|Taken from a bad angle - it actually is rectangular!|
I cut the t-shirts up almost immediately on receiving them, because I knew otherwise I'd lose my nerve. I didn't use a template or anything, just took my best scissors to them and cut around the images. I knew if there were a few small gaps (and there are, but not many), they would be covered by the next step.
The buyer and I agreed that since nothing goes better with t-shirts than jeans, the images would all be bordered by strips of denim. I'm using a few pair of old jeans I got from the dollar rack at the thrift store, because even though I have a ton of new denim -- all those jeans I intended to make for myself! -- I think the aged denim suits the shirts far better.
The arrangement on this really came together pretty easily. After I cut the shirts apart, I looked at them all for a few minutes, started feeling overwhelmed and grabbed a cat to take an hour nap.
After I woke up, I rolled out the 4' x 5' piece of batting on my bedroom carpet, grabbed the images and just started placing them. The multi-color one had to go in the middle; I didn't want it to sit in a corner and pull the eye too far off. Since there were quite a few white shirts, I had to scatter those around as well. One dull purple shirt up near the top almost looks gray.
A few shirts had text or images on the back, and I used them as well. The buyer asked that I use the word "Imagine" from the back of the Beatle caricature shirt, and another shirt had the lyrics to "Imagine"on it as well. Those made it in up at the top.
I like the few shirts that feature not the Beatles themselves, but places they played in Liverpool and Hamburg. Makes a nice change.
And the "Working Class Hero" shirt, frustratingly, wouldn't fit anywhere in its entirety, so I cut it down and strung the words along a particularly annoying gap near the top.
Right now everything is just pinned. I'm going to look at this for a few more days to make sure I don't want to make any changes, and then it will meet the machine.