Friday, 28 June 2013

Refashioned Wrestling Tee

Last weekend, my middle sister returned from a business trip to New York. Of course, she came home with lots of lovely things which in turn this meant she turned out some old clothes from her wardrobe...from which I, our youngest sister, and the charity shop reaped the benefits! Yay!

One of the things I snaffled from her pile of cast-offs was a slightly outsized, cropped t-shirt that my sister had picked up at a retro shop a while back. I liked the design on the front, but cropped tops do not have a place in my wardrobe!

So I gave it a little refashion:

Not too bad, eh?

It’s a really simple and obvious refashion but I stumbled a few times along the way so I’m sharing this how-to in the hope that you don’t have to!

Note: My sewing method is seriously ‘gung-ho’ and this will probably have accomplished dressmakers groaning and crying. I cut corners and muddle my way through!

You’ll need:
T-shirt (cropped or full length)
Fabric (stretchy or non-stretchy)*
Cotton to match the fabrics
Scissors/rotary cutter
Pinking shears (if you don’t have an overlock machine)
Tailors chalk or similar
Tape measure

*Important note on fabrics: If you sew non-stretchy to stretchy, the stretchy will no longer be stretchy where the two meet! You might thing ‘duh’ but I didn’t consider this until it was too late, and I made friends with the seam ripper again ;)

I did this with non-stretchy fabric because it’s what I had to hand. Stretchy fabrics are best for this DIY!

1. Resize the t-shirt.
Grab your tee, turn it inside out and put it on. Pin up either side for a better fit, tapering down from the armpits.
If you’re cutting down a full length t-shirt, mark with tailors chalk where you want the t-shirt to stop.
Take the tee off, taking extra care when it comes to dressmaking pins and armpits.

Tip: If you plan to add non-stretchy fabric, make sure you can remove the tee without stretching it! If unsure if you’ll be able to get it on and off once you’ve finished, lay the pinned t-shirt flat and measure across the bottom. Make a loop with your tape measure or a piece of string the same measurement as the bottom circumference of the t-shirt, and try to wriggle into it. Adjust the pins on the t-shirt as necessary.

2. Sew up the sides
Use a stitch suitable for knits (zigzag works; refer to your machine’s manual for advice) or overlock it. 

3. Trim off the excess
Use pinking shears for a tidy, fray-free edge. Trim the length of the tee if needed.

4. Measure the bottom of the t-shirt, laid flat.

5. Draw out the bottom part of the tee:
Fold the fabric double (to save yourself having to draw it twice!) and draw a trapezoid using tailors chalk.
Short edge = measurement from step 4
Long edge = half the overall circumference for the bottom of the top (depending on how long you want it, this should fit comfortably around your hips!)
Depth = however long you want the added piece of fabric to be, plus 4cm (for hem and seam allowance)
Side edges = just there to join up the top and bottom :)

6. Pin along the side edges and cut out
Pin through the two layers of the fabric, along the sides of the trapezoid.
Cut up either side of the shape, leaving a seam allowance. Cut across the top line (short edge) of the trapezoid.

7. Sew, pink and hem!
Sew up the sides of the shape. Trim the seam allowances and the short edge of the fabric with pinking shears, or overlock. Hem the trapezoid along the longer edge.

Tip: If using non-stretchy fabric, this is a good point to double-check that you’ll be able to get into your new top. Simply try slipping the loop of fabric over your head. If it’s too small, you’ll have to sew a wider trapezoid. (You can stretch the tee a little when it comes to attaching the two parts)

8. Sew together
How you do this is up to you. You might want to unpick the bottom hem of the t-shirt if you haven’t already cut it off. I couldn’t do this, so I just pinned the fabric underneath the t-shirt hem and sewed it on 0.5cm from the edge of the t-shirt.
Stretchy fabric: Pin the tee and loop of fabric together along the raw edges, using a zigzag stitch or stitch suitable for knits (once again, check your machine’s manual!)
Non-stretchy fabric: Pin together and sew with a straight stitch

The bottom line:
If in doubt, use stretchy fabric!!!
I unpicked the two pieces once and adjusted both parts to be smaller, as I royally screwed this whole project up the first time. If I’d used something stretchy, it wouldn’t have been an issue!

As I wrote at the start, I used the fabric I had to hand. Fabric in question was given to me by a friend, and the cottons were already in my stash (vintage, dahling!), so my total expenditure on this refashion was £0. Hurrah!
I wore this refashioned tee when I volunteered today and it was super-comfortable.
Pictured here with my fake coral necklace, homemade computer key ring, and decorated cuff.

Will be linking up at the fab parties listed below!

1 comment:

  1. Cropped tops have no place in the world! I love what you did to update it though, it can live :)


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