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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Closet Refashion--Braided Collar T-shirt Tutorial

Happy New Year!

I have been sewing my little heart out in anticipation of school starting up again. I have to enjoy this freedom while I can, right? ;) Anyway, I have made so many fun things, and I hope to be able to share them with you soon.

One of my New Year's resolutions is to be happier with my closet. This is kind of a complicated goal, since I don't exactly have the money to go out and buy every single outfit I find on Pinterest. My taste in clothing has changed quite a bit in the past few years, and I have been dying to switch things up in my closet. My goal involves de-junking or re-purposing things I don't really wear, finding new ways to wear what I already have, sewing my own clothes, and finding good deals on the few things I will allow myself to buy.

Tonight's project is one that has been popping up on my Pinterest "Refashion" board for some time now. I liked the look of the inspiration one (in the first picture) and the one Kira over at Her New Leaf made (second picture--both images were pulled from her post). I've seen lots of different versions of this, so I finally decided to give it a try!

upcycle a t-shirt you never wear anymore... braided neckline, no sew. Must try!


Here is a quick tutorial for the shirt I made. :) Forgive the bad photo quality. I usually only get time to do big projects at night, so the lighting isn't very good.

You will need:
-T-shirt (one that already fits would be ideal, but this tutorial shows how to make one from a too-big t-shirt)
-Scissors
-Needle and thread
-T-shirt you like the fit of and sewing machine or serger (only if you are taking the shirt in like I did)

I started out with an old, worn out shirt that Austin de-junked a long time ago.


Since it was a men's large, I decided to deconstruct it and start fresh instead of just taking in the sides. Follow along to make a new tee in your size, or skip to the end to do the braided neckline. :)

To take apart the shirt, simply cut out the seams. I also removed the purple fabric along the neckline to make a smooth scoop neck for this project. I would leave the hems on all four pieces, though. That will save you time later! You'll have two shirt pieces and two sleeves.


Now, you will need to use a t-shirt that fits you well as a pattern to make your new shirt. Line the front and back pieces up (right sides together) and fold in half. Fold your pattern shirt in half as well, and lay it on top. Line up the bottom edges so that you can use the hem from your first shirt. As you can see in the next picture, I folded the sleeve of my shirt up to just measure the shirt body. We will worry about the sleeves in a minute. Cut about 1/4 to 1/2 inch outside of the shape of your shirt to leave room for a seam.


Sew your pieces together (make sure right sides are still facing). Sew along the two shoulder seams and the two side seams. I used my serger, but you could easily use a zigzag or stretch stitch on your sewing machine instead.


Next, use your favorite shirt as a pattern for the sleeves. I forgot to take pictures of the sleeve steps--sorry! But it's the same idea as before. Sew the armpit seam on each sleeve (right sides together), then flip the sleeves right side out and tuck them inside the sleeve openings of the shirt (which is still inside out). Pin the sleeves in place, matching the armpit seam on each sleeve to the side seam of the shirt. I hope that all makes sense! Now sew it up!

If you left the collar on your shirt, don't worry about this step, but I cut a scoop neck and lined it with the purple fabric I cut off the collar in the first step. I also decided to top-stitch around the neckline to help the fabric lay flat.



That leaves us with a finished shirt!



To finish up the shirt with the fun braided neckline, simply cut slits around the neckline. Cut the first slit half as long as the rest--it will be opened up to be a hole when the braid is formed, and we want to keep the hole small. The size of the braid depends entirely on how large you cut these slits. Mine were about a finger width apart and around 2 inches long.

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To form the braid, just lift up the first loop of fabric...

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...and pull the second loop through it.

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Then pull the third loop through the second loop. 

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Continue around. Secure the last loop to the shirt by hand sewing a few stitches.

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Ta-da! I actually really like how it turned out. Refashions like this make me wonder why I wait to try these things once I see them on Pinterest! This one was fun, cute, and easy. :) I am hoping to try it again with a more drapey fabric later on to get the look of the first inspiration picture. I like the look of the two, thick braids and the unfinished  edge on the neckline.

I hope you give it a try! I will be posting more about my closet refashion as I try to keep this resolution throughout the year. 

Thanks for reading!

-Malia

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