Thursday, July 11, 2013

Upcycle: Adult T-Shirt to Girl's Nightshirt

There's an unspoken rule among those born in West Virginia:  Never throw away a West Virginia T-Shirt!  With that rule in mind, I decided to "Upcycle" my t-shirt into a nightshirt for my granddaughter, Mia.

Adult T-Shirt
Needle and Thread
Glitter Puffy Paint
3/8 inch grosgrain ribbon
pencils w/eraser

On the shoulders, I measured from the neckline out and placed pins 2 inches apart down the sleeves in line with the shoulder lines.

I prefer round-headed pins for most sewing projects.

I made 4 pleats by folding the sleeve fabric under at each pin, creating pleats that are approximately 5/8 inches apart and re-pinned at each pleat.  I then carefully sewed over the pleats twice and back-stitched on each pleat for a secure seam. 


When I asked Mia if she liked her new nightshirt, she said, "Yes, it looks good!  But can we add some glitter and sparkles?"  After a trip to Walmart for paint and ribbon, we set to work adding the "Bling" with Gold Glitter Fabric paint and Sky Blue Glitter Puffy Paint.  I used a plastic table cloth to protect the table, and placed a kitchen trash bag in the t-shirt to keep the paint from bleeding through.  Mia wore an old "upcycled" T-shirt of mine to protect her clothing.

Mia loves my shirt!

After I shook the paint, I squeezed some on a small foam plate.  We used the eraser end of pencils to dip into the paint and paint "dots". 

Q-Tips dipped into paint were used to make 'swirls'.  I wiped the excess paint onto the plate before painting onto the shirt.

Mia says her swirls look like planets!

Mia loves to add sparkles!

When finished, we let the shirt dry (minimum of 4 hours).

I then tied and hand-sewed on the 3 gold bows - one on each sleeve and one in the center front - being very careful to sew the bows securely so they will not come untied  (See top photo).

A large Smurfette T-Shirt was upcyled
 into a nightshirt in a similar way.

Nancy's Notes:  

  • I used "Fray-Check" on the cut edges of the grosgrain ribbon to prevent fraying.  
  • Satin ribbon can be used, but grosgrain ribbon usually holds up better in the wash.
  • Turn the t-shirt inside-out to wash and dry.
  • I did this project on my sewing machine, but it could easily be sewn by hand using needle and thread.


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