Shoe makeover

Heel of the embellished shoe

Heel of the embellished shoe

While up in Edmonton in March I popped into a shoe store, and of course found a super-cute pair of shoes… but a bit too expensive. A bunch of other shoes were on sale, and I asked the clerk just in case…. and they were on sale too! Sold!

Of course, as cute as they were, I thought they were still begging for a bit of an upgrade…

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Re-fashion: band & logo shirts (part two)

Apocalyptica t-shirt to tank re-fashion

Apocalyptica t-shirt to tank re-fashion (iPhone photo)

In a previous post I showed off a few different t-shirt re-makes /  re-fashions. I have had a few people ask how I upcycle t-shirts that I’d never wear, aren’t flattering, or just don’t fit right, so I figured I’d do a blog post showing how I’ve done some of these upcycle projects so you can do the same if you’re so inclined.

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Re-fashion: band & logo shirts

I hate t-shirts.  I never wear them.  When you’re a busty gal, even “girly-fit” t-shirts (oh, how I hate that descriptor) don’t fit right, largely because of a hideous mix of low-stretch knit and boxy cut….

I also don’t like the idea of being a walking advertisement for someone else’s product without some sort of personal benefit…

These aspects combined, mean that generally the only time you’ll see me in a branded shirt is if you come over to help me paint or putter in the garden.

There are, however a (very) few exceptions… I attended a large conference a number of years ago (actually, I attended a few years in a row) and ended up getting their t-shirt.  Rather than adding it to the dust-rag or donation bin, it went into a ‘re-fashion’ pile – clothing I need to update, alter, or in some other way re-fashion into something else.  There are also band t-shirts.  While I have no interest advertising a sports team or business (even where I work…) on my chest, sharing the love of all things Cello-Metal (Finnish metal/hard-rock cello group Apocalyptica) or beloved Scandinavian melo-death Metal is a lot more tolerable… shirts from concerts and other events have been added to that same ‘re-fashion’ pile, just waiting for me to have the time, energy, and inspiration to recycle these shapeless knit blobs into something a little more wearable.

A number of people have asked me how I re-make my shirts, and if I’ll help them do the same, so I figured I’d make a blog post to show off what I’ve done, and how to do the same.

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T-Shirt Recycled Skirt

Completed t-shirt skirt - a full skirt with a wide ruffled hem, made entirely from unwanted t-shirts!

Completed t-shirt skirt – a full skirt with a wide ruffled hem, made entirely from unwanted t-shirts!

A while ago I was given a whole bunch of t-shirts… they were all new, made of nice soft material – but they all had a horrible, ugly logo on them that I would never wear (not that I wear a lot of t-shirts as it is…). The colour was great though – a nice rich brown with more of a red undertone than a yellow undertone, which I thought would work really well with a Steampunk wardrobe/costume. Since I had so many t-shirts, I used one for a bag… and then the rest became this skirt…

Pattern (sort of….)

I had 7 shirts to work from, so I could get a LOT of volume in this skirt – you don’t need that many by far (I’m plus-sized). 3-4 shirts would be enough for a lot of sizes, depending on how much volume you want, and if you can use the reverse of the shirt or if the logo is too visible. For mine, the logo was way too visible, so that part of the shirt was discarded.

Step one - what to do with a bunch of logo t-shirts.. make a skirt!

Step one – what to do with a bunch of logo t-shirts.. make a skirt!

For the first steps I removed the sleeves and rib-knit collar.

Then I cut up the side-seams. (Your t-shirt may or may not have side seams.. adjust as needed!)

Then I opened the sleeves up….

From the front of the shirt the logo was discarded, and I cut a rectangle from above the logo, one each from each of the sleeves, and two from the belly area of the shirt. (The shaded out part of my super-quick sketch are discarded fabric areas.)

From the back of the shirt I cut a wedge-shaped piece of fabric. You can do this straight, but I find that if I want a wide hem, having a tapered shape gives a better look; less gathering at the waist.


Step two - what to do with a bunch of logo t-shirts.. make a skirt!

Step two – what to do with a bunch of logo t-shirts.. make a skirt!

All those little rectangles (I had 20 of them) were sewn together on the short ends, and eventually gathered all up into about 6-8 feet (I didn’t measure) of ruffled fabric… this is for the hem… I used a ruffler for my sewing machine to make this really fast….

6 of the wedges from the back of the shirts were sewn together to create the body of the skirt…

… while the remaining wedge I set aside.. and later cut up into three longer rectangles that would become the waistband. (If I’d thought of it, I could have just cut them out to begin with… but I was thinking of doing something else at first…)

After gathering the waist of the skirt using clear elastic, I attached the waistband, and ran waistband elastic through the channel, sewed it closed, and did  a little bit of top-stitching to secure the elastic.

MakeASteampunkSkirtFromTshirtsThe finished result is a  very full skirt with a big wide ruffle of fabric at the hem, giving it even more volume!

On the left is a Pinterest-friendly version of the instructions in case you want to Pin it!