Even if your closet seems boring, it’s probably full of possibilities for Spring Upcycles. Let’s start with the t-shirts, a few spools of Eloflex Stretch Thread and the clever tutorials I’ve found for you today. When we’re done, you’ll have lots of fashionable new shirts and a cute skirt or two. Sound good? Follow me!
Three Shirts to a Dress
Merrick of Merrick’s Art is a big fan of upcycling. I found two marvelous t-shirt refashion tutorials to share with you on her wonderful blog. They both include links to more upcycle projects, too, so you’ll find lots of inspiration beyond the two tutorials!
This fabulous dress began its life as three t-shirts. They could all be the same as you see in Merrick’s example or you could try color blocking or an ombre look, too. It just depends on the shirts you choose! Merrick’s tutorial includes great photos that illustrate her easy steps. You’ll learn how to measure, cut and simply stitch the tees into a dress. The side seam ruching is the magic in this attractive, trendy dress and Merrick has wonderful, clever tips for you. I do suggest using clear elastic to reduce bulk and, of course, Eloflex Stretch Thread for any sewing machine stitching. Click here for the Three Shirts to a Dress tutorial.
Peplum Top T-Shirt Upcycle
Visionary Merrick has such a way with t-shirts. This lovely Peplum began its life as an ordinary much-too-big tee. With a little bit of time and a lot of ingenuity, Merrick turned it into a delightful, fitted and slightly dressy top. The peplum starts with the removal of the t-shirt sleeves and re-cutting the tee to a nicely fitting size. You’ll love the way Merrick uses every piece of the too-big t-shirt for her amazing upcycle. Plus, she includes great instructions for installing the zipper that ensures a good fit. As in the dress above, you’ll thoroughly enjoy following her nicely laid out steps on the way to your own pretty peplum! Click here for the Peplum Top tutorial.
Gathered, Bow Back Tee
Here’s a totally cute version of Spring Upcycles that start with a t-shirt! There are lots of easy, excellently written steps in the tutorial by Lisa of the Mabey She Made It blog. You’ll deconstruct your t-shirt, do a bit of refashioning and quickly sew it back together. Along with a few basic sewing supplies, you’ll need about ½ yard of additional fabric for the gathered, bow embellished back . You’ll also want a little interfacing for structure. Hang onto all the pieces of both t-shirts until you’re done. Lisa has plans for all of it and will show you how to make that darling self-fabric bow, too! Click here for the Gathered, Bow Back Tee tutorial.
Most of the Spring Upcycles I found turn a t-shirt into a different style shirt. But, Rebecca of Infarrantly Creative saw way beyond the shirt potential and created an adorable skirt! Supplies are simple. You’ll need the measurements in Rebecca’s tutorial, a t-shirt and three to four other knit fabrics to go with the tee. Planning the go-togethers is part of the fun! Choose neutrals, brights, prints, stripes or solids. Rebecca made her skirt on a serger, but you could purchase coordinating Eloflex Stretch Thread and use your sewing machine instead. The waist is finished with a drawstring band and Rebecca includes instructions for an optional :yoga pant” waist. The T-Shirt Skirt is designed for a toddler age child, but it could easily be enlarged for an older child or you! Click here for the T-Shirt Skirt tutorial.
Enlarge a Straight Skirt
The last of the Spring Upcycles I found doesn’t involve a t-shirt! But you’re going to love the way it takes a too-small skirt and makes it wearable. Beth of the Renegade Seamstress found a lovely leather skirt at the thrift store, but it was super small. The leather was great, though and she eventually created a plan to make it larger. To enlarge your own skirt you’ll need basic notions, marking and measuring supplies, extra fabric and an attractive zipper. Coats and Clark, of course! Beth’s tutorial includes detailed, well-illustrated measuring, re-cutting and sewing steps to make your upcycle fun and easy. You’ll also love her hints for sewing with thick fabrics and the link to putting a zipper in clothing she includes. Click here for the Too-Small Skirt tutorial.
Prepping for Upcycling
Most of these Spring Upcycles begin with a humble t-shirt or three. You can head for the thrift store, go through your own wardrobe or ask your friends and family for their no longer wanted shirts. Be sure to wash and dry your fabrics and shirts before you start. Your fabric stash is a good source for go-with fabrics. And, that’s a great way to upcycle, too!!