DIY: Corseted White T-Shirt or What to Do with the BF’s old T-shirts #2My hubby has a ton of white shirts that have seen better days…and sometimes I steal one or two of them to makeover for myself. But men’s shirts are so shapeless and boxy, and I want something that isn’t as boring as it looks straight out of the package! With a few strategically-placed hooks and some elastic cord, this is a quick DIY makeover that will turn any boxy and shapeless top into a form-fitting gathered tunic or dress. Minimalist sex-appeal at its best!
*white tunic-length t-shirt (mine is XXL)
*8 hooks from sew-on hook-and-eye sets
*white thread & hand-sewing needle
*white elastic cord
*marking chalk (not shown)
*measuring tape or ruler
1. Lay your t-shirt flat, back side up. Measure about 2.5″ down from below where the sleeves meet the sides. (This is what worked for me – you may want to try the shirt on you to make sure this is the area where you want the corseting to end.) Mark.
2. Measure below that mark 1.5″ and make another mark at each side. Repeat twice so you have 4 marks total, evenly-spaced at 1.5″ apart.
3. Hand-sew the hooks on at each part. Since we’re sewing onto the back and the t-shirt fabric will be pulled to the front, make sure the hooks are facing outwards.
4. Try the shirt on. Take the elastic cord , fold it in half, and match its center to your bellybutton. Keep these lined up, thread either side of the cord into the bottom hook on either side of the shirt.
5. Pull to the front, pulling the shirt fabric with it. Cross the cord over at your center, then back into the next hooks above.
Continue to lace the corset-front in this manner, and rearrange the extra fabric of the tee as you go to look neater and more tucked-in to the corset area.
6. Tie the ends of the cords at the top of the corseting in a bow; trim the ends.
Wear with something not overtly sexy – this shirt has all the sex appeal you need!
Threadbanger Post: How to Sew a Summer Tank Dress
**I’ve adapted this recon from the book Kakkoii Kuchuuru Rimeiku ["Cool Couture Remake"], by Hiroko Yamase [Bunka Publishing, 2009]. The book is in Japanese, and I’ve converted the sizing to Western sizing, and changed the methodology here and there. Hope you like it!
*1 tanktop that fits you well
*1 men’s t-shirt (preferably XL)
*thread matching t-shirt
*velvet or satin ribbon (1″ – 1.5″ wide)
*pronged studs, sew-on jewels, hotfix nailheads, or fancy trim
1. Wash and dry both your tanktop and t-shirt if they haven’t been washed before. Turn the t-shirt inside out and cut off the label at the back of the neck. (not pictured) Cut off the shoulder seams all the way to the sleeve seams.
2. Sew the ends of the t-shirt’s sleeves closed, just inside the sleeve cuffs. These will become pockets.
3. Fold down about 1/2″ along the slit shoulders (the raw edges) of the t-shirt, all the way around, front to back, neck ribbing to neck ribbing. Stitch down, creating a 3/8″ hem.
4. Turn the t-shirt right side out, tucking the sewn sleeves inside. Fold in half and mark the center front and center back at the neck ribbing. Do the same with the tanktop.
5. Measure 4″ straight down from the mark you made on both the front and the back of your tanktop. Make another mark at each point.
6. Place the tanktop inside the t-shirt. Line up the center front of your t-shirt on top of the mark you made on the center front of the tanktop. Pin in place.
7. Pin the neck ribbing of the t-shirt to the front of the tanktop, following the natural curve of the t-shirt’s neck. (I folded the edges of the t-shirt under about 1/2″ again, since I liked the way that looked.)
8. Repeat Step 6) and Step 7) to pin the back of the t-shirt onto the back of the tanktop.
9. Stitch the t-shirt to the tanktop, following the lines of the neck-ribbing of the t-shirt. Sew TWO lines of stitching to secure: one line at the very top of the neck-ribbing, and one line at the point where the ribbing connects to the t-shirt. Do for both front and back of your piece.
