A good, worn t-shirt is the pinnacle of all things great about clothes. They’re cozy, they go with everything, and seeing as most of my (free) t-shirts come from jobs/teams/camp/events – they also come attached with good memories. The thought of giving them away or throwing them out is borderline painful. These t-shirts are perfect for sleeping in or working out, but what about wearing them y’know… outside of your house?
Being a girl means that most of these t-shirts you either get gifted or thrift from a vintage shop aren’t going to be cut for a female body. Most of these shirts are going to be boxy and unflattering. But, being a “jeans and a tee shirt” kind of gal doesn’t mean that your tee shirt can’t be cute af.
Personally, I’ve taken to cutting up my boxy shirts and making them work for me. You increase the wearable parts of your wardrobe, repurpose old shirts, and still keep it low maintenance and cool. And tbh, I’ve seen these cut up shirts being sold at stores for real money dollars that you can just do at home for free. Some of these tutorials require a little sewing skill, some are super easy, but all of them are awesome. Here are 15 ways to make over your t-shirts for a more exciting wardrobe.
1) Make a no-sew braided racerback tank.
This tutorial looks so quick and easy! Cut the sleeves, then use that fabric to tie down the back of your tank. I’ve seen girls in my yoga class rock these in and out of the yoga studio.
2) Here’s how to make the perfect off the shoulder cut.
Perfect for mom’s hand me downs or those vintage rock tour tees you found at the thrift shop. Rock them off the shoulder, the way the 80’s wanted you to.
3) This is how to take care of that extra room in your armholes.
Boxy shirts usually mean larger arm holes. It requires a little sewing skill, but these faux cut outs in this cut tank look so badass.
4) A tie front crop tank is so easy to make.
Just a few cuts and you have an adorable top to wear over your maxi. Here’s to summer staples working in your fall wardrobe!
5) The open butterfly back requires simple sewing skills, but looks great.
This tutorial comes with a video and named for the fact that this shirt back looks like butterfly wings – and butterflies are awesome.
6) Here’s how to make an open back bow tank.
This is clearly calling for you to wear this with a lacy bralette. And it’s no-sew! Just glue!
7) There’s diamond smocking for the geometry-minded and peplum enthusiasts who can also sew a little bit (#sospecific #sewspecific #ihadto #sorrynotsorry)
Such a cool way to make a plain long sleeve shirt more interesting.
8) Want to keep the tee shirt look, but just make it fitted? Cut and tie along the sides.
I love that this gives it the look of having an even seam down the side and that it doesn’t look like you tied a bunch of knots. But, if you like the knotted look, just reverse the tutorial and keep the knots on the outside.
9) If you just want to make the boxy look more feminine, make a pillowcase top.
10) Up-cycle your long sleeve shirts by cutting the sleeves and sewing them into bows.
11) Or, if you want the no-sew version, you can cut and glue bow sleeves on a regular short sleeve shirt.
Bless our friend fabric glue for saving us from having to sew anything.
12) Or, you can take your cut up long sleeves and tie them at the top of your new tank.
13) This cut and tie faux halter neckline looks so easy and so cool.
14) If your shirt fits fine and you just want to give it an update, cut out a new geometric neckline.
15) I still got your back, reluctant Halloween participants. Here’s a rib cage/spine back tutorial you’re gonna love if you still need a costume.
Which of these t-shirt tutorials are your favorite? Which are you going to try? Tell us in the comments.
You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.