Tee shirts are inexpensive, casual and comfortable but maybe you’re looking for something more from your tees. You can have some fabulous wardrobe pieces simply by changing the look of your tee shirts.
There are many ways to change the look of tee shirts. If the tee is a “V” neck you can stitch a piece of fabric behind the “V” part of the shirt to give the impression that you’re wearing another shirt underneath. You can also string two or three spaghetti straps across the “V” to give the shirt a unique look.
Any tee shirt can be embellished using fabric paints and fabric glues. Glue on sequin, colored roping, appliques, buttons, piping or faux jewels. Or, use glitter paints, metallic paints, puffy paints or other types to make unique images on the shirt. Draw the designs freehand or use a stencil.
Cut the shirt, just above the navel, then hem for a cute belly top. Cut the shirt off above the navel then attach a ruffle for a country look. Or, Cut the tee just below the breasts then attach a gathered lace piece for an elegant, evening look, to be worn with a nice skirt or pants. You can also cut the tee, all the way around, just below the arm area then use the cut portion to make a pattern from netting. Sew the netting on for a comfy bathing suit cover up.
There are even more impressive clothing that you can make from a tee shirt. Cut the sleeves off and use them to make a pattern from a different type of cloth. Or cut the sleeves off and hem to make a sleeveless top that doesn’t have the typical tank top look. Cut the tee shirt, just below the underarms, then put in elastic to make a mini skirt. Too short? Add a ruffle around the bottom edge.
Cut the hem from a tee shirt and make it a hanky shirt. To do this cut from the front center of the hem, on each side, upwards towards the side seam area. Hem the entire bottom of the shirt for a cute hanky shirt that comes to a point in the front and back. Or, cut the shirt to where it has four points, one on each side and one in front and back. This is done by folding the shirt in half, lengthways and cutting from the front center of the hem, upwards at an angle towards the fold.
You can simply add fabric to the hem of a tee shirt to make a cute summer dress. Measure from where the hem hangs, while wearing it, to the knee area or above. You can also make it floor-length for hanging around the house in comfort. To make the skirt slightly larger than the tee cut the piece of cloth a few inches longer than the measurement of the total hem. Start from one side seam and measure back to the place you started, around the hem. Add 7 or 8 inches to this measurement.
Hem the fabric on one end then sew the two side pieces of the fabric together. Pin the un-hemmed side of the fabric to the hem of the shirt. The fabric is slightly larger so take an occasional tuck in the fabric, under the hem of the shirt. Follow the hem that’s already stitched and sew just beside it, about a quarter-inch away. The best way to get the fabric dispersed evenly around the hem of the shirt is to find and mark the front center, back center, and both sides of the shirt as well as the fabric piece. Align the marks before sewing.
Combine several of the techniques for even more choices in design. Cut the sleeves off then attach a short skirt for a summer piece. Or change the color of the sleeves by replacing them with different cloth, then use that cloth to make a connected skirt. You can also cut the shirt in a hanky cut then decorate it with paints and piping.
When you tire of a tee shirt don’t toss it in the back of the closet, rework it instead. Find all sorts of embellishments in any sewing department for even more choices for redesigning your tee shirt wardrobe.