Refashion: long-sleeved t-shirt into ruffled tank top

It’s been a while since I’ve worked on a sewing project.  I have little stacks of fabric around the house and I’ve been itching to create something with them – especially since I got my new rotary cutting set for Mother’s Day – but I keep putting it off because it doesn’t always jive with my schedule.  Either the kiddos want to “help” or I know I won’t be able to finish it during their naptime and the unfinished project will just sit out, taunting me.

Lately I’ve noticed that many of my clothes have been getting worn – all my jeans are tearing at the knees and pocket seams and many of my shirts are getting little holes on them. *sigh*  I’ve mended some of them but there’s only so much you can do.  Not only do I hate clothes shopping, I don’t feel like spending the money.  The other day I noticed another shirt in my wardrobe was getting little holes all along the arms seams, so I put it aside, planning on turning it into underwear or something. 

You know how you can get on all sorts of browsing tangents online?  I saw Chic Envelopment’s cute t-shirt refashion which got me looking around for more.  Well, I started getting inspired by the myriad t-shirt refashions and – despite the late hour – stayed up and took a pair of scissors to my shirt.  It was already fitted so I didn’t need to mess with the side seams.  I cut off the arms, cut them open and laid them flat, then cut 2″ pieces.  I sewed all the pieces together to create one long piece then did a long basting stitch to gather it.  Since it was so long I worked in sections, gathering as I went along and pinning it just below the existing neckline.  I started in the middle of the front, worked around the neckline and finished just below in the middle of the chest  Then I went back and sewed it on right over the basting line.   


I love it!  Since it’s a bit chilly today I paired it with a sweater and tried it with a blue jacket – perfect for layering! 


I may try something similar on a pile of t-shirts I have specifically for re-purposing.  It’s a very versatile project, depending on how much you gather the ruffles and where you put them.

Some of the other refashions on my to-do list:
another t-shirt into tank top
a climbing cowlneck
a hooded tunic, if I can piece together enough material
maybe pair jersey with some new fabric for a scrappy skirt
a new-sew draped vest
little girl ruffle skirt
girls’ ruffled dress

and maybe somewhere down the line…
a rockin’ baby gown and some cloth diapers

It’s exciting being able to breathe new life into old garments, knowing I’m creating something with my own hands.

6 thoughts on “Refashion: long-sleeved t-shirt into ruffled tank top

    1. That’s what I kept saying. I had my mom’s old sewing machine for a few years and finally decided to just sit down and work with it. I may not know how to do some of the more advanced stuff, but once you get ahold of some of the basics you can make a whole bunch of things.

Comments are closed.