Embellish It! (Optional)
9. Use a piece of ribbon as a tie for the waist, stitching at the back to secure. (not pictured)
10. Add studs, hotfix embellishments, sew-on jewels, or fancy trim to the the tanktop neck, the t-shirt ribbing, or the hem of the garment to doll your piece up.
Without the belt, hands in pockets.
Belted with a velvet ribbon.
Tip: If you feel the weight of the t-shirt distorts the tank too much, sewing the sides of the tee to the tank will help eliminate the “pulling.”
Wear with some espadrille wedges and a cool pair of shades for a chic casual look as the mercury rises.
And check out my blog Chic Steals for more DIY tutorials and men’s shirt revamps!
Thanks for reading – and if you have any questions, ask them in the Comments section below and I’ll do my best to help you out!
Carly J. Cais
for Threadbanger Blog Projects
I’d love to hear your feedback everyone!<
DIY: 3 Men’s Shirts to Convertible SkirtWell, it’s high time I shared another men’s shirt refashion, no?:-) Spring is in the air and I’m looking at lighter layers and breezy fabrics.
I last wore this piece on Day 15 in my 30 Days of Outfits Challenge back in November of 2010.
I made this skirt following the instructions from the Japanese book Kakkoii Couture Remake. I’ve written about this book before and made so many projects from it before – it continues to be such a source of inspiration for me when it comes refashioning men’s shirts. (I have changed the measurements and methodology a bit here and there to translate the project for Western sizing.) This particular project uses 3 men’s button-down shirts…which may seem like a huge waste, but if you do have a bunch of old shirts laying around, or have shirts where the arms/collars are damaged and no one can wear them anymore, or if you are buying items at 80 cents a pound from the Goodwill Outlet…then it may seem like a useful repurposing. (I used the back of a shirt I had leftover from a previous DIY, one shirt Hub was getting rid of since the cuffs were frayed, and one I bought from Goodwill.) And you can obviously use black shirts or differently-patterned shirts so you can create a piece that’s more your own style or works better in your closet than a blue pinstriped piece (which is what I chose to make).
In any case, these shirts can be made into a cute little puff-bottom skirt, whose buttons can be unbuttoned so you can wear it as a puff tube top, OR a midi-length long skirt, OR even a tube-top dress for when the weather gets warmer. Here’s how to do it:
Project Difficulty: (intermediate)You Need:
*3 men’s button-down woven shirts (only 2 are pictured above…since I first tried to create this skirt using only 2 shirts – which I found impossible. My shirts are size XL.)
*1/2″-wide knitted waistband elastic (don’t get the roll-resistant type; I did and found it “catches” on the lightweight shirt fabric too much when threading it through the casing, making what should be a very simple process extremely difficult)
*needle for light- medium-weight wovens
*iron & ironing board
*about 2 yd. elastic cord (not pictured; you’ll be removing it from the final piece anyway)
Make the Top Piece
1. Open two of your shirts and lay them with the right-hand sides flat. Measure a piece 9″ wide (including the button placket) by as high as you can get to make a rectangle shape on each right-hand side.
2. Cut out each rectangular piece. Also cut straight across the bottom edges to perfect the rectangle – which I haven’t shown above.3. Sew the short ends of the button-side of the 2 front pieces together to make a circle. This will be the Top Piece of your skirt.
Make the Main Piece4. Fold the back of one of your shirts in half (vertically), and measure 9″ from the fold, in a straight line at the bottom of the shirt. Mark that line.
5. Draw straight upwards from the end of the line, as far as you can to the top of the back part, then draw another horizontal line heading back to the center fold. Cut – and you now have a large rectangle 18″ wide and as long as you can salvage from the back of the shirt.
6. Repeat this for the back pieces from your remaining 2 shirts. You should now have 3 large rectangles – all 18″ wide and as long as you could get from the shirts. If your fabric is super-wrinkly, now would be a good time to iron all those pieces flat.
