Sunday, September 19, 2010

Refashion: Add sleeves to a tank + 2 t-shirts into 1

Here are a couple more of my summer sewing projects:

Adding sleeves to a tank top 
I purchased two identical tank tops from Old Navy's clearance rack. I cut one of them up and embellished the other.

It started like this:

and ended up like this:

Okay, here's the condensed version of what I did.

I cut up a bunch of strips (about 2" each), folded them in half long-wise and used a technique called ruching for the ruffled look.

You use a straight stitch in a zig zag pattern and gather, instead of just stitching straight lines for regular ruffles. I used a couple different techniques for these ruched strips, making two a little fuller and the other two a little less full.

I also added sleeves to the tank top. I'm sorry I don't have step-by-steps for that. I'm certain I did it in the strangest way possible, but in the end it worked.

What I learned about adding sleeves to a tank top is that you need to cut the material so the grain is long so it doesn't stretch. I ended up cutting about 4 pieces of material and sewing them together to fit in the arm hole. Like I said, totally random technique - not worthy of a tutorial!

I also lowered the belt line so it didn't interfere with the ruching.

I still have to wear a tank top under it because the neckline falls too low for my comfort, but all in all I think it turned out nicely.

Next up?

From 2 old shirts to 1 new shirt

Okay, these two shirts aren't actually "old" because they'd never been worn. But I decided that if we'd had something for two years that still had the tags on them, chances were high we were never going to wear them! (no offence Cougars!)

This was another random t-shirt transformation that I made up as I went. 
But in a nutshell, here's what I did:

First, I cut the original t-shirts into pieces (separating front, back, and sleeves).
Next, I used the two t-shirt "backs" to create a new front and back, with an altered neckline.
Then I sewed the original sleeves back in, gathering the top of the shoulder seams for a little feminine touch.

My newly assembled dark blue t-shirt was complete (sorry, no picture) but it needed something.

For the embellishments, I cut up this Old Navy clearance striped cream and blue jersey shirt.

I cut up strips (each about 1/2-1" wide) with different patterns, and ruffled them.
I also used a skinny strip of cream to make the neckline and small bow.
And, I couldn't resist putting a striped, ruffled base on the shirt.

And this is what I ended up with:

Oh, and I added a cream button to the neckline

The possibilities are endless when it comes to refashioning t-shirts, and since jersey is so easy to work with (no hemming), I'm sure I'll come up with many more! xo


  1. aaah! so cute! loves this! i've always loved the nautical style.

  2. Wow! I love them! I love the cream one with the bow, the nautical one...seriously I love them all! Link these up Wednesday too!

  3. I really loved the sleeves added to the tank tops...then when I saw the Cougars shirts I thought "Yes!! I knew she was LDS!"

    Anywayy, thanks for sharing your great ideas =)


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