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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

3 thoughts on “I Heart Tee: diy t-shirt tutorial

  1. Pingback: diy fashion | diy tshirt tutorial | refashioning clothes | step by step sewing

    • Thank you so much! I had a lot of fun doing it, and I’m so happy with how it looks. There will be more to come for sure!

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