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A guide to creating your own custom T-shirts

With T-shirts being on everyone's 'must have' summer-wear list, it's sometimes hard to find ones that are a little bit different. It's not difficult to customise a T-shirt to reflect your individual personality, and for some projects, you need little more than a bit of imagination and pair of scissors. You can take a standard T-shirt and turn it into something special.

Cutting

How to cut?
-Make an ordinary T-shirt a little more racy by creating a ladder-back.
-Lay the T-shirt down on a flat surface with the back facing you.
-Use a ruler or a tape measure to find the central point in the back of the T-shirt and draw a vertical line, with tailor's chalk, down the middle of the back.
-Use a ruler to draw equally-spaced horizontal lines through the vertical line.
-Now, cut along the vertical line, extending the cut as far up the back of the T-shirt as you want the ladder to be.
-You can cut all the way from the bottom to the top, or just cut the central portion. -Cut along the horizontal lines to make fringe along the edge of the vertical cut, then tie the fringes together to create the ladder effect in the back of the T-shirt.

Printing or painting

Make custom shirts with fabric paints or heat transfers
You can purchase heat transfer paper in craft stores and print any design that you like on your home printer.
The design is then transferred from the paper to the T-shirt with an ordinary domestic iron.
This technique is especially useful for making T-shirts for children, as you can print out their favourite TV or cartoon characters.
Another way to design your own shirt is to use fabric paints.
Abstract, splashy designs are easy to create freehand, or if you'd like something a little more controlled, you can trace or copy a design from a book or magazine.

Sewing

How to make a custom T-shirt by sewing?
Cut up the middle of an ordinary T-shirt to make a T-shirt cardigan, turning under a small hem along the cut edges then sewing by either hand or machine.
Make a long T-shirt shorter by cutting off the bottom and either sewing a hem, or leaving the bottom of the T-shirt to roll.
If you're making a cardigan out of a T-shirt, you can use the portion cut off the bottom to sew a ruffle along the open front edges.

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