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September 27, 2015

make a t-shirt!

DIY t-shirt tutorial
How to make a unique tee using an old shirt as a pattern

Once in a blue moon, the clothing gods will bestow upon you a gift: the gift of the perfect fit. It might be in the form of a shirt, it may be a pair of shoes, or, to the blessed few, it could even be jeans. Whatever form that gift comes in, it fits oh-so-right. You love the feel of it, & you look & feel amazing when you wear it.

Whip up your own unique t-shirt - no pattern needed
Use an old t-shirt to make a new one with this step-by-step tutorial

That's how I felt about this green-striped tee. I looked awesome in it, you guys, & it was incredibly comfy. So comfy in fact that I wore it to death - it's torn, stained, & majorly stretched out. After finally coming to terms with its mortality, I laid it to rest. But not before recreating it. Comfy shirt will live on!

Make a new t-shirt using an old one as a pattern - easy tutorial!

Turns out it's fairly easy to recreate your favorite tee. Bonus, no damage is done to your old shirt when making a new one! All you'll need to make a comfy tee is:
  • Your favorite t-shirt
  • Knit fabric* (double the width of your old tee, & just as tall, plus a bit extra for hemming)
  • Pins & scissors
  • A sewing machine
[*Your fabric should stretch horizontally, not vertically - i.e. it should stretch across your body, not up & down.]

One note about sewing with stretch fabric before we begin: Always pull the fabric taut as you sew. Stretching the fabric to its capacity as you sew will allow the thread to move with the fabric. Think of it like a pair of drawstring pants: Whether the pants are stretched or cinched, the string remains the same length. Your pants would be useless if the string was only the size of the pants at their smallest. You'll also want to use a zig-zag stitch, as it collapses nicely when the fabric isn't stretched.

If you love one of your t-shirt, why not make another one just like it? Make a new shirt using an old one as a pattern with this step-by-step tutorial!

Step 1. Pin & Cut | Take your old shirt & turn the sleeves inside out. Fold your fabric in half, with the fabric stretching horizontally (across the body, not up & down). Pin your t-shirt through both layers of fabric. Cut around your shirt, giving yourself an extra 1/4-1/2" on all sides for the seams & hemlines. Once you've cut out your shirt pieces, cut the neck deeper in one of the pieces for the front of the shirt.

Using an old shirt as a pattern to sew a new one

Step 2. Sleeves | Lay one of your t-shirt's sleeves on a folded piece of your fabric, with the folded edge matching the folded side of your sleeve. Pin through both pieces of fabric, & cut out. Again, leave 1/4-1/2" extra for hems. Cut an identical sleeve piece using the piece you just cut as your template.

Use your old shirt to make a new one without having to rip it up!

Step 3. Pocket | You'll kinda have to wing this one. Basically just cut a pocket shape out of your fabric, leaving extra for hemlines.

Step 4. Hem it! | Go ahead & put a hem along the necklines & bottoms of your shirt pieces cut in step 1, the edges of your sleeve pieces cut in step 2, & the top of the pocket from step 3. However, you don't have to! The joy of knit fabric is that it doesn't fray, so feel free to let it hang raw!

Make your own one-of-a-kind tee with this DIY!

Step 5. Sew, sew sew! | Now it's just a matter of piecing it all together. Start with the pocket. Pin & sew in place using a straight stitch. Next, pin your shirt right-side in along the top, & sew (don't forget about using a zig-zag stitch!).

Make an easy, unique tee with this step-by-step tutorial

Step 6. Almost done! | Pin your sleeves in place. Don't worry if there's extra fabric around the armpit area. You can cut it off later if there's too much. Sew! Last but not least, pin down the sides of your shirt, & sew from the armpit down to the bottom.

How to make a t-shirt, the easy way

T-shirt done! I'm loving the two-toned look of this shirt, but full disclosure, it was actually a mistake. I may have messed up when buying my knit fabric & didn't get enough, so I had to use two pieces of fabric sewn together. Happy mistake though, I'm totally digging the way it turned out.


P.S. Speaking of t-shirts: reuse an old shirt to make a shoulder bag.

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