Sunday, May 2, 2010

A T-Shirt Make-Over Project- Repost

This is one of my very favorite T-Shirt Deconstruction Projects!

Probably because it is sooo easy, AND it makes almost any t-shirt look cute.
*I posted this tutorial last year- but I have noticed tht it is still a favorite- so I am re-posting it up here to make it easier to find without having to go thru old posts.
I will be working on making a couple of new versions of these shirts to post- now that I have a new camera! YAY! *

In fact, it is so easy, that I can do it at a moment's notice...even if I am on my way out the door. (Like today!)

Every time I wear one, I get all kinds of compliments, and people asking me where I bought it.

So, of course when I tell them that I made it, they all want to know how it is done.
Today, when I was going to make another one...I figured that I might as well take some step by step photos, and share the process with you all here.
(First things first. Please forgive my super shitty photos. The only camera that I have right now,is my cell phone camera-and as you can see, the results are definitely not professional looking!)

Now, back to the t-shirt project.

1)First, you want to find yourself a shirt to work with. (As you can see, by the photo above; I had started this project, and then realized that I did not take a 'before' photo. So this shirt on top is a different shirt, but of the same style.

2)Then you begin to cut the neckline. Now, I really hate shirts with a high-cut neck. I prefer a v or a scoop neck. For this shirt I did a real simple scoop. You just cut right along the binding seam, all the way around. Now many people don't cut too carefully, because once you stretch it, it rolls, and you can't see your mistakes. (I am a little more careful, because although I love DIY Style...I don't really want it to LOOK like I did it myself!) So I am careful not to get jaggedy cuts. (Is jaggedy a word? Hhhmmm? I dunno.) :)

3)After you cut the neckline,; you have the option of cutting the sleeves or not. I like mine cut- it gives it more of a cap sleeve, and it looks super cool when it starts to roll.

So, go ahead and cut each sleeve, following the same binding line you used for the neckline. (Try to get nice long pieces cut from here, as you will be using them later, for the back ties)

4)Now you want to put on your shirt, and measure where your bra hits you in the back. (Mucho importante. I skipped this step on the first one I made, and now my bra strap shows when I wear it. Not too classy!)

Use 2 safety pins to mark the top and bottom points where your bra strap lies.

5) Next, you want to take your shirt, and fold it in half, matching up the two side seams. (As shown above.) Make sure it is all nice and flat, and even.

6)Starting about 2 inches from the neckline, make your cuts. I usually do 3 cuts, and they are about 2 1/2 to 3 inches (when folded in half)

The main thing that you want to remember, is to keep the slits away from where your bra strap sits. (Not sexy!)

I like to do my top cut first, then the one above the bra zone, and then I eyeball measure the distance between them for my middle cut.

You could easily make more cuts, even on down to the bottom of your shirt. (But, beacause I am a Mama, and there are times where I wear these shirts up to the school; I try to keep it clean. But, hey, if I was in my early 20's, ya never know!) :)

7)We are almost done now. You want to take those srtips that were left over from the neck and arm cutting, and cut those into nice, even strips. I usually cut them about 5 inches or so, and I like to clean up the ends, and cut them on slant.

Then, you tie them in between each of the back slits. You can start from the top, like I did here; or you can skip the top, and tie the others. (I have done both, and they both look great.)

8)Your very last step, is to gently stretch out the neck line and arm cuts. This makes them roll in a real cute way, and also covers up any of those jaggedy cuts that I was talking about.

Also, if you like, you can cut off the bottom seam binding too. (I am a bit of a fatty, so I definitely don't need my shirts rolling up-HA! -but I have seen that done, and it looks nice...on everyone else!)

There are a whole bunch of variations on the ways you can cut these t-shirts. In addition to, or instead of the back slits; you can also cut the side seams up from the bottom.

You just cut the seam as far up as you like, just make sure you leave enough fabric below the arm holes. Then you cut itty bitty slits, or holes along the outside of each side of the slice. After that you stretch your seam binding ties, and lace them up the sides.
Another variation on the sleeves is to cut them into flutter sleeves. I really like this look. When I have a blouse or a shirt that has a bit longer short sleeves than the capped ones, that is what I do.

All you do there, is cut your sleeves to the desired length, and then cut along the bottom seam of the sleeve, up to the pit hole. (Again, a word?) Any ways, you want to make sure that you don't cut into the fabric of the trunk part of the shirt, or else it will open up, and not look too cool.

One more neat variation, is to wear another color of tank top underneath. You can even take an old t-shirt or tank top, (maybe one that had a stain up top, or something), and cut off the bottom 10 inches or so, being careful to cut it off while it is still sewn together on it's side seams. Then, you just take that 'tube' and sew it into the underside of your new t-shirt. This looks really cool as is, or under a shirt that you have cut and tied the side seams on. Tres Rocker Chic! :)
Okay Guys, that's it! I am all ready to take off now, and sport my new super cool DIY T-Shirt in the hot Southern California Springtime! I hope that everyone was able to understand my jumbled up instructions...and thanks for putting up with the super shitty photos!
If anyone has any questions; or even more variations on other t-shirt projects I would LOVE you if you would share. (There are only so many shirts that I can cut up in the same way! J/K, I could do this to every t-shirt in my closet!)
Happy Cutting and T-shirt Crafting!!! I would love to see pictures of your projects.
Another Crafty Chick Original Creation by: Danae


  1. What an awesome post. You are definitely not a "fatty" either -- but I know what you mean about not wanting a short hem. I like adding lace to the bottom of my shirts (because I like a longer hem than what's standard).

    I'm inspired by your artwork. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Wow, this is awesome,thanks so much for sharing and a fatty? DON'T THINK SO, YOU'RE ADORABLE HON!!

  3. awesome! this will be my first time trying this and i want to cut holes more then just the back, been looking for a website just like this and thank goodness you put this up! i know kat von D had a video out like this but i can not watch it with my dial up internet. too slow. im glad there are pics and instructions!! and of course ill ask hubby to help haha thanks! Dolly

  4. I'm a plus size teen and I find it hard to find affordable cute clothes like this :D. I'm So revamping some of my t-shirts for an upcoming beach trip.

    Thanks :D

  5. when you tie the strips on the back slits, do you tie them in bows or knot them and cut off the extra?