I love t-shirt blankets and all the memories that go with them!
I've been holding onto my t-shirts from Jr. High and High School for over 17 years and finally got to making something with them. I had originally planned on making a weighted t-shirt blanket, but was concerned that the t-shirts would not hold up well with the weights inside since t-shirts are stretchy, and some of the t-shirts were worn and thin. I also was worried that if I made a weighted t-shirt blanket then decided I just wanted it to be a regular blanket that it would take a lot of work to remove all of the weight inside the blanket.
So...that led me to the idea of making a weighted duvet, and a t-shirt duvet cover. That way the weights would be in a separate blanket and not wear on the t-shirts, and if I decided I'd rather just have this duvet cover become a regular t-shirt blanket it's a really easy fix.
Now that the duvet cover is done, next up is for me to make the weighted duvet. I will be making the weighted duvet using a king size sheet folded in half, sewn into columns, then row by row filled with poly pellet weights. Then I'll be ready to put the weighted duvet in my t-shirt duvet cover and snuggle up.
I love how the t-shirt duvet cover turned out. I really enjoyed making it and all of the memories that came back to me as I looked at each shirt.
Step 1: Supplies Needed
Supplies Needed for the T-shirt Duvet:
-T-shirts! I used about 30 t-shirts for a 60 inches by 72 inches cover. Wash and dry t-shirts prior to cutting.
-Rotary cutter, Cutting Mat and Ruler
-Velcro or some other type of closure for the bottom of the cover.
-Square template for back fabric (mine was a 12 x 12 square cut from a cheerio box).
Step 2: Cut Out Shirt Pieces
-Decide what kind of t-shirt cover you want to make.
The easiest one is to choose a square/rectangle size that will show the graphics of all the shirts, make a template that size and cut out all the shirt pieces the same size.
Another choice is cutting the shirt pieces all different sizes then piecing them together into a collage. This takes more time and you run into some extra things to work through, but I really love how it looks! I chose to make a collage cover.
I cut each piece so that there was a 1.5" border around the graphics on the shirt.
An important thing to know is the size of the duvet so that you will be able to make your cover slightly larger. (I decided to make my duvet cover first and then measure it and make my duvet slightly smaller than my cover. So for mine I didn't have to worry about the size of the cover.)
If you are using the backs of the shirts for your backing like I did, now is a good time to cut those out. (See step 5)
Step 3: Layout Shirt Pieces and Sew Them Together
-Layout the shirt pieces where you want them to be in your cover top.
-Sew pieces together to form the cover top. Lay pieces with right sides together and use a 1/2 inch seam opening up the already sewn seams when sewing piece together.
If you are doing a cover top with all of the pieces the same size, sew all of the pieces together in each column, then sew your columns together to form your cover top.
If you are doing a collage cover top with the pieces being different sizes, start sewing along one edge then add on your pieces. It's helpful as you are sewing to leave a bit of the edge unsewn where you will add your next piece, this makes it easier to add the next piece. I sewed all of the pieces on the left edge together then added pieces in columns starting at the bottom. I would sew up the edge, stopping about and inch before the top of that piece, then add the next piece above it and sew across the edge, then up the edge closing up the area I had left unsewn and then again leaving a bit unsewn at the top to add the next piece. (That will make more sense when you're sewing, you'll be able to see what I mean. Also reference the pictures.)
Step 4: Fix Gaps in a Collage Top
There are some tricky things about doing a collage top with t-shirts. The shirts are stretchy and with them not all being the same size sometime you can end up with gaps. Here are 2 ways to fix those gaps.
-Add extra fabric strips where needed.
-Use small squares with symbols from the fronts of the shirts sewn together to fill in the gaps.
Step 5: Cut Out and Sew Backing
-Cut out the backing. For the backing of the cover you can with use fabric or use the backs of the t-shirts. I chose to use the backs of the t-shirts so they wouldn't go to waste.
-Create a template. I cut out a 12" x 12" piece of a cheerio box and used it to cut out the back pieces all the same size.
-Sew the back pieces together into columns and rows. Sew pieces with right sides together and a 1/2 inch seam. Open up the seams when sewing the columns/rows together.
Step 6: Sew Cover Top and Backing Together
-Lay the top of the cover on top of the backing with right sides together.
-Pin around the outside edges.
-Sew around 3 edges leaving on end unsewn/open. The open end in where the duvet will enter the cover.
-As you sew around the two corners, sew in a long ribbon folded in half that will be used to tie to the corners of the duvet so it won't move around inside the cover. Back stitch at the corners to reinforce them.
-Hem the top and bottom of the bottom open edge.
Step 7: Finishing
-Turn the cover right side out and push out seams and corners.
-Top stitch 1/4 inch around the 3 outside sewn edges.
-Sew a ribbon to the inside of each bottom open corner. This will be used to tie to the corners of the duvet so it won't move around inside the cover.
-Sew Velcro along the open edge of the cover for a closure.
-Put your duvet in the cover, tie the corners to the inside corners of the cover (if your duvet doesn't have loops on the corners you can sew a ribbon loop to each corner of the duvet to tie the cover to).
-Velcro the bottom closed.
-Enjoy your new t-shirt duvet cover!