T-shirt Upcycle

Grosgrain’s embellished knits month has inspired me to try some upcycling! I headed over to a local Goodwill and picked up a yellow 3/4 length t-shirt and a pink cable knit sweater.  I really lucked out-the t is from Talbot’s and the sweater is from the Gap!

The Talbot’s shirt was a misses size medium, so I also needed to take it in.

I chose to convert the shirt to a cardigan before I took in the sides. To start the conversion, I laid the shirt out flat, found the center and cut!
I used a strip of Kate Spain‘s Fandango to encase the raw edge. To start with, I cut the strips to 1.5″ x WOF. One strip was enough for both edges of the cardigan. Next I cut the strip in half so that I had 2 strips at 1.5″ x 22″. I then folded one long edge of each strip in (wrong sides together) by 1/4″ so that my strips measured 1.25″ wide.

To apply the strips to the shirt, I pinned the strips down the raw edges with right sides together and sewed a 1/2″ seam. It’s important to keep your strips at least 1″ longer than your shirt and leave some overhang on each end. This photo shows one of the strips sewn down.

Next I pressed these seams towards my printed fabric. Then I folded the fabric strips to the inside of the shirt and pressed again.
To finish off the ends of the fabric strips, I unfolded all of my pressing and folded the top and bottom raw edges of the strips inward. After the top and bottom were pressed nicely, I folded my strips back up to encase all of my raw edges.
I pinned my fabric strips down and sewed close  to the edge.
In the photo above, I am stitching my fabric strip down with the INSIDE of my cardigan facing up. On the outside of the cardigan, you should just see 1 line of stitching on each side, about a 1/2″ in from the edge.
Once my shirt was a cardigan, I needed to take in the sides. I chose to use another shirt as a pattern, so I headed up to my closet and found a sweater that I liked the fit on. I cut the side seams of the cardigan starting at the hem and going all of the way up the sleeve.Then I laid the new cardigan flat and put my “pattern” shirt on top.
I drew a chalk line around my pattern, checked to see that the sides looked approximately even, pinned along the chalk line and sewed my side seams back up.
To finish it off, I added a hook and eye closure under the bust.
I used the same process to convert the pink sweater to a cardigan, but I used a larger seam allowance because I was worried about the sweater unraveling.
I linked up this project over at Quilt Story. Check them out!

6 responses to “T-shirt Upcycle

  1. I love it! I am going to give this a try. I have a question ~ how often do you change your rotary blade? Mine seem to go dull really fast…….

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