A List Maker's Life: Seemed Like a Good Idea

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Seemed Like a Good Idea

When I saw this clever idea for up-cycling old shirts, in a Ready Made magazine, I was anxious to give it a try. I have tubs full of old, boxy tees in the basement that I thought might work.

1. Chose two bold colored shirts, and 1 tank, to use in fashioning the new swimsuit cover up/sun dress creation.

2. Shirt #1 Cuts:
Cut a V from the neck off one of the shirts.
Also cut the sleeves off both sides.
Cut the hem off the bottom of the shirt with about 1 inch of shirt attached

3. Shirt #2 Cuts:
Cut a 1/2 inch section off the shirt just below the arm holes.
Save the small section and the bottom 1/2 of the shirt. Discard the top 1/2

4. Ruffle sew all of the rough edges on shirt #1. The trick to making this ruffle edge is to pull the fabric quite tightly as you sew a zig zag stitch along the edges.

5. Cut the ring with the hem off one side of the scrap sleeve. ; Cut that piece into 4ths. Set these aside for belt loops.

6. Ruffle sew the rough edge of the 1 inch hem cut off shirt #1. Sew the straight edge of this piece to the bottom of shirt #2. Then sew the bottom 1/2 of shirt #2 to the bottom of the tank top.

7. Sew 2 belt loops to the front of the top shirt and 2 loops to the back. Pull the 1/2 scrap ring from shirt #2 as far as possible. Weave this through the belt loops and tie as a knot or bow around the middle.

8. Voila! Hmmm...notice the finished picture is not hanging nicely on the "model?" Well, it didn't look so hot on the model, and she won't be wearing this creation in public anytime soon. In fact, this swimsuit coverup turned sleepware.

Hey, at least I gave it a try. I'd love to hear if you follow this tutorial and fashion yourself a cute summer sundress. I'm sure it would work well for someone with a little more shape & a little more sewing talent than I have!


  1. Bummer! That looked like a lot of work too!

  2. Good try - you did way better than I could have. The belt loops alone would have scared me. :)

  3. Wow, if you do not have much sewing experience, you sure picked a hard project. Sorry it didnt turn out the way you wanted, but thanks for posting it anyways. It gives me hope that I too will learn to sew with a bit of practice.


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