This t-shirt was ordered online a few years ago. I still like it, especially now with my newish high-waist pants, creating more shape in the total outfit as I wear it! But, I still think it is a bit boring hence an update to an existing garment!
I started to experiment. I wanted to create something I could do by hand. Cutting the T in strips and than see what I can do with that.
So, after a short time of trying I selected a method. I want to make plaits and plait through strips of fabric as I go along. I like that method better than the other tries you see, where you pick up sort of knit strips through and through each other. Maybe because fringes are common in fashion right now?
First I cut the fabric in strips around the sleeve area determining a new shoulder line, fixing one of the biggest issues I had with the shape of the shirt. With the use of three strips of fabric of another old shirt I started to braid. If you look closely you are able to see I braided a few strokes and than pulled trough one of the strips. The aim was not to have the strips of fabric be much tighter around the shoulders, but it it should lay loose around my shoulders as the original fabric.
In the end I had to cut off a bit of the length at the sleeves because the strips of fabric were much too long. The braid was placed exactly at the seam of the old shoulder seam. I am happy with the result and contemplating if I should do something similar with the neckline, although I am not sure what at the moment. What do you think?
This year I decided not to buy my girl any new dresses. I might not have made a full buying stop, like Vivian Westwood keeps saying, but I can at least attempt not to buy any dresses, as there is nobody to pass them on to within the family. It so happened that my husband wore a few tees out, so I wanted to see if I could make dresses from those. I’ll share you my attempts, I made 3 different ones.
First up is a T-shirt that I only have vague memories buying. But it is a nice shirt, there is only a small hole near the pocket.
With the help of a dress that fits her neatly now I just went and cut. I wanted to conserve the hemline as it has a nice pressed seam, and a label. The width of the T-shirt is only just enough so I made sure not to cut anything off the hemline. You can do this by stiching the new sideseam over the sideseam and than off the fabric all together about 2 cm or so before the end of the fabric/hemline.
After stitching the side seams, front fabrics together, only 1 stitch was needed to insert elastic into.
I added an extra part of the purple fabric to the, lets say ribbons, at the shoulders. When she decides to wear it I can cut them off at exactly the right length.
Now the second is actually a shirt. We bought it at a store (Zara…) and after one wear it shrunk. I wont say what store it was from (Zara) but it was a bit of a disappointment. Anyhow, all the more reason to upcycle it into a nice dress!
When I cut it in pieces it became clear the whole shirt was a-symmetric. I decided to use it and again use the hem of the garment as the hem-line of the dress. Make sure you stitch close the closure in the front of the garment. It might otherwise be a bit too sexy!
I covered elastic in the fabric for the neckline. Make sure there is enough length in the elastic so it will go over your kids head easily. (Kids heads are in comparison to adults very big!) Please also make sure the elastic is not too narrow as it might than turn into a choking hazard. Ad a tunnel at the top of the dress, where it can go trough. Fasten it at least on one side so that is will not rotate whilst wearing or washing.
I stole the idea for the shape from many dresses and tops now in store. This is a refreshing neckline for a dress as well as easy to do yourself.
Last but not least, two T-shirts that I changed into two tops, or two dresses, or a top and a dress. However you like it.
These T-shirts were special to us, one was bought on a trip to Australia a long time ago. The other one was my design, at the very least a few 100 pieces sold back in the days. Unfortunately after many years the elastic in the neckline gave in, and did not look good anymore. The print still does, and because these two prints matched, not in subject but in technique, I decided to combine them.
Now the idea for this dress comes from a top that I originally bought for my son, in a size suitable for 4-5 year old. But I than dressed my daughter in it, who was at the time nearly 2 and wore the same top as a dress. I think it might be funny to dress both of them up in the same garment, only styled slightly different.
Because it was difficult fitting these patterns together on the panels of the tees I had to make 2 patterns of that original top. This was also needed because I wanted to do a cut and sew. A diagonal line trough the pattern. I dislike seeing a garment in store where the front has all the goodies and the back is 1 layer of single coloured fabric, so I decided to make the back interesting too.
A short survey amongst friends on Facebook and Instagram helped me deciding on the binding…
I hope you liked these ideas, there is a lot more you can do with old clothing than just trow them out! Have fun with it!