I think t-shirt modding is one of my favorite craft projects because it’s cheap and it really doesn’t matter if you mess up – it’s a $2.99 XL shirt from the Goodwill. I don’t like t-shirt mods that are just a cut-job and you end up with a tattered garment not much better than the old shirt. Rather, I like working with different shirt structures and creating something better than a t-shirt.
- I like cowel necks
- I like long shirts with that hipster band around the hips
- I like sleeves.
Presenting a Two Color Hipster Cowel Neck T-Shirt Mod Tutorial
- Two XL t-shirts
- One in a bright color with a sweet image you want to feature.
- A blank one in a matching (or complementing) color.
- Sewing machine
- Thread to match. I used red to go with the main color.
- Pins, seamrippers, measuring tape, etc
I winged this. I had a general idea of what I wanted and the pieces I needed, but I didn’t measure myself or anything. I created a large, general shape and then tailored it. I would say that my sewing skills are average, but my problem-solving skills are high. I messed up a bunch and had to rip seams and re-sew things many times, but hopefully this tutorial will help you avoid that. I would pin things in place, try it on, take it off, fix it, over and over.
I don’t teach you how to sew in this tutorial – the internet would do a much better job than I would.
- Cut the sleeves off both shirts. The red (#1) will become the hip band. The black (#4) will become the sleeves later.
- Cut the front of your featured shirt to be the front of your new shirt. (#2) We can discard the old collar.
- I cut big thick strips/rectangles (#3) from the red shirt for the cowel neck later.
- Using the black shirt, I cut the extra I needed to complete the front of the new shirt, to match up with the asymmetrical cut I made on the red shirt. (#6)
- I had to use a little of the leftover black to complete my hip band. (#5)
- Use the whole back of the black shirt to be the back of your new shirt. (#7) You can discard the black collar.
- Sew the front of the shirt first. #2 and #6 to complete the front of the shirt.
- Sew the the front to the back (#7) at the shoulders and at the sides. (I made a really nice visible seam here with contrast stitching.) Leave the sleeves, bottom and neck open. Now you have a very rough shirt shape. Try it on and make it fit around your chest as you like it. My method is to use safety pins to pin it until it fits, then take it off and re-sew the seams. Leave the bottom nice and loose for now.
- Create the hip band by cutting open the red sleeves (#1) and laying them flat. The nice hemmed edge of the sleeves become the nice hemmed edge of the new bottom of your shirt. If you need to, take a left over piece (#5) to add length if you need. I cut off the curved tops to create a straighter edge. Fit it around your hip and butt, then sew it into a loop.
- Pin the hip band to the bottom of your shirt, and sew it on. Try it on and make any adjustments.
- Cut a neck hole. A small neck hole makes the collar more like a turtle neck. (Ew. Not my thing.) A bigger neckhole makes a nice full cowel neck. Cut a nice smooth neck from your shirt.
- Construct the cowel neck. It’s basically a loose loop of fabric. I used the big strips from the back of the red shirt (#3) and made it as big as I could, at least as big as the neck hole. I sewed mine at an angle so that the outer rim of the neck was much wider than the inner rim. Hem the outer edge and sew into your shirt.
- Sleeves. XL tshirt sleeves were much longer and fuller than I wanted on my shirt. Pin the top of the black sleeves (#4) to the shoulder of the shirt where they would go and try on the shirt. Pin the sleeves into the shape you want. Mine are small cap-sleeves only about 4 inches long from shoulder to hem. Sew them in. I had to sew up the side of my shirt quite a bit more since I left my sleeve holes quite big at first.
The trick here is to make everything TOO BIG at first, and take it in. When taking it in, I just sewed a new seam in closer, without tearing out the old seam. I didn’t cut anything off until I was sure it all fit. After I knew it fit, I cut off the excess and finished all the inside edges as nicely as I could.
This shirt is extremely comfortable since the waist band hugs the hips and gives plenty of movin’ room in the middle and sides. I kind of can’t wait to make another one now that I know what the process is – try an even more open cowel neck, new colors and designs.
Have fun. :) Feel free to comment if you’ve got a picture to show.Tagged with: FREE • freebies • my art • Sewing & Crafts • shirt • tutorial