Old T-Shirt => New T-Shirt

Don’t we all have a few favourite items of clothing that we absolutely cannot bear to throw away even though they really are reaching the end of their lives? Well, I’ve got a few of those. And this t-shirt is among them.

photo 1

It’s probably 20 years old, full of holes (carefully mended) and now the cuffs and sleeve seams were really going. So, what to do? And also: I really wanted to try out a t-shirt pattern I’d made based on another piece of clothing (my t-shirt dress) to see if it worked as a t-shirt but didn’t want to potentially waste nice new fabric.

So – I just bit the bullet and sacrificed my golden oldie. If the pattern worked, I would have given it a new lease of life. And if not… Oh well, it was heading for the bin anyway…

And, readers, it worked. Phew!

photo 2


The pattern works great and the new cuffs and neckbands give the shirt a bit of zing. And it’s got a few more years of life – maybe it’ll even make it to 30! I also know that this pattern is perfect for me & can start cutting up my nice, new fabric now…

Update 10 August 2015:

And here’s a t-shirt made to the same pattern, but using new fabric. It’s interesting to see how differently the new fabric (with elastan) reacted – it’s much tighter and stretchier than my old top.

photo 3photo 2

And another one…










Update 12 October 2015:

And here’s yet another one, also upcycled. I took a deep breath, dipped deep into my pocket and bought myself an overlocker. To try it out, I bought a cheap t-shirt from a charity shop & made a new t-shirt with it from my tried and tested pattern just to see if I can operate the overlocker. Apart from the neckhole, which is too wide, it worked perfectly. I do love my overlocker… it speeds up the sewing process no end and the seams are just so wonderfully neat…

shirt 1shirt 2



About alycevr

Academic, translator & maker of things
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