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Recycle clothes: B&N Tee

Upcycle textiles and recycle clothes with BellaV’s step by step tutorials

I am recycling enthusiast and I really enjoy finding new uses for old items. But this does not only apply to your regular plastic bottles or cans. Oh no, I recycle clothes, fabric, yarn…

On the one hand, there is the satisfaction of knowing that I am doing my part to keep items out of the landfill. Then there is the pleasure of allowing myself to be creative while producing a finished piece that looks new and cost little to no money at all!

This t-shirt is the perfect example of how you can recycle clothes to create your own DIY fashion with old or thrift-store finds.

Here is how I did it.

Supplies

recycle clothes, diy fashion, upcycling clothes, refashioning clothes, step by step sewing tutorial
  • An old plain white t-shirt (or white jersey fabric)
  • Scraps of print fabric.
  • Black ribbon (not pictured).
  • A measuring tape (not pictured).
  • Scissors (not pictured).
  • Pins (not pictured).
  • A sewing needle (not pictured).
  • White thread (not pictured).
  • Black thread (or a color that matches the print fabric).
recycle clothes, diy fashion, upcycling clothes, refashioning clothes, step by step sewing tutorial

Instructions: how to recycle clothes

recycle clothes, diy fashion, upcycling clothes, refashioning clothes, step by step sewing tutorial

1. First, measure how wide and long you want the front of the t-shirt to be, divide by two and cut two equal rectangles of the white jersey fabric.

2. Then, measure how low you’d like the V neckline and fold each front half accordingly. Pin in place and sew.

recycle clothes, diy fashion, upcycling clothes, refashioning clothes, step by step sewing tutorial
recycle clothes, diy fashion, upcycling clothes, refashioning clothes, step by step sewing tutorial

3. When you are done sewing each side of the V-neck, cut the extra fabric, making sure to leave about 1/2 inch of fabric left.

Don’t worry about finishing the seams, the nice thing about this type of fabric is that it doesn’t unravel.

4. Now you need to cut the armholes. Fold the shirt in half and cut both armholes together to ensure symmetry. I used a tank-top as a guide.

recycle clothes, diy fashion, upcycling clothes, refashioning clothes, step by step sewing tutorial
recycle clothes, diy fashion, upcycling clothes, refashioning clothes, step by step sewing tutorial

5. Measure the length of the armholes and cut two strips of fabric. Pin each strip to each armhole and sew.

recycle clothes, diy fashion, upcycling clothes, refashioning clothes, step by step sewing tutorial

6. Fold the strip over the armhole, pin in place, and sew.

You will need to repeat these two steps to finish the back pieces of the shirt.

recycle clothes, diy fashion, upcycling clothes, refashioning clothes, step by step sewing tutorial

7. Now you are ready to cut the top back pieces. First, measure how long and wide you need your back pieces and cut two equal rectangles.

Use the front of the t-shirt as a guide to shape the armholes.

8. Fold the middle part of each back half twice over itself, pin in place and sew.

recycle clothes, diy fashion, upcycling clothes, refashioning clothes, step by step sewing tutorial

I used the bottom part of and old white t-shirt for the top back parts so I didn’t have to finish the top seam of the back.

You may have to fold the top part of each half piece to create a seam. Make sure it’s wide enough to fit the ribbon.

Repeat steps 5 and 6 to finish the armholes.

recycle clothes, diy fashion, upcycling clothes, refashioning clothes, step by step sewing tutorial

9. Measure the width of your back halves together and how long you need the back to match the front piece, and cut a rectangle of the print fabric.

Make sure to leave a couple of inches for seams.

10. Pin the print rectangle to both back halves and sew.

11. Pin the front half of the shirt to the back and sew both seams.

12. Measure how long you want your final t-shirt to be, double the number, and cut two rectangles: one for the front, and one for the back.

Make sure to leave some fabric to allow for seams.

