Creative articles about sewing

Re design: basic t-shirt turns statement piece

Re design in no time!

Read the blog in Dutch here

Re design your basic t-shirt into a lovely top by adding statement sleeves in a gorgeous mesh. How? You’ll read it in this blog.

Step 1 Remove sleeves

Before cutting off the existing sleeves mark the notches for inserting the new sleeve later. (Front, back and shoulder). Both on the existing sleeve and the shirt. Then you carefully cut the sleeves from the shirt, so that you can use sleeves as a template for the new sleeves. You leave the seam on the shirt. Then cut the sleeve open along the sleeve seam.

Step 2 New sleeve pattern

Place the unfold sleeve on pattern paper and trace. Copy the markings on the paper. (I had forgotten that at first, so for the observant viewer ;-))

To create some more room and a little puff in the sleeve adjust the pattern as shown. First draw one line across the middle of the sleeve and then two more parallel lines on each side at a distance of approx. 5 cm.

Cut the pattern and place it on a new piece of pattern paper. Leave room at the sides and at the bottom. Stick the pieces 5 cm apart on the new pattern paper. The further apart you place the pieces, the wider the sleeve and sleeve head, the more dramatic the puff. You draw a new sleeve head, as shown below. Add the markings.

Before inserting the sleeve you have to gather the sleeve head considerably. I also indicate this on the pattern with a line.

Then determine and add the desired length and width of the sleeve. Again you indicate which part will be gathered.

Step 3 Cut the pattern

The pattern of the new sleeve is now ready to be cut and be placed on the fabric. Choose a fabric with a dramatic effect. The stiffer the fabric, the bigger the statement you make. The amount of fabric I used was 55×55 cm for each sleeve.

Step 4 The sleeve

Stitch two parallel gathering threads on the indicated pieces. Use stitch length 6 for this, do not tie off and leave long threads at the beginning and end. Close the sleeve and finish the seam with a zigzag stitch.

Put in the sleeve. Match notches, then pin from the armpit up to the gathering marks. Gather the sleeve to fit.

Stitch the sleeve slightly inside the seam of the original sleeve. Finish with a zigzag, stitching it on the original seam allowance.

Step 5 The board

Gather the bottom of the sleeve. Cut a small cuff using the original sleeve: 4 x 20 * cm (2x). (* this length depends on where the collar falls on your arm and it’s circumference at that spot).

Attach the right sides of the cuff on the shorter side together and turn the resulting collar.

Pin the right side of the cuff to the wrong side of the sleeve and stitch, leaving 1 cm seam allowance.

Fold over the cuff with 1 cm folded in and top stitch it on the right side.

All done! A new top with statement sleeves. This was a surprisingly fast sew. And I love the outcome. The once so basic top earns a new place in my wardrobe. I will style this shirt in different ways and it is even a contender for the coming Christmas.

Which re design in no time project will you be tackling soon? Read this blog for useful tips in re design.

Check my Instagram (@madebyLIESL) for more (re)design ;-).






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