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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Upcycling and the Hawaiian shirt hoarder

Each year I challenge myself to complete a sewing project.  This year I have chosen to make a quilt from Hawaiian shirt material. Over the Memorial Day weekend, I encountered an estate of a rather large gentleman, a thrifter hoarder who had passed into the great beyond.  I was able to purchase numerous 2XX to 5XX Hawaiian and hunting/fishing themed shirts to salvage for the material, buttons and labels.  

After I have pieced together the Hawaiian shirt squares, I will hand stitch on the labels to the final quilt top.  

Some of the freshly washed and processed material.

Usually, it wouldn't make sense to try and scavenge enough material from men's shirts, but the cost of this project and the size of the available material inspired this upcycle attempt. 

I will cut the fabric into 8.5" by 8.5" squares using an acrylic template and a rotary cutting tool. At first I thought I would use dressmaker's scissors to cut the squares and later learned, after viewing some YouTube tutorials, that the cutting tool is faster and more accurate.

Over the three days of visiting, chatting and purchasing with the sister and girlfriend, I discovered that their departed's name was Gordon Prosser, a Vietnam veteran.  So, in honor of Mr. Prosser's service to our country and his impeccable taste in Hawaiian shirts, I begin my re-creations of his collection. 

In addition to the shirts, there was this eclectic collection of books and CDs.  

I will keep you posted on this project's progress.  I will start small with a baby quilt for an expectant lady at work. 

Hawaiian shirt material $29 thrifted
The following purchased retail
Cutting mat $30
Rotary cutter $20
Dressmaker's scissors $18
Acrylic template $10
Quilting pins $3

Total cost of project to date:  $110

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