I recently realized I can’t stand wearing regular T-shirts; I always feel like the neck is choking me. When I’ve bought new clothes (and by “new” I mean from the thrift store, so it’s new to me), I buy v-necks or tank tops, but what about the t-shirts I already have that I love, but can’t stand wearing? This is an easy way to turn them into tank tops!
I used a ruler to cut a straight line across the top of the shirt. You want to make the cut as high as possible so you retain as much shirt as possible.
Cut off the sleeves, using the seam as a guide. Cut the seam off, but retain as much t-shirt as possible.
So you end up with this:
The tutorial I found online said to cut a strip off the bottom of the shirt to use as the strap, but I chose to use the bottom of an overly-large shirt I made into a grocery bag. I actually cut 4 strips from it for different shirts so I could retain the length on these soon-to-be tank tops. You can also use ribbon or a draw string from something else.
Roll the top edge down once, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch:
Roll it down one more time to get the raw edge on the inside. Since this is jersey material, you don’t really have to worry about it unraveling, but this is how I chose to do it. You can see that part of the outer design will now be inside the shirt. It didn’t matter for this one, but keep that in mind when you are cutting and hemming on this project.
Do the same for the back edge. Pin boths hems, look at it to make sure you like it, then sew it up.
Now that you have basically 2 tubes along the top of the shirt, feed your t-shirt or ribbon strip through it. The easiest way to do this is to put a safety pin through one end, then push the safety pin through the tube. Tie it in a bow once you have it fed through and you get this:
This is a different finished product, but same process. You end up with a tank top that is gathered along the top on both front and back. If your shirt has one central design like this one, it’s important to pay attention to how much space the design will have once the gathers are in place. This alteration process is easiest with t-shirts that are slightly too big for you, or don’t have an image, or have a pattern that won’t be affected by this process. I would practice with something like that first, like I did with the four leaf clover shirt, before you touch something as gorgeous as my “Dream Girl” shirt here. It’s got a unicorn pegasus on it!!
Hubby and I have a bunch of T-shirts floating around that we like, but never wear for one reason or another. I have been looking for creative ways to use them, from making throw pillows, to altering the shirts so I can wear them, to making purses. The ones for this project are just too big. I just happened to have the sewing machine set up, but this would be a very fast and easy sewing project for hand sewing, or for someone just learning to use a sewing machine. You only have to sew one straight line. Start with a cool T-shirt that you don’t wear, for whatever reason.
Flip it inside out, and sew the bottom shut. Flip it back right-side out.
Cut the sleeves off. I used the seam as a guide, and cut the whole seam off.
I then cut a rectangular area out of the neck, and you’re done!
Here’s a view of the inside, once it’s complete. They are very roomy on the inside.
Here’s the finished bag:
And I made a second one from a Ghostbusters: The Video Game T-shirt.
Total, they took about 5 minutes each. Not a bad sewing project!
When I went to that super swappy swap meet awhile ago, I acquired some awesome stuff, that just needed my special touch to make it perfect. This is one of those items. It’s a t-shirt dress. I love how the top fits me, but I have a little too much “junk in the trunk” for it to look good on me in the lower half.
I got Hubby to draw a line all the way around me while I was wearing it, so that I could cut it to the exact length I wanted all the way around.
It was a little longer in the back, which is just what I wanted.
I did this bad boy right. I even ironed the hem into place before pinning it. I folded down 1/4 to 1/2 inch, ironed it in place, then rolled it over another 1/2 inch and ironed that on the inside to create the hem. I then pinned everything in place. I was able to complete this project on my friend Jessica’s sewing machine (the same Jessica from the swap and several other posts), but it coughed to a tragic end right before I was done, so I hand sewed the remainder.
So now I have a nice t-shirt, that I may embellish on the front. It has a decoration on the back which was pictured in the swap post. It is really soft, and I love the fit. It may star in another post in the future. Ooh, more skulls perhaps??
Yes, there is a glut of posts today, but I’ve been hauling my booty all over town for the Census Bureau lately, so there’s a back-log. I have a bunch of T-shirts that are waaaayyy to big for me, but I don’t want to cut them up for the t-shirt quilt of doom I’ve been collecting for for 5 years. If I ever need to wear XXXL, I want to have these shirts available to me. So what’s a clever chick to do? Copy my sister-in-law!
She has dozens of concert t-shirts, but since she’s ridiculously petite, they rarely fit her. Now she has dozens of kick-ass throw pillows that show off her musical tastes (vital, being here in Austin), and add comfy-ness to her living room.
You will need: T-shirts, pillows that fit inside said t-shirts, thread to match aforementioned t-shirts, needles, pins, and scissors.
I used regular bed pillows, folded in half. I have a bunch that are so thin they are laughable, so I designated them for this project.
I did a running stitch around the outside to hold it together while I was working on the project. As you can see it’s not exactly a decent shape, which definitely affects the way the finished project turns out. Keep that in mind. The running stitch is explained in my quilt repair post.
The trickiest part of this project is folding the t-shirt around the pillow.
First, center the pillow under the artwork inside the shirt. This whole process would probably be easier if I had used real pillow forms, but I didn’t feel like it. Meh. Now keeping the artwork (in this case, Bettie Page tying up a fellow hot chick) centered, fold the arms, neck, and bottom excess fabric into itself, behind the pillow. Try to create even seams running all the way down the sides, top, and bottom. I, being as clever as I am, could not find a simple way to do this. It’s possible using square pillows and an iron would simplify the process, but I decided to do it this way. Because I like a challenge (or maybe I’m stubborn).
As soon as you have any part of this arranged how you might want it, pin the be-Jesus out of it. (Side note: my computer had be-Jesus in it’s vocabulary. Odd). Use your running stitch all around the outside. If you truly intend to possibly wear these shirts again, use large, spaced out stitches, so there will be less to pull out later, but do them close enough together so that the pillow stays in one piece.
I decided to skip to showing you the finished products, and leave out all my swearing and hair-pulling that Hubby got to enjoy. Oh, that Bettie Page is a naughty girl! I now have three gorgeous pin-up pillows, where I previously had shirts I couldn’t wear taking up space in my closet. Not bad for 2 days work, while sitting in front of the idiot box. I loooove me some pin-up girls!