7. Sew the 3 rectangular shirt-back pieces together along their long ends using a French seam.
Not sure what a French seam is? To put it simply, you place the fabric pieces wrong-sides-together and sew the seam. (So the seam allowances are on the outside of your project.) Then you flatten the seam allowances to the left, and then fold the allowances + fabric underneath them to the right, and topstitch the seam to conceal the raw edges. (You can see the fold at the top of the photo above, and my raw edges which I’m concealing as I go at the bottom.) By creating French seams, this allows the skirt bottom piece to be finished completely on the wrong side as well – so it will look perfect when you flip it to the outside for the puffy bottom to the skirt. You can get the illustrated how-to instructions for sewing a French seam here.
Attach the Skirt Pieces Together8. To size the skirt Main Piece to fit with the Top Piece (which isn’t quite as wide), zigzag-stitch over a piece of elastic cording (with one end knotted) – onto the underside top edge of the skirt Main Piece. Keep the stitches loose and make sure they go over the cord and don’t catch any part of the cord in the needle.
9. Pull the cord to gather the fabric of the skirt Main Piece. Pull the cord until the circumference of this piece is about the same as the circumference of the skirt Top Piece.
10. Pin the skirt Top Piece over the Main Piece – overlapping enough so you can stitch above the buttons and catch the skirt Main Piece beneath. Stitch, following the seam of the button placket (but not through the elastic cord at all). Remove the elastic cord by pulling backwards on the knotted end.
Both the pieces of the skirt are now attached! As you can see, there is subtle gathering where the Main Piece meets the Top Piece.
Create the Hem of the Skirt11. Cut off the left-hand buttonhole placket from 2 of your shirts.
12. So you now have 2 buttonhole plackets. Take the two buttonhole plackets you cut off…
13. And sew them together, end to end, to make a circle. (In retrospect, the seams should be done as French seams so the raw edges are concealed, but I messed up.)
14. Re-use the piece of elastic cord you used in Step 8), and zigzag-stitch over it at the bottom raw edge of the skirt. Pull on it to gather the bottom hem of the skirt so it is the same size as the buttonhole placket circle piece.
15. Pin the bottom raw edge over the buttonhole placket circle piece. (Don’t worry about lining up the buttonholes to the buttons at the junction of the Top Piece and Main Piece of the skirt…they won’t line up perfectly, and that creates a bit of a “puffy” shape to this skirt anyway.)
16. Topstich the buttonhole placket on top of the raw edge hem of the skirt (do not stitch through the elastic cord). Again, I followed the line of topstitching of the placket that already existed.
17. Remove the elastic cord by pulling on the knotted end and slipping it out from under the zigzag stitches.
Create the Skirt Waistband18. To make skirt casing for the waistband elastic, fold the top part of the skirt under about 1/4″, and then under again about 5/8.” Stitch to create casing. (If holding down the double fold is too tricky, you can always fold down 1/4″ and stitch, and then fold down 5/8″ to be really precise and neat.) Leave about 1″ unsewn so the elastic can be added.
19. Measure your elastic by place it at your waist, and cutting it where the ends meet. (You’ll be overlapping the ends about 1/2″ when sewing, which will create enough tension to keep the waistband in place once finished.) Attach a safety pin to the end of your elastic piece, and thread through the casing from the 1″ opening you left in the previous step.
20. Overlap the ends of your elastic by 1/2″, and stitch over them, making a rectangle with an X through the center for strength.
