years ago

    Yes there is a field for experimentation with this technique. I think bags would look nise since it'll really stretch when is loaded revealing the cuts effect. Thanks for the response.

    Penolopy Bulnick
    Penolopy Bulnick

    2 years ago

    I really like the look of this! Thanks for sharing how you made it! I gotta find some colorful shirts to make my own :)

    Waldemar Sha
    Waldemar Sha

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks, Penolopy.