Upcycle Sundays!

Hello lovelies! I hope everyone is having a happy Mother’s Day. We strategically celebrated with my mom last night in efforts to enjoy a Mother’s Day dinner sans the crowds. It was delish and the evening continued with a viewing of our guilty pleasure flick: Twilight.

So! Today I decided that I should head over to my favorite thrift store and see what treasures I could find. This lead me to the idea of creating this new segment for Tatiana Supports the Arts that I shall call Upcycle Sundays. Every Sunday I will bring you visuals or the occasional tutorial showing how you too can help reduce your carbon footprint and reduce waste by reusing and upcycling materials that already exist. Why buy brand new for $30+ when you can make it yourself for less than $5. I’ll show you how my dears.

In this segment of Upcycle Sundays, I bring you a very very simple (and my first ever) tutorial. I don’t always alter or sew by the book, so please don’t take my suggestions as gospel. Here we go… in this tutorial we will take an XL man’s cotton t-shirt purchased from my local thrift store for $1.50, and reconstruct it into a cute, light summer blouse.


The first step to this t-shirt reconstruction project is cutting off the collar and the sleeves. Try to cut as neatly as possible to make your life easier in later steps.


The next thing you want to do is try on the shirt. We are making a v-neck so you want to measure and mark how deep you would like your v-neck to dip. Mark the v-neck path with pins.


Go ahead and fold your shirt in half so you can cut the V in one swoop; think back to kindergarten Valentine’s day cards… folding the paper in half to make a heart. Same idea, different shape.


This next step is not entirely necessary, but I like to do this to keep things neat and polished. Fold a hem around the front and back of the freshly cut neck of your shirt at 1/4″ and iron.


Take that to your trusty sewing machine and sew that baby up, and make sure your hem looks good! I used a straight stitch here. Now, try your shirt on again and measure up the side; pinch and pin! You can also use your dress form for measuring, but sometimes I feel like things fit better when I just fit it directly to my body.


After you’ve pinned, sew it up! I used a zig zag stitch here. Go ahead and try on the shirt again to make any additional alterations. Once everything looks peachy, I like to make an additinal zig zag stitch up each side just to be safe.


And voila! Since summer is quickly approaching, I decided to veto sleeves for this shirt. It looks cute and breezy without them. Enjoy!

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  1. Marissa
    Posted May 10, 2009 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    You’re my hero!
    Please make me one. ;)


  2. Posted May 10, 2009 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    Thank you! And I totally will!


  3. cathizzle
    Posted May 11, 2009 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    can you make my bridesmaid dress into a t-shirt?

    ps. awesome tutorial


  4. Posted May 11, 2009 at 1:58 am | Permalink

    hahaha. oh my. we can try! and thanks!


  5. Kimbo
    Posted May 11, 2009 at 3:54 am | Permalink

    Wow! Ingenious. Congrats on your first tutorial! I know nothing about alterations, so I can’t wait to see more.


  6. Posted May 11, 2009 at 4:05 am | Permalink

    Thank you Kim! :)


  7. Posted May 12, 2009 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    OMG! I love it! Upcycle Sundays!! I haven’t done alterations in so long (not that I never really knew how.. not that that stopped me)… heehee… I’ve been eyeing dress forms as of late… may be a worthy purchase with my bridal shower gift cards!

    So inspiring! I have to break out my sewing maching… and learn to use it! teehee! Random non-sewers question… when you sewed the hemline on the neck what did you do at the point did you have to cut a slit to fold down the sides evenly?


  8. Posted May 12, 2009 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Love your tutorial!!


  9. Posted May 12, 2009 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Teresa – Thank you!

    Traci – Good question! I should have mentioned that in the tutorial. I made a teeny tiny cut in the middle and folded it over. I sewed down each side from the neck to the point, separately, if that makes sense… so I wouldn’t warp the fabric.


  10. Posted May 13, 2009 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    Thanks tati! The corners always mess me up… do you have ever have a problem with fraying at the corners?


  11. Posted May 13, 2009 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Not yet! Haha. The corners are ok right now. I think if they start fraying you can handsew a sort of invisible hem to hide the fraying. Hmmm, I’m gonna look into this…


  12. Maaike
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    wow amazing, i got a big shirt that i use as pyama, but i think it will be an even better dress/shirt !

    thanx !


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