Friday, June 25, 2010

Mommy and Daughter 4th of July T-shirt Reconstructions (with Tutorial)

I bought these two t-shirts at the thrift store last week because I love kittens, and I thought it would be funny if me and my daughter wore matching shirts on the 4th of July.  The problem is that the small one had a purple stain on the bottom, as you can see in the picture, and the big one is a large child's size t-shirt, so the sleeves were too tight on me and the picture sat too high on my chest.  At less than $1.00 a shirt, I knew it was worth it to try to work around these issues and come up with something creative.

So, here's what I did to them:
For my shirt I started by cutting off the part that didn't fit well, which was the top.  I also went back and cut the rest of the sleeves off as you can see in the picture to the left.  I decided that the easiest way to fix this shirt into something wearable was to make it into a tank top.  I started by cutting some strips from an old red t-shirt.  These were about 2" wide.

I then sewed these strips onto the top raw edge of the shirt in 4 sections (1 across the top front, 1 across the top back, and 1 longer strip around the curve under each arm).  After this I folded them over and sewed the loose side of the strips down to the seam allowance I just created forming channels.  As you can see, I left openings at the top front and back points of the shirt (for a total of 4 openings).  The back of the shirt looks exactly like the front, minus the Uncle Sam kitten.

I then cut strips to make ties with.  I used 4 separate ties.  Two ties were threaded through the channels that run under the arms, (1 under each arm) and 2 were threaded through the top front and top back of the shirt (1 in front, and 1 in back).  Where the ties met at the openings, I tied them together, adjusting the length for a good fit.  I then tied the remaining lengths of my ties together on my shoulders to form straps and trimmed the excess.  I later went back and hand-sewed the channel openings closed around the ties and sewed the bows on the shoulders together so they wouldn't come undone.

For my daughters shirt, I started by cutting off the offending stained part of the t-shirt.  Since her shirt fit just fine, I didn't have to do as much altering to it.

I cut out a long strip of a cute polka-dotted fabric (it was twice as long as the circumference of the bottom of the shirt), narrow-hemmed one side of it, gathered the other side of it and pinned it to the bottom of the shirt.  I then sewed this piece to it.  That was it!

And here are the finished t-shirts!  Not exactly "matching" but pretty close.  My daughter loves the ruffle on hers and my tank top fits a lot more comfortably than the little girl's t-shirt did!


  1. New site design looks great!

  2. You are so smart! I'm so glad I was once your teacher and can claim some iota of credit to your wonderfulness!!! ;0)

  3. Thank you so much! I owe a lot to teachers from grade school to college (but you're the one that taught me to crochet!)

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