August 6, 2011

Old tee into summertime cardigan refashion

My first tutorial!  Yay!  If I seem beyond excited it's because I totally am.

This is a low-sew or no-sew t-shirt refashion.  I'm an over-achiever, so I'll be sewing.  Ha.  The materials you'll need are; an old long or short-sleeved t-shirt, a pair of sharp scissors, measuring tape, fabric marker or chalk { I've been known to use washable markers and even ball-point pens when I'm in a bind.  So don't worry--I won't tell.  Just don't use anything that'll bleed through the fabric. }, and a sewing machine, pins & thread if you're an over-achiever like me.  

If you have a sewing machine and can sew a straight line { or have the patience to hand stitch } you can do this!  Just find an old shirt that's been wadded up in the back of your dresser for five years like I did.  It had a weird boxy shape so I didn't wear it often, but I loved the stripes, color, and ruffled sleeves-- A perfect candidate for this project if you ask me!

After you've gathered your materials, lay your t-shirt on a flat surface facing up.  Ideally, your shirt will be washed, dried and ironed.  My shirt definitely was not ideal, so please ignore the wrinkles.  Starting at the hem, measure your shirt from side seam to side seam and mark the mid point with your fabric pen.  Work upward, measuring and marking the mid point every few inches so you'll know exactly where to cut.

After you finish making your mid point marks, it is time to cut.  Use your scissors to cut a clean line from the bottom hem up through the neckline.  Make sure you only cut through the top layer of fabric!  

If you've made a nice clean cut, you have the option of being finished now.  Tada!  See how the front opens like a cardigan?  T-shirt material doesn't fray, so there's no real need to sew.  On the other hand, if you'd like a more professional, finished looking cardigan and feel like sewing, follow the remaining steps.

Spread your cardigan onto your flat surface with the "right" side of the fabric facing down.  Fold one of the freshly cut edges over by 1/2" so the "wrong" side of the fabric is touching the "wrong" side of the folded piece.  Fold over by 1/2" again and pin into place.  Using your machine, stitch the folded edge down.  Be sure to back stitch at the beginning and end.  Repeat the folding, pinning and stitching process on the other freshly cut edge.

And there you have it!  See how easy that was?  A shirt you may have never worn again is now a fresh wardrobe piece perfect for layering.  You could even get creative and add some appliques, ruffles, buttons, etc. to really up the "Wow Factor".

Here's my finished product.  I'm sure it will be part of the next What I Wore Wednesday post!  I'm thinking it needs some ruffle or a really great flower brooch...

I'd love to see your finished products!  Until I can figure out how to start a link up party, e-mail your photos to me at!  

1 comment:

  1. That is a really cute idea. I can see doing this with a regular t-shirt -- would make it much more interesting. Thanks for stopping by my blog.