21. Slip the elastic ends inside the casing, and topstitch the 1″ gap to close.
And You’re Done!Though technically I think it’s really meant to be a little puff-bottom A-line skirt, with the buttonhole placket on the hem folded up and buttoned onto the buttons on the top piece of the skirt…
And you could also wear it as a longer midi-length skirt (with the buttons unbuttoned), though I found it’s a kinda difficult length to pull off…
And when I tried to style it as a tube top (with the buttons buttoned and the waistband worn over my chest), Hub told me I looked like I was in maternity wear. (*’0′*)
In retrospect I should have ironed this piece again before I took more pictures – it had been squashed in my closet awhile.;-)
In any event, I know I’ll be able to find a lot of use for it as a skirt – especially when I want to add some pattern to an outfit that is in desperate need of breaking up the solid blocks of color I always default to.;-)
DIY: Chanel-Style Black-and-White Cape (from Two Sweatshirts)Adapted from the book “Kakkoii Kuchu-ru Rimeeku” (“Cool Couture Remake”) by Hiroko Yamase (Bunka Publishing, 2009). (I’ve written about this book a little while ago in this post on how to make a Convertible Blouson Tunic from 3 Men’s Sweatshirts). To me, this sweet little cape seems slightly Chanel-ish, two-toned, sleek…anything but sweatshirt-like.
(And if you made the tunic following that tutorial, you will have found yourself left with the top half of 3 sweatshirts. In this project we’ll use the top half of 1 for our cape, and as to what to do with the remaining 2 sweatshirts…stay tuned!)
How to Make a Chanel-Style Black-and-White Cape With Bow
You Will Need:
*2 sweatshirts (Men’s XL work best), in two different colors
*sewing needle for knits
*thread matching one sweatshirt
Measure and Cut
1. Measure and mark 5.5″ down from the neck opening on your first sweatshirt, on the center front. Measure and mark 8 5/8″ on each side of neck opening on the shoulder seams. Connect the marks you made in a semicircle around the neck portion of your sweatshirt.
2. Cut out the neck along the line you made, cutting through both front and back of the sweatshirt.
3. Mark and measure 15″ up from the ribbed hem of your second sweatshirt. Draw a line straight across the shirt from side to side (it should be very close to right under the arms).
4. Cut along the line, through both front and back of your sweatshirt.
5. Draw a rectangle 4″ high by 8″ long on the remaining fabric of the sweatshirt from Step 4). Cut it out.
6. Draw another, smaller rectangle measuring 2″ high x 2.75″ long on the same sweatshirt and cut it out.
Your cut pieces should look like this:
7. Turn the 15″-high bottom half you cut out in Step 4) upside down, and pin on top of the cut edge of the neck piece from Step 2). Overlap the ribbed edge about 1/2″ onto the cut edge of the neck piece, following the curved edge. Pin along edge.
8. Fold both the smaller rectangles you cut in half lengthwise, right sides together, and pin edges.
9. Sew both smaller rectangle along their longer edges, about 1/8″ from cut edge. Turn each right side out again – this will create two tubes. (not pictured)
10. Sew the cape main parts together, stitching on top of the ribbing in a matching thread, about 3/8″ from edge. If both your sweatshirts are exactly the same size, the neck piece should not be gathering despite the stretch from the ribbing. (Mine is b/c I used an L sweatshirt for the neck and an XL sweatshirt for the bottom…my bad!)
11. Hem your cape, turning over about 1/2″ at the bottom and stitching a 3/8″ hem.
12. Flatten the larger rectangle tube you made in Step 9), roll the seam to the center, and fold each end over to meet in the middle. Hand-stitch ends together to make a bow.
13. Flatten the smaller rectangle tube, roll the seam to the center, and stitch one end to your stitching in the center of your bow from Step 11).
14) Roll the strip around your bow, pull tight to the back to make your bow “poufy,” and secure in the back again with more stitches.
15. Stitch bow onto the center of your cape, slightly above the ribbing seam. (not pictured)
You’re done! A lovely cape – just in time for cold weather.
And don’t forget to cut the remaining parts of your sweatshirts in the same fashion – and just reverse the colors – and you can make a second cape to give to someone this holiday season! Brrrr! I feel the winter chills coming on!:-)
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