Thursday, October 08, 2015

Mining Water 1

Do you like cotton jersey pillowcases? I purchased a set of cotton jersey sheets ~20 years ago. The pillowcases wore out first, because I like the softness next to my face. The jersey sheets, OTOH, took so darn long to dry that I didn't think they were worth the energy premium over other sheets.
I found half a dozen XL or XXL cotton t-shirts at a thrift store when they were $1 each.  It looked like an XL person took a bunch of cruises and got a shirt for each destination.  Large or XL t-shirts can be a cost-effective way to get good quality cotton jersey.

Moreover, at ~900 gallons per XL cotton t-shirt, it's an excellent way to mine water.  If the thrift store is in your neighborhood, you are even mining water transported to your local watershed!

I trimmed the sleeves and top part off to make rectangular shapes, preserving the hem.  I then augmented the length with rectangles of denim that I purchased online but weren't suitable for the project I had in mind for it.

In about 90 minutes, I had 6 pillowcases.  The backsides of all these Ts are plain and soft against the face.  I left the motifs on the outside because I find them amusing.  If the motifs bother you, just use the t-shirts inside out.  If the inside-out hems bother you, sew the denim or other fabric rectangles on the hem/opening side.

I found a blouse-weight soft 100% cotton dark indigo denim in the remnant bin at Joann's ca. 2009 and used to make ruffle skirt #1.

unvented this style of skirt because 2/3 of a yard of fabric (even if it is 60" wide) is not sufficient for four tiers of ruffles.

I liked the fabric so much, I went back to buy more only to discover that the dark indigo color had been discontinued.

I found a light-weight denim from Robert Kaufman at, but it was too heavy and stiff for the t-shirt I wanted to make.

Fortunately, Joann's brought the dark color back in 2011 so I got the t-shirt I envisioned after all.

This time, I bought plenty and Iris got denim ruffle skirt #2.

I'm glad that the mail-order denim found a good use.


  1. Yay for finding the right use for fabric. I have decided there are times when I just have to spend my energy determining the right "home" for fabric I bought that wasn't right for my intended purpose. The recipients are glad, and then so am I.