Thursday, May 17, 2012

t-shirt refashion how-to

I got this shirt a few years ago with the intention of making it over.  after wearing it as-is for a while I finally changed it up, and it was so simple I wish I had done it forever ago!

supplies needed:
  • 2 t-shirts (or 1 t-shirt and scrap fabric of the same or similar fabric type)
  • sewing machine
  • scissors
lay the shirt flat, line up the seams at the shoulders and smooth down to the under arms. cut through both layers following the curve of the sleeve and taper in toward the neckline. cut the shoulders apart, fold the front down and re-cut the back so it's more narrow than the front.
pull the top part back up and trim the front so that it follows the back angle if you want to use the neckband as your casing, but I didn't like how it gathered so I cut off the neck band from the front and back making the front more of a straight line.
sew a hem on both sides going from the front to the back (or just leave it unfinished), then fold over 1/2" on the front and sew that down to make the front casing.
for the back casing cut a scrap of fabric to the same width as the back of the unfinished part of the top of the shirt (remember to add some for the seam allowances) and twice as wide as you want your casing to be.  if you want the back of the shirt higher make the casing long, and if you want it lower in back make the casing shorter. hem the sides of the scrap and fold in half.  with the unfinished edges together, line up with the raw edge of the shirt and sew across (I don't have a picture of that - sorry!) then flatten out the seam and sew across so that it lays flat.
braid 3 straps of the scrap together, sewing across the ends and cutting them straight.  put a safety pin on one end and fish it through the casing on the front and back of the shirt (no pic for this either) and mark where to cut it so the straps are the right length. straighten out the braid so it's not twisted and stitch both ends together so they're flat, and pull it back through the front casing to hide the join.
this step is optional:  take more scrap fabric and make a band for the bottom by cutting two rectangles that measure half of your hips (or wherever the shirt hits you) plus 1/2" for seam allowance, and twice as wide as you want the band to be.  put the rectangles right sides together (I used the wrong side of the fabric for mine) and sew along the short sides, then turn the tube down in half to make the folded edge.
insert the shirt into the tube so that the raw edges of the band line up with the bottom of the shirt, pin at the side seams and find the halfway points of the front and back on the band and the shirt and pin those spots together. stretch the band as you sew to make the fabric line up, then turn the band down.
I love the design of this shirt and will be making more of these for the summer :)

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