Got a tired old t-shirt? Turn it into something new with these t-shirt refashion ideas and upcycle tutorials.
Hey y’all, since I’ve been showing a few tutorials lately that use t-shirts as the supplies, I thought today I’d share a round up of t-shirt refashion ideas. I went deep into the blog archives to find some oldie but goody posts using old tees. I know a t-shirt is almost always part of my daily uniform, so I hope you find some inspiration here to create a t-shirt wardrobe you love. And many of these refashions are even great for beginners with a sewing machine.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your old plain t-shirt and turn it into something unique!
T-shirt Sewing Tips
Before we begin, here’s a list of tips if you’re refashioning a t-shirt.
- Remember to use a stretch stitch. Tees are made from knit fabric that stretches, so the stitches need to stretch as well
- Use regular all-purpose thread
- I generally use a size 80/12 universal needle, but if that is skipping stitches, try a ball point needle.
Maybe you love your old tees but they don’t fit your current body. Or you found one a the thrift shop that is great but just not the right size. So here are some tutorials for re-sizing t-shirts to fit.
Here’s how you make a t-shirt smaller.
Here’s how you can make a t-shirt bigger.
And this isn’t a re-sizing tutorial per say, but if you happen to find a thrifted t-shirt that is twisted from being cut off grain, here’s how you can fix twisted tees if the shirt is big enough.
Refashions using one t-shirt
A t-shirt can be a great source of knit fabric for your sewing project. Plus, when you upcycle t-shirts you’re keeping them out of landfills. Here are some DIY tutorials that use one old shirt.
This men’s XL shirt became a kid’s dress with the addition of some smocking. See how to make this smocked t-shirt dress here.
A t-shirt can become a fitted camisole style tank top for summer as I showed in this post.
If you prefer a less fitted tank, you can cut the sleeves off a t-shirt and make this gathered style one.
And of course you can also add scrap fabric to a single t-shirt an change the look. That’s what I did to make this long sleeved cowl neck t-shirt.
You don’t only have to recycle t-shirts into tops, they can work for bottoms too. Here’s how I turned a tee into a skirt.
And here is a t-shirt turned into shorts for my son.
Ideas using two or more t-shirts
If you’re willing to cut up more than one shirt, here are some up cycling ideas that use multiple tee shirts.
Since I go to a lot of football games, sometimes I like to switch things up and wear game day dresses. For the summer season games a tank top style dress like this one is great.
When it gets a little cooler, a dress with sleeves like this one is perfect.
And a couple of t-shirts were great sewing supplies for this baby dress.
The boys can get into this too – cutting different parts of a pattern from different t-shirts can create a unique look like I did with this shirt for my son.
Upcycle a T-shirt into Something Else
Finally, if most of that t-shirt is just too old to continue to be worn or you are looking for something to do with t-shirt scraps, here are some ideas.
You can use parts of your tee to make a headband.
You can also use small scraps to make flowers to add to a headband.