Saturday, November 27, 2010

How to...

How to rip a t-shirt.  Please note this project is not for the impatient.  It takes time.  If you're like me and love watching TV and movies, but need to be doing something constructive at the same time, then this is your project.  It takes time.  There, I said it.  Consider yourself warned.

Step one is to get yourself a T-shirt.  There are two things to keep in mind, the size of the knit (look at the rows or ridges on your shirt, the bigger the ridges the bigger the knit.  Bigger knit makes this easier and faster.  The second thing to consider is size.  The more 'ripping' you do, the bigger the shirt gets.  I started with a small cheap T-shirt with a very small knit.

Now we prep the shirt by undoing the hem and removing the collar.  A seam ripper is ideal, or sharp pointed scissors.
Ripping out the hem.
To quicken things up you can cut the hem and collar off, but as I've mentioned this project is NOT for the impatient.  I prefer ripping out the hem as it adds to the length of the shirt, and generally if you're adding to the width of something you want to also lengthen for balance.

Collar almost completely removed.

Now we are ready to get down to the fun stuff.  The ripping!  Choose where you want your shirt to be ripped, a popular one seems to be across the back, I prefer a few good rips up one side of the front, it's all up to you.  And determine how wide you want the rip.  Remember the rip makes the shirt bigger.  Depending on the size of the knit 1 inch of shirt may turn into 2 or 3 inches.  Pick a section of rib and start to unravel the thread inside.
Note: The rip will be the size of the string, not the space it came from.

Being careful not to break the threads continue pulling them out making sure to pull them out from end to end of the area you choose.  If you fail to do this your rip will slowly narrow until it comes to an end, or you can just go with it and claim it was all part of your pre-determined design.

Next:  Keep ripping.  This is the time consuming part.  Pop in a good movie and go for it.  It gets easier as you go, and you'll soon be able to pull the threads apart with your fingers:
Check out my awesome manicure - I did it myself.

Stretched out over my knee.

I find it easiest to stretch the shirt over my knees and work on it that way.
My finished shirt with two rips up the front, and one CB(that's Centre Back for non-sewer types).

I'm not really sure how long I spent on this.  I tend to pick it up several times a day for short periods at a time.  I'll probably wear it like this a few times, and then add more rips.

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