Sunday, November 7, 2010

DIY: T-shirt to Tube Top

Today's DIY was inspired by my middle school days.  My parents and I used to argue non-stop about my taste in clothes. I endured numerous lectures on the evils of visible bra straps and the subliminal messages skin-bearing clothes could send to pre-pubescent boys. (Apparently, booty shorts were worse than cigarette ads).  There was a daily inspection, and if any offending article of clothing was found, I had to go upstairs and change immediately.  

Naturally, I devised a layering system to disguise what I wanted to wear and got away with it every time. (Boo-yah!)  It wasn't that I was, as my 7th grade French teacher once pulled me aside and called me, "a woman of ill-repute," I was just going through a little rebellious phase!

So that's where the DIY comes in.  I figured well if my parents aren't going to allow me to buy scanty clothes, I'll just make them!

I would cut up all kinds of random T-shirts and make them into tank or tube tops, which I still wear to this day (more tastefully of course). 

Looking back at pictures from those years, I realize wow, I used to dress like a little [rhymes with putt]! I finally understand where my parents were coming from, and I'm sure one day I'll have similar fights with my kids.

What you will need:
-A t-shirt you don't mind cutting up
-Sewing machine or needle and thread
-Marker (if the t-shirt is light colored) : Chalk/Piece of Soap (if t-shirt is dark)
-20 minutes

STEP 1: 
      Cut the along the sides of t-shirt vertically (so the sleeves are cut-off and the sides are cut open) and straight across horizontally (cutting off the neck and some extra fabric at the bottom). You should be left with two rectangular pieces of fabric.

I chose this shirt because of the big graphic on the front
Cutting off the sides
Cutting off the top
Cutting off the bottom
Holding the two rectangular pieces together. (Again my wonderful cutting skills are evident)

     Turn the pieces of fabric inside out and hold together.

    Sew the pieces of fabric together along the vertical sides.

      Put on the tube top (still inside out). Grab any excess fabric with your hands to the desired fit (usually it's around the waist area).

    Take your marker/chalk and draw lines where you want the tube top to fit
(I do realize that this can be done more precisely with measurements, I'm just showing you my quick and dirty way!)

   Sew along the lines you just drew, so that your new stitches connect with the ones you made earlier. (Some might say that it's a waste to sew the sides together the first time, but I've found I have a hard time pinning the fabric on myself. Again, quick and dirty!)

     Cut the excess fabric from the sides. 

STEP 8: 
Hem the top and bottom and cut off any excess fabric/threads. Optional: Sew elastic around the top.  I didn't because a) I didn't have any and b) I was lazy!

STEP 9: 
Turn inside out, put on and enjoy! Just make sure you are above the age of 13 :) 

Note: You can use the same process to turn your t-shirt into a tank top, just don't cut horizontally along the top in step 1 and cut along the neckline for a more worn-in look.


  1. This is a cool idea and I love the top you picked! I am learning how to sew and will have to remember this fun little project. :)

  2. awesome blog, keep it up!
    come visit the revamped COSMICaroline and see an in-depth look at Nashville's Fashion Week!


  3. Ooh~ Nice! Thanks for sharing~


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