Generation T books: rework old tshirts
By Renee Schmutz-Sowards, circulation specialist at Boyd County Public Library
I discovered Generation T sometime around 2007, when my awesome Mom sent me a copy. I was a young newlywed living far away from all my friends and family, and Mom, Dad and Brother had taken to sending the occasional box of fun and silly goodies from home.
Along with the Generation T book (“108 ways to transform a T-shirt” the brightly colored, hip-looking cover promised me!) also came a stuffed penguin that waddled around and squawked in a slightly panicky manner, and a cookbook from Dad on 101 ways to cook ramen noodles. Gotta love the ramen!
Anyway, I recently came across a second book by the Generation T people offering an additional 120 ways to alter a t-shirt, so I thought I’d check it out and take a fresh look at the first book while I was at it.
The first Generation T book focuses mostly on ways to alter t-shirts into other styles of tops, although there are a few skirt and dress selections, and a small final chapter on random fun things like bags, accessories and, my favorite, a t-shirt rug. The second book, “Generation T: Beyond Fashion,” goes just where the title says. While there are still some fun and inventive clothing ideas, the majority of the book is devoted to other cool stuff. There’s the ever-popular, environmentally friendly reusable shopping bag, and several nifty scarf ideas, but the real neat-o stuff is in the chapter for around the house. Need a T-shirt toilet lid cozy anyone? Or perhaps a retro macramé hanging plant holder?
And let’s not forget all the crafty guys out there! Oven mits for the grill-meister, a “We Are #1!” giant finger for the sports-oriented dude, or even some cunning spats for the suave fashion sophisticate.
Equally exciting (in my opinion) are whole sections devoted to turning your old t-shirts into fun and funky clothes and toys for the young ones in your life (because kids are never too young to start stealing your clothes) and even some crafty accessories for family pet.
Both books offer great descriptions, easy to follow directions and TONS of illustrations (important in any craft book!).
One of the fantastic things about these books is the almost instant gratification they offer. I sew a lot of clothes and quilts, and those projects tend to require a certain amount of patience. The majority of these altered shirt ideas … not so much. These are great books to keep around for the days you just need to do something creative and want to see the fruits of your labor ASAP. Even with a bit of planning (which always yields better results) the bulk of these projects are still in the range of an hour or so from start to finish, versus days, weeks … or okay, in my case sometimes months.
“Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-Shirt” and “Generation T: Beyond Fashion: 120 New Ways to Transform a T-Shirt” by Megan Nicolay. Both can be checked out from Boyd County Public Library. And if you’d like to get some hands-on experience, then plan to attend the March 16 craft program at the Catlettsburg Branch: “Don’t Throw Away That T-shirt!” It starts at 2 p.m. For more information, call Amanda Clark at 606.329.0518, ext. 1140.