T-shirt Reconstructions–You Can change up your wardrobe!

So, remember these guys from our day out at Milton Country Park?

Just look at 'em! Standing there all empowered, and whatnot!

Last Thursday, the You Can Hub hosted a clothes-swap evening (my trendier colleague calls it “swishing”) to raise money for the You Can Bike Too project.  I braved the elements and went along to show the guys what you can do with your T-shirts if they’re past their use-by date.  Since  it was a clothing-based evening, I decided to save rug-making and all the other t-shirt yarn applications for another time and focus on stuff you can wear.  Even then, there are more options available than I have shirts to work with!

So everybody swapped clothes and ate cake,  I did some “Gok Wan” style snipping, and by the end of the evening, our hosts looked something like this:

They’re good sports, aren’t they? They managed to raise a fair chunk of change for You Can Bike Too, and had fun in the process.   But if you didn’t get to come and eat cake with us, here’s an overview of no-sew, DIY  T-shirt hacks just for you!

First you’ve got basic alterations for T-shirts that just don’t fit as well as you would like.  Neck too tight?  There’s a fix for that, and you don’t even need to whip out your sewing machine! Kira, over at hernewleaf wrote a great (and funny) tutorial on how to create a braided neckline like this one.

You can apply the same technique to a shirt that’s too big, to create a more flattering as you can see, we've followed Kira's instructions to make sure the shirt is wrinkled! :)fit–really useful if you’ve lost weight or “adopted” a shirt from a brother, dad, or partner.  Here’s one that I made earlier->  (As you can see, we followed Kira’s instructions to use a wrinkly shirt.  I’m nothing if not thorough!) I love the way this one turned out, and it’s held up fine in the wash too.  Chictopia featured a similar tutorial on how to braid your T-shirt’s sleeves, which we also followed for this photo.

But what if your T-shirt just too knackered to keep intact?  Coffee and permanent pen stains on the front, rips, holes, superglue… Maybe you have a supply of T-shirts from a past employer (or a current employer after re-branding).  There’s no need to throw it out, or chuck it on to your ever-growing “car wash pile”.

You can cut off the top part of the shirt (from the sleeves up) to make an easy circular scarf.

If you want to get fancy, you can fringe it like this one: (Don’t laugh, the star pony beads were my daughter’s addition!)

Or you can cut that single tube of fabric into 1 inch strips to make many smaller circles.  Layer them like this for an infinity scarf:

Or coil each of the circles and tie them together:

And after you’ve finished making scarves, you still have the sleeve and chest part of the T-shirt to work with.  Personally, I like slicing those parts into as many strips as I can, and tying them on to a hair band, or a single T-shirt circle like this:

Generation T and DIY Inspired have been thinking along the same lines with their Recycled T-shirt Scrap skirts for kids.  Guess what my next project will be!  If you’re interested in some more tutorials (because there are dozens!) check out my T-shirt Recon board on Pinterest and visit some of the links there.  Have fun!  Oh, and Happy Earth Day!

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4 thoughts on “T-shirt Reconstructions–You Can change up your wardrobe!

  1. Those are some really awesome ideas!

    A while ago I found a good tutorial for turning a t-shirt into a reusable shopping bag, and I want to try that one some day. Though it’s not something you can wear, I’m also tempted to cut t-shirts into strips and turn them into yarn so that I can knit myself a nice thick bathmat!

    • Yep, I love all the t-shirt yarn applications, so I’m saving up a stockpile from everyone I know. I’m thinking of a nice non-wearable T-shirt roundoup in a couple of weeks time. I fancy a nice, fluffy latch-hook rug from T-shirt yarn!

  2. Pingback: Upcycled weekend roundup | Re-Creations Project

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