Wednesday, September 15, 2010

How much fabric is in a 4x shirt?

I like buying shirts - mens shirts especially - at thrift shops. I use the fabric in my quilts.

I found this one last week. I liked the color - the orange has a red plaid moving through it that seems like it will work well. THEN I noticed the size - it is a 4x shirt.

I photographed it to show you the shirt before I cut it up. I wondered how much fabric it would yield.
Here are the results:
The back (the biggest piece) measures 26" x 30" (=~1/2 yard).
The fronts are each 27" x 15"(=~3/8 yard).
The short sleeves yield 20" x 3" each.
So you can see I will get nearly a yard of fabric from that shirt.

Look how I've been collecting them. I cut the pieces apart and trim off the seams. Of course, I save the buttons and the labels for some future project. Then I roll them up and use a trimmed seam scrap to tie it. As many of you know, this is addictive.....


  1. Oh Deb, you are a girl after my own heart. My family get a bt twitchy when I start eyeing up something they are actually wearing LOL

  2. The basket full of shirts! My kind of stash!
    I bought some shirts the other day from Target.. Yes, they are not thrift shop find but I only paid 3 dollars each and they are XXL...
    I felt like a winner walking out of the store :)

  3. I've been using men's shirts from the thrift store to make pillows. A great and cheap way to add to the stash!

  4. I've been collecting too and I REALLY like the way you precut and organize! GREAT idea.

  5. A 4X--great find!! I'm glad you measured to see what you really get in a shirt. I've been meaning to do that. There is the time involved, cutting them apart. But that's a good hand work thing to do in front of the TV. Plus you get buttons and labels!

  6. gorgeous score. Love the fabric and the big size just makes it all the better. Sweet way to store the fabric too. I've got mine in bins - at least the parts that I've finished cutting up. Right now I have a hamper full of collars and cuffs that still need further attention.

  7. Boy oh boy, is it addicting!! The only thing better than a 4XL is if it has long sleeves!! I have stacks of cut up fabric from shirts and love them all :)

  8. Often mens thrift shop shirts are made of a better fabric than you can buy.....look out for 'Turnbull & Asser' or ' Pink' .

  9. I've been wanting to make a shirt-sourced quilt too, Deb. These fabrics give off such solidity and comfort...maybe like the guys who wore these clothes.... ;-)

  10. I love how soft the laundered shirts are...and yes, buying, sorting, washing, cutting, and folding second hand shirts is addictive!