13. Pin both rectangles together and sew. You will have a circle of fabric that should be as wide as the front and back pieces of the shirt held together.

recycle clothes, diy fashion, upcycling clothes, refashioning clothes, step by step sewing tutorial
recycle clothes, diy fashion, upcycling clothes, refashioning clothes, step by step sewing tutorial

14. Pin the waist band to the bottom of the shirt and sew in place. Then, fold over itself, pin in place and sew.

recycle clothes, diy fashion, upcycling clothes, refashioning clothes, step by step sewing tutorial

15. To finish the shirt, make three pleats on each front top halves and pin in place.

recycle clothes, diy fashion, upcycling clothes, refashioning clothes, step by step sewing tutorial

16. Then, cut two pieces of black ribbon. Fold each end twice over itself, pin to each front halves and sew in place.

17. All you need to do now is to pass the ribbon through the back halves. You can use a safety pin.

18. Finally, cut each ribbon diagonally to prevent fraying, and you are all done!

I hope you like my tutorial to recycle clothes. Feel free to leave a comment, let me know if you tried making your own DIY fashion 😀

recycle clothes, diy fashion, upcycling clothes, refashioning clothes, step by step sewing tutorial
recycle clothes, diy fashion, upcycling clothes, refashioning clothes, step by step sewing tutorial
recycle clothes, diy fashion, upcycling clothes, refashioning clothes, step by step sewing tutorial
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diy fashion: Zebra t-shirt

Update your wardrobe with BellaV’s diy fashion tutorials

Refashion your clothes with this diy fashion tutorial and create your own individual style without spending a penny.

It’s been a while since I made my lovely heart t-shirt, so I decided to create a new t-shirt.

Upcycling clothes is not only fun, but also much easier than it looks like. This is how I made my new favorite t-shirt.

BEFORE

diy fashion, step by step t-shirt tutorial, refashion clothes

AFTER

diy fashion, step by step t-shirt tutorial, refashion clothes

Supplies

diy fashion, step by step t-shirt tutorial, refashion clothes

This is what you need to make this shirt:

  • An old t-shirt that you don’t like/wear any more
  • Scrap fabric (jersey is best)
  • A fabric pencil
  • Thread
  • Sewing needle
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • A measuring tape
diy fashion, step by step t-shirt tutorial, refashion clothes



Instructions: diy fashion

diy fashion, step by step t-shirt tutorial, refashion clothes
diy fashion, step by step t-shirt tutorial, refashion clothes

1. First, cut off the sleeves and the neckline following the existing seams.

2. Then, cut the front of the t-shirt through the center.

diy fashion, step by step t-shirt tutorial, refashion clothes

3. Now, you are going to fold the t-shirt so that the front halves are exactly on top of each other. Measure where you want your neckline to hit your chest, and cut the top parts.

By overlapping the two front halves you ensure that your front parts have the same height.

diy fashion, step by step t-shirt tutorial, refashion clothes

4. Then, you are going to do the same lengthwise: measure how wide you would like your front left and right sides to be and cut the shirt lengthwise.

Once again, make sure that each front side is overlapped exactly one on top of the other to ensure that both left and right sides are symmetrical.

diy fashion, step by step t-shirt tutorial, refashion clothes

5. Measure where you would like the backline to hit your back, and cut.

This is easier to do if you fold the back in half. Cutting smaller seams is much easier than longer pieces of fabric!

diy fashion, step by step t-shirt tutorial, refashion clothes
diy fashion, step by step t-shirt tutorial, refashion clothes

6. Now you are ready to incorporate the second fabric into your shirt. Measure the gap between the front left and right sides, and cut a rectangle of the second fabric. Leave a couple of inches on each of the four sides for seams.

7. Sew the print rectangle to each front side of the shirt.

diy fashion, step by step t-shirt tutorial, refashion clothes
diy fashion, step by step t-shirt tutorial, refashion clothes
diy fashion, step by step t-shirt tutorial, refashion clothes
diy fashion, step by step t-shirt tutorial, refashion clothes

8. Measure each armpit lengthwise and cut a 1.5 – 2 inch strip of the solid color t-shirt fabric. Attach each strip to each armpit making sure to fold the strip over itself.

