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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tutorial: Upcycled Striped Bow Tank

upcycled bow t-shirt (54)
I have been wanting some new summer tops. However, the chance to get anywhere to shop has evaded me for several weeks. 
So I raided my [small, yet growing] stash of thrift-store finds.   

I refashioned a striped shirt (it was a long sleeved girls’ size XL). I got it for $1. I took scraps from another t-shirt and made it into this! 

I really love how it is longer, almost tunic-length. I love the vertical stripes at the bottom. I also love that the neckline isn't too low. Which is a problem I have experienced with tank tops sold in various stores.
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I love my new $1 shirt.
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It all started like this….

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I was going to use that hot pink fabric pictured above. Ignore that! 
I changed my mind and used some pale pink instead.
I started by cutting off the sleeves. I wasn’t too sure what I was going to do at first but the shoulders of the shirt were just too tight. So the sleeves had to go.
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I decided the neck had to go as well. So I cut around one side…
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To make the neck symmetrical, I flipped the part I had cut over and cut around it like a pattern.
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This is what the neckline looked like prior to binding. The straps were really skinny.
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I made binding from a pink t-shirt by folding a 2” wide piece in half and then pressing the edges under about 1/4”. I pinned it to each armhole (with loads of pins).
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I did a double row of stitching to secure the binding.
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For the neck binding, a cut strips 2 1/2” wide and followed the same technique to make, pin and sew the binding.
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I let the seam of the binding be in the front. I later covered this seam with a bow.
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To make the bow, I sewed a tube of 2 1/2” wide strip of jersey. I turned it right sides out, ironed it flat, and starched it before tying it into a bow.
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The shirt was a bit short for my taste. I removed the bottom hem and pressed the old hem flat.
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To add extra length to the shirt and create the contrasting stripes’ direction at the bottom of the shirt, I used the former sleeves.
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I needed two 17” widths of fabric.
To get as much fabric as possible from each sleeve, I first cut off the cuff as close to the stitching as possible.
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Then I opened each sleeve up right at the seam. upcycled bow t-shirt (18)
I cut two 18” x 4 1/2” wide pieces (one from each sleeve). I allowed a 1/2” seam allowance.upcycled bow t-shirt (19)

After sewing the short edges of the 18” x 4 1/2” strips into a tube, I started pinning the right sides of this wide tube to the bottom of the shirt.
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I lined up the seams, pinned with lots of pins, and sewed it onto the bottom of the shirt using a stretch stitch. I pressed it flat. upcycled bow t-shirt (21)

I opted not to hem the bottom. Since it is a jersey knit, it will roll and not fray. I like the look of jersey rolling at the edge.

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Now I have a shirt that fits and looks good. Since it didn't cost much, I won’t mind wearing it for everyday tasks…going to the park, cleaning up sandy footprints, cooking…
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Here are a few more pictures. Hope this inspires & equips you to raid a thrift store and make a new shirt for your everyday summer wardrobe.
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Positively Splendid

14 comments:

  1. This is so cute! I have a thrift store shirt I've been trying to figure out what to do with... it might become a tank top!

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  2. This is a cool idea! Thanks for sharing!! :-)

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  3. this is so cute...i love the stripes

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  4. You did such a great job with that shirt! The binding looks great, and the pale pink is a great color for it. Thanks so much for linking this and the shirred shirt up to The Fun In Functional and sharing them with all of us!

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  5. Replies
    1. Thanks! I might have to make another one...I have another striped shirt calling my name.

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  6. This turned out great! I love to see things upcycled.

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  7. Super cute! And I read the entire post with a smile when I realized that my daughter had this same shirt. Wish I'd been as creative as you with the shirt.

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    1. THat is so funny that she had this shirt! I love the stripes.

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