How to Upcycle an Old T-Shirt

My friend Amanda made a pact with her sister to not buy any new clothes for one whole year. The idea is to actually wear what they already have and get creative. They are documenting the experience on their cute-as-hell photo blog.

Their project got me thinking. Like Amanda, I have quite a few thrift store finds laying around just waiting to be reimagined. For example, this shirt that I found at a resale shop.

I love the Chicago image but this shirt just didn’t fit me correctly. I tried cutting off the neck and a sleeve a long time ago but that wasn’t helping. I have a sleeveless tee that I love and decided to use that as my inspiration.

Get the tutorial after the jump.

Upcycled T-shirt

You will need one t-shirt that is at least a little too big for you, matching thread, fabric scissors, a sewing machine, and a safety pin.

1. Find a sleeveless t-shirt that fits you well and lay it down on top of the shirt you are recreating. If you don’t have a sleeveless tee, just fold in the sleeves of a regular one.

2. Cut out the shape, leaving an extra inch above the shoulders. My inspiration shirt has exposed seams so I didn’t need to leave a seam allowance at the sides. If yours has hidden seams, you will need to leave a quarter inch on both sides. The shape should resemble a rectangle that is slightly tapered at the sides, has a slight dip in the front neckline and extends an inch higher at the shoulders. You do not need to be fussy about this.

3. With right sides facing, sew the shoulder seams together 3/4″ from the top.

4. Still working on the wrong side, open the seam you just created and sew down with 1/4″ seam allowance leaving a 1/2″ tube on either side of the seam.

5. Now turn the shirt right side out and sew a 1/4″ seam down both sides, leaving an exposed seam.

6. From the selvage of your shirt, cut two 1/2″ strips 2 feet long. Use your safety pin to thread these through the openings you created at the shoulders.

7. Pull to ruche the shoulders and tie the ends into a bow. Try on your shirt and feel free to trim the neckline or arm openings if necessary.

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2 Responses to How to Upcycle an Old T-Shirt

  1. Amanda says:

    Really cute! I have so many shirts I could do this with. Great tutorial-Thanks! :)

  2. Deodira says:

    excellent article. very interesting to read. i really love to read such a nice article. thanks! keep rocking.http://www.maladiretasegmentada.com.br

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