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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

T-shirt makeover #1: slash'n'burn

I'm going to scrape in a wee tutorial on the very last day of the month; part one of my promised series of T-shirt make-over techniques. This will probably turn out to be quite a long series - I mean, really, how many ways can you re-vamp an old T-shirt?! - but don't worry, I will throw in some sewing tutorials, jewellery-making, home decor and some other bits and bobs as well. Just for variety. ;-)

This tutorial is inspired by a DIY spread in an old issue of Bizarre magazine, and is painfully easy as long as you can wield a pair of scissors and tie a knot. All you need is a T-shirt, and a pair of scissors (obviously, that's why I called it SLASH'n'burn. Not just because I wanted a cheesy title, honest...). It helps if the T-shirt is a bit too big as this is a nice simple way to tighten it; helpful for those of us ladies who find that the only merch available at gigs is gigantic men's tees.

1. Cut off the neck and sleeve edges of your tee along the seams. Don't fuss too much about neatness - this is quite a punky look so it won't matter if it's a bit ragged. But you can trim off any jaggedy bits if you like.

2. Lay the top face-down and cut vertically up the middle, from the very bottom of the shirt to about one inch below the neckline

3. Cut each side of the shirt into horizontal strips. These will form ties, so you can make them as thick or as thin as you like.

4. Tie all the opposing strips of material together at the back of the shirt. You can do this singly or in groups of two or three. It might help to get somebody to tie them for you whilst you're wearing the shirt to ensure a perfect fit. This is the stage when you can pull it tight for a tight fit or slightly looser to keep it baggy.

Et voila!
Wow, what an old picture...
See, I said it was easy. Of course, you can play around with this a lot - add fringed sleeves by cutting inwards from the edge of the cuff, keeping the strands very thin and stretching them out to add length (or twirl them for a twisted effect).

You can also make the ties along the side seams of the shirt. As you can see in the picture below, you also don't need to cut out the collar unless you want to, and a bit of knotting detail along the sleeves can be quite cute. Make smaller knots at the top of your torso, underneath the arms, or it will feel uncomfortable when your arms are by your sides. Also, be careful not to make the ties too long or you will pull the T-shirt too tight. In both of the below versions, I tied knots at the base of each strip for added detail.
Speaking of old pictures... blech, I hate this one!
Below is yet another variation... this is the most recent and my favourite.

Of course, no one says you have to stick to T-shirts; you could make or re-design bags, cushion covers or purses with nothing more than a pair of scissors.

10 comments:

Claire said...

T-shirt reconstruction ftw! I've used the first method on a SatB shirt and a Corpse Bride shirt, I'm tempted to try the other methods as well. Nicely done :)

Serenity said...

Ooh, I LOVE the last one. I never thought to keep the sleeves, but I love that slashed look. I'm definitely going to try that when I get home today. <3!

Lolitadewdrop said...

I love taking clothes that I don't want to wear anymore and making something cool. :) This is a great post.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could wear that but I have this dress code at school that says I can`t wear stuff like that. But it is a awesome idea for summer. :^) <3

Stephanie said...

Brilliant ideas! I really like the last one. Very clever. Thanks for sharing! =]

Dark Angel said...

Do you know of some goth names for pets?

Unlacing the Victorians said...

Thanks for this how-to. I've always wanted to do one of these types of shirts, but wasn't really brave enough to attempt it without any directions.

Chloƫ Noir said...

Great idea. It looks great. I especially love the last one.
i will definitely try it :D

~Gothipire~ said...

How Do You Do The Last One?

xxblacklacexx said...

I love the last one. I'm most likely going to the second-hand store today and I'm going to get a few shirts and up-cycle them into something like the last picture. Thank you for the DIY project ideas! :)

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