Monday, August 6, 2012

Men's T-Shirt to Peasant Top Upcycle

I happened upon a $3 men's t-shirt at JCP a few months back and finally got a chance to "upcycle" it. :o) First off, I wear an XL and decided to buy a XXL so I'd have more fabric to play around with, but going up a full size probably isn't necessary. 

I started the project by turning the shirt inside out. 
cutting out the shirt front and back
Here is how I figured the length of the shirt front and back:
  1. I measured myself from where I wanted the neckline to be down to the point I wanted the hem to be (22"), added 1" to it for casing allowance at the neckline (23"). This became the length for the middle of my shirt. Note: after wearing this shirt a few times I would make the back of the shirt 1"-2" inches longer than the front of the shirt.
  2. I measured myself from under the armpit to where I wanted the hem to fall (16") and added 1" for seam allowance.  This became the length for the side of my shirt.
Here is how I figured the width of the shirt:
  1. I took my hip measurement, added 6" to it, and divided that measurement by 2 (46+6=50, 52/2=26). This became the width for sides of my shirt.
  2. I took the width of my over-bust (just the front from sleeve seam area to sleeve seam area) and multiplied it by 1.5. This became the width for the top of my shirt. 
  3. I just messed around with the armhole area using my tailor's chalk between the neckline and the armpit point till it looked about right. 

the sleeves and shirt front
For the sleeves, I didn't do any measuring, I just cut things out. However, after wearing the shirt a few times I would make a couple of changes, 1. I would cut the back of the sleeve wider than the front, and 2. I would not make them as wide from front to back as I did. There is just more "poof" to the sleeve than I would normally like.

I sewed a line 1/2" below the bottom hem line to make a casing for the elastic.
Next time I make this shirt I plan to skip the elastic because it makes the shirt creep up when I sit.
I may add a band of fabric instead or just leave it as is.

sewing the "casing" on the sleeves just like I did with the hem

adding the elastic to the sleeve hem

adding the elastic to the hem of the shirt.
again, I probably wouldn't do this the next time.

sew the shirt front and back together and turn right side out.
once you have the elastic in the sleeve, sew it to the shirt. 

  • Once you have the sleeves sewn in, fold the neckline over 3/4" and sew at the 1/2" mark to create a casing for the elastic at the neckline. 
  • Then add some 3/8" elastic and pull tight till the neckline falls where you'd like it to. 
  • Sew the elastic ends together and close the case.
  • Then fold the area under the armpit over about 1/2" and hem it.

the finished product

Hopefully my directions are clearer than mud. :o) This is a really versatile idea. I am also using it to create some nightgowns for Miss E and Miss A out of Jared and my pre-weightloss t-shirts. I'll post some pictures of those once they are finished.

1 comment:

  1. That is a neat idea! We took children's t-shirts and a mans t-shirt and made night gowns for the girls when they were small. Michelle Navis