Tag Archives: DIY

Braided Tee

Some of you might be asking, another t-shirt craft? Of course there’s another t-shirt craft! There’s unlimited Pinterest links and thrift store piles of tees. And, this one actually yields a shirt! I love the embellished tees I see in stores but I refuse to spend $20 on one, so I decided to make my own.

I’d count this as an advanced project: as far as I know, you can’t do this with a machine. It took about three Project Runway episodes of hand-sewing and wine drinking. Once again, I neglected to take any in progress pictures, but I promise to start with my next project. Now, on to the craft!

Start with two t-shirts of the same or complementary colors: a fitted tee that’s the base, and another tee to cut up for the braids, of any size or fit. Take “braid shirt,” cut off the hem and discard, then cut strips of fabric across the torso. Snip one end of each to make long strips of fabric. Safety pin three strips together and braid, closing at the end with another safety pin. Repeat to make as many braids as you’d like. Lay out braids on fitted tee to make a pattern you like, then pin. Try not to pull the fabric as you go to prevent puckering as seen in the picture below. Turn shirt inside out and tack down the end of the first braid by folding the ends under and sewing them down. Then continue down the braid braid, taking a small stitch through the tee into the braid, feeding the needle through the braid for a bit, then out to take another small stitch, continuing the entire length of the braid. When you get to the ends of the braid, trim the ends, fold them under and set them a couple of small stitches. Repeat for all braids.

Turn inside out and admire your creation. Feel a little smug at making a fancy shirt for a whopping $1.50 worth of thrift store tees and prepare to receive compliments (and not just from your dog)!


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Jersey Shrug

Being somewhat cold blooded and often finding myself needing to cover up a little, I’m a big fan of light weight cardigans and shrugs. However, I resent spending $20 (or more!) on something so basic. So, when I was on my t-shirt craft binge, I pinned this to one of my Pinterest boards. I’d agree that it would count as a more intermediate project, but I finished it by handsewing in about an hour, with a break or two for wine and cookies.

This time, grab a women’s fitted tee in a size that fits you. Cut a straight line down the middle of the front of the shirt. Then cut off the collar. If you were a smart blogger, now would be a good time to take a picture. If you’re not a blogger or get distracted by wine and cookies, fold the raw edges under by about an inch and pin down. The corner where the neck hits the front of the shirt might be a bit awkward, so feel free to trim it into a curved shape. Sew the edge down, leaving one continuous tube going up one side around the neck and down the other.

Cut a length of coordinating or matching ribbon (mine was 1/2 in diameter) the length of that entire tube. Thread through tube (a safety pin attached to one end of the ribbon is helpful for this step) then start to scrunch up ends.

Feel so exhausted by your efforts take a picture in your downstairs bathroom rather than walk all the way upstairs to the mirror without a toilet in the background.

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T-Shirt Tote

As I mentioned last week, a friend has challenged me to tackle some of the numerous t-shirt crafts I’ve added to my Pinterest boards. This week, I’ll show you my version of a t-shirt tote bag. It’s a great way to use that shirt that has that awesome graphic on it that you never wear or just doesn’t look quite right on you.

First, find a men’s or kids’ t-shirt with a graphic you like. Cut off the sleeves, then cut out the neckline in a wide U. This will form the handles of your bag.

I would recommend making those handles wider than I did: I neglected to factor in how much un-hemmed jersey rolls in on itself.  Next, flip the t-shirt inside out and sew a straight seam just above the bottom hem. If you want to be fancy, take the corners, spread the sides out from the hem seam to form points, and sew across to create boxed sides to your bag.

Curse yourself for using a black t-shirt since it photographs so poorly and wish you had a better command of English for describing such techniques. Finally, turn your creation inside out.

Ta-dah! You have an adorable, washable tote bag that squishes up small to fit in another bag. Take a final picture and be glad the hair your white dog decided to rub on your finished product doesn’t show up.


Filed under DIY, Thrifting