DIY T-shirt revamp


June 14, 2012 by thenerdyhousewife

Hello there space cadets,

So if you are like me and have a rather strange shape and have problems finding summer tops that a.) don’t make you look like a hussie or b). make you have to result to a sloppy t-shirt all the time, then this is for you! I can’t sew very well at all and only brought my middle school Home Ec. skills to this project, but hey, I made it work. Anyway, the tutorials for these are all over the internet, but I’m going to show/tell you about my experience doing it.

I found mine on Pintrest. It’s super easy to do and only requires basic supplies you probably already have:

  • Old t-shirt
  • Scissors
  • Basic sewing kit
  • Ruler
  • Pins
  • Spotify list of favorite songs
  • Sonic Screwdriver (#10 or #11)

Step one: Get shirts! You can either use a shirt you already have, or if you are unsure like I was at first, go and buy a pack of men’s shirts at the store.

The things you want to look for in a good shirt for this project are that they fit you around pretty comfortably, but are a tad long (like 2 inches or so at least). Also, only use shirts with a regular collar. No v-necks or scoops or your final project will look weird and your basoomas will be hanging out.


Step two: Turn on Spotify, grab your scissors and get to work. Turn the shirt inside out. Start at the armpit inside the seam and cut the sleeves off. Do the same to the bottom of the shirt. Right above the seam. (Keep this piece!) Doesn’t have to be perfect, but try not to make it look like a 3 year old did it either as you will be wearing this out in public.

Step three: Turn shirt back right side out. For this part you can either try to eyeball it, or get a ruler. I chose a ruler. Mark shirt for cutting by holding ruler right under the shirt collar to the edge. I advise using chalk to mark as it will wash out easy later (although my first time, I didn’t have any so I used some old eyeliner lol). The scrap from this step and the sleeves are optional to throw away, although I am saving all of mine for possible future projects. #OneStepAwayFromAnEpisodeOfHoarders

Step four: Flip shirt inside out again. Fold and pin down the top edge of the shirt (where the collar used to be) down about 1″ (unless you plan on doing something different with the straps later and need more room). Use awesome 7th grade sewing abilities to sew semi-straight line across this flap. Turn over and do the same to the back. This is honestly the most time-consuming process. It would take probably five seconds if you had a sewing machine, but I couldn’t work one even if I had it, so it’s hand stitching for me! As for the color of thread, remember it will be showing, so either match as close as possible, or use an alternating color that will pop well. I’ve used white on the gray and blue ones I’ve done and it came out nicely.

Step five: Flip shirt back right side out. Take saved piece from earlier (seam from bottom of shirt). Feed strip through front and back. I advise fastening a safety pin to one end to help feed it through. Goes faster and causes less cussing. Sew (or fabric glue) ends together. Push sewed or glued end back through where you can’t see it.

Now you are finished! Go try it on, see what’s working and what’s not. Some that I’ve done have had such wide arm holes, I had to wear another spaghetti strap/tank under it to cover my bra.

Shirt #1Shirt #2

This is just the basic model of this. I like it just fine, but I plan on trying some other ideas to spice them up a bit more. (I.e. different kinds of straps, adding some fabric rosettes, bleach writing, etc…) I’ll add those tutes when I complete them. Now it’s time to watch one more episode of Warehouse 13 before bedtime.

-The Nerdy Housewife


4 thoughts on “DIY T-shirt revamp

  1. […] if you checked out my last tutorial ( on changing a t-shirt into a spaghetti strap/tank top for the summer, then you’ll remember […]

  2. nikkiosu says:

    I want to try this. O’Dells are visiting this weekend. I don’t know if we’ll have time, but I may try to get Kristin to do this with me.

    • If you guys get a chance to, please let me know how it turns out. As you can see in my pictures, the bleach made my navy blue shirt look redish. I wonder how it will turn out on different kinds of fabrics and such. Also, my shirt was brand-new, never-been-washed. I wonder if that had something to do with it…?

  3. […] if you checked out my last tutorial changing a t-shirt into a spaghetti strap/tank top for the summer, then you’ll remember […]

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