T-shirt transformation sewalong

Kate from fabricated is currently running a t-shirt transformation sewalong, which looked like a lot of fun, so I thought I’d join in. Kate’s inspiration was Olivier Saillard’s fashion show, where he  transformed cheap cotton t-shirts by  using techniques of twisting and draping, pleating and stitching. Now I am truly hopeless at refashions, finding that I look at what else has been done and then find that I can’t be original, so this time I really tried not to look at other transformations and I started doing some drawing.

I then had to find a t-shirt. I found quite a few in my stash but realised quite quickly that a large t-shirt was required. There are very few plain large t-shirts in op-shops so I had a rummage in the recycling box and found one of Archie’s cast offs, which was perfect. Plain black, good quality and XL.  Unfortunately I think he’s pegged it on the line and left it there as there is a strong fade line right across the middle, as well as a peg mark right in the centre!


The diagonal marks are chalk from where I had a play.

I tried draping and folding and pleating but couldn’t make it into something I’d actually wear, so in the end I cut diagonally across the front, more or less on that chalk line. I wanted an asymmetrical hem at the front which meant that one of my new front pieces needed to be gathered. I have a ruffler foot which I’ve never managed to use on anything so I got it out, experimented a little and then decided on the spaced tucks. I sewed them to the other side of the front, discovering that I had to do a 90° angle at the bottom so that it would hang properly.


I didn’t really know what to do with the armholes and was originally thinking I might redesign the sleeves and put them back in. However, when I cut them out I rather liked the slightly extended shoulder which looks a little like a cap sleeve. I left behind the overlocked part of the sleeve seam which I then turned under and hemmed.


The armscyes were too long and the side seams were a bit bulgy, so I ran them in which reduced the size of the armscyes and improved the overall fit.


Then I turned under the remaining raw edge on the other side of the front and coverstitched it. I wanted to create a shaped back, so used the shirring elastic that I used in my beach cover up. I thought I’d show the outside and the inside. It’s such an easy way to get shirring done.

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I did think about making the back shorter but in the end I left it alone.


This was a fairly simple transformation, but it is really wearable, as evidenced by the fact that I’ve already worn it twice, and I can’t even see that pesky fade line, especially since I laundered the top.

Whilst I was taking the photos my sister joined me wearing a skirt that we’d refashioned. It had been quite voluminous, gathered into an elasticated waist and was rather unflattering. So we unpicked the waistband and I found that I could wrap it round myself twice. Gill (my sister) asked if we could turn it into a wrap skirt but she didn’t want to flash her underwear. I suggested that we simply fold the excess fabric into a flap and sew it down at the waist and put elastic through the back. It took a bit of finagling to make the flap part sit level at the hem and to ensure that the seamline didn’t show. We managed to get the seamline to sit exactly at the fold and the hem is dead level, so a good job was done all round.


It worked brilliantly and looks much nicer on her. As I was taking the photos I asked her to show the wrap part as it’s not really obvious.


Well one thing led to another, and we found ourselves completely hysterical!DSC01856

It’s obvious though that no underwear will be displayed, regardless of how windy it might get!


34 thoughts on “T-shirt transformation sewalong

  1. like both the refashions.
    the great thing is that the added elements don’t make the overall cost too elevated.
    the skirt is a style that i also like myself

  2. Thanks for another great post! I
    enjoyed the T-shirt & skirt trans-
    formations. Glad your skirt showed the detailing wrap on her New, but Old skirt. You two are too cute together!
    Happy Holidays!

    1. Thank you so much. We had such a lovely time together, and I managed to make my sister a few clothes, and alter a few things she brought with her.

  3. Though I had seen this last picture on IG, it made me smile all the same. The moment looks so spontaneous! Both of your refashion projects are extremely successful, well done sisters!

  4. I had intended trying the t-shirt refashion but it’s kind of passed me by. Yours looks great – and as you said, very wearable.
    Gills skirt looks good too. That last photo is lovely 😁

  5. Great work Sue on your T shirt. I have done three but none are as nice as yours. It’s really different but it looks good too. I think I will need to raise my game. It is an interesting project. And giggling with your sister is such as nice picture. It is such a joy to laugh out loud and see the ridiculous side of life. Thanks for your generous sharing, as ever.

  6. First time seeing your blog and I love it – especially the picture of you and your sister.

  7. I r ally like both refashions – but the picture of you and your sister having a laugh is the absolute best!

  8. The last picture is priceless and made me smile.

    2 interesting refashions and so glad you are getting wear from the t-shirt and that your sister will quite happily wear her new wrap skirt.

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