When I first stumbled across Raquel Allegra's beautiful shirts I was intrigued by how a basic t-shirt could look like a piece of couture. The fact that Raquel sources her shirts from the LA County Jail adds interesting history and depth to her pieces. Just imagine the story behind that shirt - it was likely worn by a convicted felon while he served kitchen duty, cooking up meals for his fellow inmates! While I'm not brave enough to march into jail and ask for their old, unwanted t-shirts, you can get the same look with a Hanes or Fruit of the Loom undershirt from any supermarket.
What You'll Need:
First, cut the hem off your t-shirt, and style it as desired. You can leave it plain, but I cut a scoop neck and rolled up the sleeves for a more feminine look. Now, decide what section of your t-shirt you want shredded. I found that one side panel (pictured above) or a section of the back usually looks best. Stretch the shirt horizontally between your knees to separate the threads. Take your seam ripper, and pull loose a panel of threads from the bottom of the hem. Using quick, stabbing motions, work your vertically up the shirt, until you have a stripe of loose threads running the entire length of the t-shirt.
I've tried lots of shredding techniques, and found this one works best. Repeat this process for as large a section as you want shredded. After many hours, you'll end up with a one-of-a-kind conversation piece!
Helpful hint: If you're shredding a large section of the shirt, buy one size smaller than normal. The shirt tends to get bigger the more you shred it.