This Mama Makes Stuff T-shirt Refashion Tutorial

by Dana on November 2, 2011

How many workout shirts do you have that have been relegated to the back of the drawer because, as a result of reaching your fitness goals, or just pure overuse, they no longer fit so you don’t wear them but you can’t quite give them up?

I’m guessing a bunch.

There are some fun and easy ways to reuse or repurpose t-shirts so throughout November Words to Sweat by will be featuring different ways to get your unused shirt stack back into the mix.

To kickoff the series I asked crafty woman extraordinaire, Carrie of This Mama Makes Stuff, to take an extra large Words to Sweat by shirt and refashion it into something more stylish then create a tutorial so you can too.

Here’s how to turn a too-large t-shirt into a cute fitted t-shirt with interesting shoulder details.

Try on your 0ver-sized t-shirt and pin the sides to fit your body. Also, mark how wide and deep you want your new neckline. You might need to enlist the help of a friend and/or a full length mirror for this step.

Draw and cut new neckline.

Cut off sleeves of t-shirt right at seam.

Cut off shirt hem. Cut another 1/2″ strip off bottom of shirt. Cut this tube into two pieces. These 1/2″strips of fabric will be your shoulder ties.

Turn the shirt inside out and mark where you have pinned the sides with an air erasable marking pen or for dark shirts, use my favorite marking tool – a sliver of soap.

Remove the pins and sew new side seams based on your markings.

Trim side seams.

(Please disregard the sewn hem in the picture. The sequence of steps was shifted to make it a more straightforward tutorial. The final shirt hem was left raw and you do no need to do anything to it after cutting your strips.)

Cut 2 x 2 1/2″ pieces of elastic. Using a shallow zig zag seam (a large one won’t catch your thin elastic), sew elastic across inside shoulder seam, stretching to fit as you sew.

Using a hot iron, steam shoulder seam elastic on right side of shirt.

Machine or hand tack ties to the outside edge of each shoulder seam.

Tie shoulder bows and knot ends.

Give the raw edges of your shirt a little tug. This will cause them to curl a bit and make any cutting irregularities not as noticeable.

Now put on your back-in-the-favorites-rotation t-shirt creation and enjoy!

{ 4 trackbacks }

Shoulder Tie Shirt Tutorial {T-shirt Refashion} | This Mama Makes Stuff
November 3, 2011 at 9:04 AM
Reuse Old Workout Shirts To Make A T-shirt Quilt | Words To Sweat By
November 15, 2011 at 8:44 AM
Earth Day-Inspired: 3 Ways To Upcycle Old Workout T-shirts | Words To Sweat By
April 22, 2012 at 10:32 AM
Shoulder Tie Tee Shirt Tutorial | Go To Sew
October 11, 2014 at 1:01 PM

{ 9 comments }

1 ira lee November 4, 2011 at 5:45 AM

i love this!!!! im also diggin the fringe dit t shirt tuts that are floating around blog land!!

2 Heather Novak November 10, 2011 at 9:10 AM

Very cool…and I DO have old running shirts, they are jsut ugly and unflattering but since I have a friend who sews….ahhhhh! Possibility!
.-= Heather Novak´s last blog ..Purple, NOT Perfect! (No "Mother of The Year Award" Here) =-.

3 Charity Jenkins November 16, 2011 at 4:47 PM

Thanks for this tutorial! I just tried this out, converting a long-sleeved top for the football team I support (Go Saints!): http://i1196.photobucket.com/albums/aa420/Retro-Reinvented/20111117_003.jpg
My top was ribbed so didn’t have quite the same effect, so I serged all the edges for a slightly different look. Haven’t decided yet whether to add the ties to the sleeves…I think I will do it using the red piping from the sleeves. Thanks again :)

4 Lizzy Ford May 18, 2012 at 5:26 PM

This is just wonderful! I have a cute t-shirt I was given that is 2 sizes too big. I can’t wait to try this out!!!

5 Amee May 24, 2012 at 7:04 AM

Could this be applied to a tech tee easily? Please and thank you!

6 Dana June 5, 2012 at 8:08 PM

Amee – thanks for stopping by and for commenting. A tech tee won’t play as nicely, I imagine, since the polyester behaves differently than the jersey and would unravel or fray in all the wrong places.

7 Nancy January 31, 2013 at 8:39 AM

What a great idea! I have a tshirt that my whole family will be wearing on my mother’s 80th birthday cruise and now mine won’t look like a boxy men’s tshirt on a trying-to-be-hip lady!

8 Carole October 9, 2013 at 6:39 AM

Love this, it’s great!
I am def going to try this :))
Love your t-shirt too! =)

9 Laura July 30, 2014 at 8:21 AM

I would love to try this! So, a 100% cotton t-shirt won’t fray?

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