Up-cycling T-Shirts With JEMIMASARA

by Jemima Sara Hand

Hello I am Jemima, the founder of JEMIMASARA. My mission is to create art and sustainable tongue-in-cheek, easy-to-wear pieces that everyone can wear every day and at any moment. I saw the opportunity to combine art, fashion and playful design whilst promoting what I am most passionate about: freedom of expression, sustainability and mental health.

Living and working in London & Shropshire, I am responsible for designing, scribbling, sourcing materials, meeting and working with local suppliers and businesses.

So let's talk through my t-shirt design process:

 1. Get Your Scribble On

I started designing t-shirt’s out of upcycling pajamas and I fell in love with the art of drawing as it enabled me to express my experiences and help my mental health. Designing became my voice and drawing is a form of expression / communication where no oral language is acquired.

The first thing to do is scribble: try to draw things in a continuous line and close your eyes if you are struggling. This isn't about creating the perfect piece of art, it's about expressing your creativity and creating a design you can wear.

2. Choosing A Section Of Your Doodle To Turn Into A T-shirt Design

This can be the tricky part, I try to cut my drawings into sections, see which part is the most eye catching and if it is relatable to others. The Sally t-shirt, Save Yourself t-shirt and love courage and kindness are my best examples of this.

3. Up-cycling T-shirts 

Before I started my business and screen printing my t-shirts, I would hand draw onto them. I would add a textile based paint and hand draw my designs onto the t-shirts. I made a short video on how you can up-cycle and design your own t-shirt here.

4. Screen Printing T-shirts

All my t-shirts are screen printed within the UK. I work closely with all my suppliers so that we can work together to make beautiful products. Screen printing is a printing technique where a mesh is used to transfer ink. You can even make your own screen at home to print your designs.

When the printing is complete, part of the process is labelling, packaging and ensuring that the products are ready for sale. As a small business owner, I still do this process by myself. There is something hugely satisfying and organic about drawing a product to finally packaging it up for sale. It also means so much more when a customer purchases a product, it's as if your art is being used, worn and hopefully loved and up-cycled again in the future.  


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