Sunday, May 27, 2012

Repurposing a T-shirt Sleeve into a Makeup Brush Cover

Makeup brush from a t-shirt sleeve

I read somewhere you are suppose to wash your makeup brushes every once in awhile, then as if the world was conspiring against me I saw some mesh things that look like something you would see protecting delicate fruit that slip over your brushes so they keep their shape. They were more than a buck so I declined to purchase. I looked at them awhile though, thinking...why are these so expensive? They are just pieces of mesh that fit around brushes.

The idea of the mess was actually double duty. One, it keeps them in the right shape once you clean them; you slip the mesh on and they dry in the right shape. Two, they protect the brush bristles while they have an intimate party with the other brushes in your makeup bag.

I'm willing to pay good money for a lot of things...mostly Kate Spade, Tiffany and lately Trina Turk. Not willing to pay much for things I can do or create myself. Thus, the handmade makeup brush cover.

I recently flew to Los Angeles and needed to take my makeup. (Well, need is a strong word but since I hardly get to wear makeup anymore.. I do like to wear it when I get the chance.) As I was packing, I tried to decided what makeup I was going to take and realized I had thrown out the plastic bag my new blush brush had come in. EEKK!! In a moment of trying to NOT be a hoarder (see previous post), I threw away something I ACTUALLY needed!

Annoyed with myself I remembered the mesh brush cover and how I had thought I wanted to try and make one. I had seen in a Martha Stewart craft email how they had made a produce bag out of a t-shirt and cut slits in it like one of those mesh sort of lace like bags popular in the 70's...or was it the 80's....I can't remember.

Anyway......I thought maybe I could do that but on a MUCH smaller scale for my brush. As a million possibilities of how to accomplish this ran through my head in about a second I went to my trusty craft closest, cut off the sleeve from an old t-shirt and set to make a pattern.

The pattern is basic, I drew a line around the brush. I added a half inch seam allowance (only because it is easy, any size works) and cut the sides. The top has no seam allowance because the top is left open. I think the key is to not make the lines parallel. Why you ask? Here is my theory....if you make the lines the same distance apart as the widest part of the bristles, the bottom doesn't fit snug around the handle, lending itself to the possibility of slipping off and if the distance between the stitched lines matches the handle, the size is too small for the bristles and they get squished together, missing the point of the cover.

So, a small basic pattern is born...I used the hem of the sleeve as the bottom of the cover, this gave a nice finished edge.

I sewed the cover so the seams were on the outside, keeping the inside smooth as to not create a reason for the bristles to get bumps or lumps. After I stitched both seams and tested it, I trimmed the seam allowance with pinking shears.

I ended up not making slits. For my immediate purpose I needed something to keep the bristles in the right shape during travel and this cover worked great. Also, it keeps the random lint and rouge makeup specs lurking around the makeup bag off the bristles.

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