Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Upcycled Braided T-Shirt, Tunic, or Nightshirt

Too many T-Shirts? Upcycle them into something useful! Here's my no-sew quick and easy how-to for altering an over-sized sports t-shirt into a Girl's Braided T-Shirt, Tunic, or Nightshirt. Since no sewing is required, this is a great craft to do on long car trips!

1 t-shirt (several sizes larger than you normally wear)
1 spool 1/8" ribbon
Soft elastic (1/8" or 1/4")
1 Yarn-Darner Needle (with large eye for pulling the ribbon through)
Fabric Glue
Fray Check

Here's the sports t-shirt I rescued from the "Donate" bag!

First, use sharp scissors to cut the ribbed neckline from the t-shirt

Spring loaded scissors make cutting easier!

Next, with the t-shirt laying flat, make cuts about 3/4 inches long and 5/8 inches apart from the neckline to the end of the sleeve, forming "loops".

For the weaving, starting at the neckline, pick up the second loop and put it under the first loop and pull up on the second loop. Put the third loop through the second loop and pull up. Put the fourth loop through the third loop and pull up, creating a woven row.

Continue the step above until you have woven all loops. Pin the last loop to the bottom of the sleeve.  Repeat with the other sleeve. 

Cut 2-12 inch pieces of ribbon. Use 1-12 inch piece of ribbon to tie the last 2 loops together in a double knot on each sleeve. You may trim the ribbon to desired length, or tie it in a bow. 

Use a water soluble pen to make "dots" about 5/8 inch long around the neckline about 1/2 inch from the edge.

Use a seam ripper to cut a small hole through each dot.

Option 1: Insert 1 yard of ribbon through the needle and weave the ribbon in and out around the neckline.

Tie the ribbon in a bow.

Option 2: Weave elastic through the holes around the neckline.

Tie the elastic in a double knot. Trim the edges about 1/2" away from the knot.

Tie 2 pieces of 18" ribbon around the elastic. 

Tie the ribbons into a bow.

For the shirring on the sides of the shirt, measure and put equal numbers of pairs of dots up the sides of the shirt, about 3/4" apart. I used 10 sets of dots, but you may put more or less.

Use the seam ripper to cut small holes on the dots. Cut 2-12" pieces of ribbon, and weave the ribbon through all holes. Adjust the shirring so that both sides are even, and tie the ribbon in a double knot. Trim the ribbon to about 2 1/2".

Nancy's Notes: 
  • Make sure all knots are securely tied. 
  • You may knot ribbons near the ends, if desired.
  • Apply Fabric Glue to all knots.
  • Apply Fray-Check to the edges of all ribbons to avoid raveling.

This Braided Shirt/Tunic looks great with leggings!

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