T-shirt refashion

In the spirit of Repurpose, Reuse, Refashion month, I had a rummage in my repurposing/refashioning basket and came up with half a dozen identical white t-shirts that had belonged to Tom. I picked three of them for transformation.


I decided to dye them and thought I would like to use a natural product such as tea. Luckily I tested the tea on an off cut of another t-shirt and was unimpressed with the rather dirty appearance. I then went to the dye stash (yep, I have one of those!) and chose Tulip Red and went a quarter strength to get a pale pink. I obviously overdid it because they are a rather deeper colour, but that’s still fine with me.

You will note a slightly different coloured sleeve inserting itself into the photo below. I threw a fourth identical t-shirt into the dye solution with the other three and to my surprise it came out a kind of purple.


However the neck band was identical to the other three shirts – go figure!

So what was the plan? Well, I thought I’d join them all together and ruche the sides.  I drew my inspiration from a Covers top that one of my friends provided for me to check out.DSC00083

Now one of the things I have noticed is that all my refashioning heros (heroines?) such as Sally from Charity Shop Chic make this refashioning lark look simple. It is not that simple – just saying.

I drafted a new neckline for my dress, and cut off the neck band, and then I cut off the tops of two of the shirts. I joined the three sections together and, after overlocking and stretching elastic down one side, I noticed that one of the sections had tiny pin holes in it. Unpicked the elastic and three sections (typically it was the middle section) and cut five inches off the holey section. Rejoined all the sections. All good. Then I sewed on one inch wide elastic but didn’t like the look. Unpicked the elastic and sewed narrow elastic on. The ruching collapsed and looked odd. Unpicked the elastic again and took in the sides to make the dress tighter. Resewed the elastic. Looked much better. Then I couldn’t get the bottom to look symmetrical, so I unpicked the ends of the elastic and played around until the bottom looked vaguely ok.

Then it was time to bind my new neckline. I navigated my way round the pinholes and made some pretty nice bias binding, if I say so myself.


All I had to do then was to sort out the sleeves. I was going to cut them out and create new ones from the fourth t-shirt but had to abandon that idea due to the colour variation.

I again turned to one of Sally’s posts where she chops a triangle out of the sleeves and so I did just that. I am now happy with the dress except for the fact that the coverstitching didn’t take the dye. I have decided not to unpick this and resew it just yet. DSC00099


This has proven to be a perfect dress for our trip to Singapore – I decided that I had no clothes to take (!), so was forced (forced, I tell you!) to make an entirely new wardrobe, which I shall reveal as I wear things. We’ve taken a five day weekend (note: we should have more of these!) to recover from all our activities of the last few months.

Some photos of the refashioned dress in action (please note frizzy hair – my hair never frizzes it just flops, so this was interesting):








Yes, the hat is not glamorous, but it does its job!


Details: ruched dress made from three white t-shirts dyed pink. Hat is Helen Kaminsky – a bit worse for wear. Necklace was part of my birthday gift from Tom and Bridgette, and leather sandals are Torretti. Location is Singapore.


11 thoughts on “T-shirt refashion

  1. The dress looks great and the colour looks amazing. Perfect for a holiday in Singapore! You certainly looks relaxed.

  2. this dress is clever and glamorous. I really like the style and the colour. It really suits you. Seriously impressed!!!

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