9. Cut the extra fabric left on the inside of each armpit.

diy fashion, step by step t-shirt tutorial, refashion clothes
diy fashion, step by step t-shirt tutorial, refashion clothes

10. Measure how tight and wide you’d like the waist to be, and cut a rectangle of the print fabric. I wanted a “baggy” look for my shirt, so I made the waist strip smaller than the actual measurement of the shirt. If you do this, you will have to gather the shirt seam before attaching the waist strip.

diy fashion, step by step t-shirt tutorial, refashion clothes

11. Then, do the same for both the front and back necklines. Measure how wide you’d like the front and back necklines to be, cut two rectangles of the print fabric and sew to each front and back.

diy fashion, step by step t-shirt tutorial, refashion clothes

12. Finally, measure how long and wide you’d like your straps to be. I opted for a tank-top style, but you may choose to add spaghetti straps, for example.

Once you have attached each strap, you are all done!

Enjoy! Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you like my step by step diy fashion tutorial 😀

As always, leave a comment and let me know if you have any questions. Feel free to show me how your refashioning projects turn out!

diy fashion, step by step t-shirt tutorial, refashion clothes
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DIY project: Flapper headband

diy project, sewing tutorial, 1920s flapper costume

PHOTO CREDIT: Spinney Photography and Studio VaVaVoom. Posted with permission.

This Flapper Headband is a very easy and fast diy project. I made mine for a costume that I needed to perform on a show in New Years Eve. One of the nice things about it is that you can also use it as a regular headband.

diy project, sewing tutorial, 1920s flapper costume



Materials

  1. Scissors
  2. Lace ribbon
  3. See-through ribbon
  4. Thin black ribbon (not pictured)
  5. Sewing needle and pins (not pictured)
  6. Thread in contrasting color
  7. Thread that matches the lace
  8. A flat piece of elastic (about 5 inches)
  9. Gold thread (optional)
  10. Silver and black sequins
  11. Tube beads in silver and black
  12. Round beads in silver and black
diy project, sewing tutorial, 1920s flapper costume

DIY project: flapper headband

1. Measure your head around the temples. Now you need to do some math: subtract 3 or 4 inches from the total measurement. Then, cut a 3 or 4 inch of flat black elastic and set aside, you will need it later. With the remaining measurements, cut a piece of black lace and sea-through ribbon. Make sure to add an extra inch for seams in each case.

For example, my head measures 21 inches, since I used a 3-inch elastic on the back. And that leaves 18 inches for the lace and the ribbon. But because I took seam allowance into account, I cut a 19 inch strip of each the lace and the ribbon.

2. Now, overlay the black lace, the black ribbon, and the sea-through ribbon to create some dimension and an interesting pattern. As you can see in the picture, I used the black lace as the base. Then, I overlay-ed the sea-through ribbon on top of the black lace, making sure the lace peeks above the ribbon.

3. Pin in place, secure with thread in a contrasting color using a running stitch, and remove all pins. After that, place the thin black ribbon on top and pin in place. Using a running stitch, secure with thread in a contrasting color and remove all pins. Last, using black thread (or whatever color matches your ribbon), sew the whole strip and fold in about 1/2 inch on each end to avoid fraying.

diy project, sewing tutorial, 1920s flapper costume

Beads and sequins

1. You are now ready to decorate the hairband. For this diy project I created a zig zag pattern using the round beads and the tube beads.

I created some contrast by placing a silver bead on each end of the black tube beads, and a black round bead on each end of the silver tube beads.

Then, I combined the silver sequins with the black round beads, and the black sequins with the silver round beads. Finally, I placed them in the spaces between the zigzags.

2. Last, sew the elastic to each end of the band, and you are done!

diy project, sewing tutorial, 1920s flapper costume
diy project, sewing tutorial, 1920s flapper costume
diy project, sewing tutorial, 1920s flapper costume
diy project, sewing tutorial, 1920s flapper costume

If you want to go for a more authentic 1920’s look, clip a hair flower or a brooch to the headband, like I did for my costume. This will also help keep the band from sliding up or down.

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I Heart Tee: diy t-shirt tutorial

Recycle clothes with style with this diy t-shirt tutorial

This diy t-shirt tutorial is perfect to upcycle your old t-shirts and create new, stylish clothes.

“I Heart Tee” is a t-shirt that I upcycled using two different shirts: the blue t-shirt in the “before” picture (this was a hand-me-down that I only used to work out); and a horrendous yellow t-shirt that I got for free at some event.

But the only reason why I wouldn’t wear the blue shirt is because I don’t like logos, especially big ones. Other than that, I did like the shape and how it fit me (minus the neckline, though).

Since I thought it was a shame to have a good-fitting shirt go to waste like that, I decided to do something about it. So keep on reading if you want to find out what (and how).

BEFORE

diy t-shirt tutorial| redo thrift store clothing | fashion redo

AFTER

diy t-shirt tutorial| redo thrift store clothing | fashion redo

Materials

This is what you need for this diy t-shirt tutorial:

  1. Sharp Scissors
  2. Pins
  3. A sewing needle
  4. Thread in a color of your choice
  5. White thread, or in a contrasting color for temporary placement
  6. A fabric pencil or marker
  7. Shapes in various sizes. I chose hearts, but any other pattern or combination of patterns will work
  8. A couple of shirts that you want to recycle
diy t-shirt tutorial| redo thrift store clothing | fashion redo

Instructions: diy t-shirt tutorial

The hearts

1. Place the shapes on the t-shirt that you want to upcycle and trace them with a fabric pencil. If you do that, you can see if you like the pattern before you cut the fabric.

Once you are happy with your design, cut each shape following the trace you just drew.

diy t-shirt tutorial| redo thrift store clothing | fashion redo
diy t-shirt tutorial| redo thrift store clothing | fashion redo

2. Now, select some fabric from the other t-shirt that you want to recycle. I chose a contrasting color, but you can stay in the same color palette.

3. Next, pin the contrasting fabric in place to check that it looks good. Make sure that the edges of the patch are on the inside of the t-shirt and not on the outside.

diy t-shirt tutorial| redo thrift store clothing | fashion redo
diy t-shirt tutorial| redo thrift store clothing | fashion redo

4. Then, sew the contrasting fabric to the t-shirt with the temporary thread. Use a running stitch, it’s easier to remove later.

Don’t skip this step; it’s important to make sure that your fabric is placed correctly, for example. You can also check that there aren’t any wrinkles. Besides, it’s much easier to work without pins in the fabric.

diy t-shirt tutorial| redo thrift store clothing | fashion redo
diy t-shirt tutorial| redo thrift store clothing | fashion redo

4. Next, sew the patch using thread in a color that complements your design. I used a running stitch, because it adds something interesting to the design. You could also go with a color that matches the shirt, or even bring in a 3rd color. Get creative!

diy t-shirt tutorial| redo thrift store clothing | fashion redo
diy t-shirt tutorial| redo thrift store clothing | fashion redo

5. Once you are done sewing all the shapes, remove the temporary thread. Now to turn the t-shirt inside out and cut some of the excess fabric from each patch carefully. Make sure to leave a seam of at least 1/2 or 3/4 inch.

diy t-shirt tutorial | fashion redo | upcycle thrift store clothing




The neckline

1. And now it’s time to fix the neckline, which was the other thing that I didn’t like about the t-shirt. I thought that a boatneck neckline would be flattering, and so I decided to try it. This is how you make sure it’s symmetrical:

(a) fold the t-shirt in half. You need to find the exact middle.

(b) Place the left sleeve exactly on top of the right one (or the other way around, it doesn’t really matter). What matters is that both sleeves are exactly one on top of the other.

(c) Cut the neckline. Don’t worry, if you found the exact middle, your neckline will look good.Just make sure that you don’t cut too much. Usually 2-3 inches below the original neckline are a safe bet.

2. You can add an edge in the contrasting color, like I did. I also added some strips across the shoulders. They help to keep the shirt over my shoulders, if I want to. And I can pull them down when I want to show more skin.

The Sleeves

I shorten the sleeves a little bit, and I added a little trim using the contrasting color.

The nice thing about working with jersey, the fabric that t-shirts are made of, is that you don’t need to worry about seams. The fabric curls inside naturally, which gives you a really nice finish.

diy t-shirt tutorial| redo thrift store clothing | fashion redo
diy t-shirt tutorial | fashion redo | upcycle thrift store clothing
diy t-shirt tutorial | fashion redo | upcycle thrift store clothing
diy t-shirt tutorial | fashion redo | upcycle thrift store clothing

I hope you enjoyed this diy t-shirt tutorial. Leave a comment, and if you make your own, let me know how it turns out!

Contact me if you want me to make one for you 😀

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diy t-shirt tutorial | fashion redo | upcycle thrift store clothing