Refashion T-Shirts Into Something Pretty {20+ Ideas}

No need to pay a small fortune for designer tees, here are over a dozen ways you can make pretty tops using t-shirts that just cost a few dollars each. Some full of ruffles, others with lace or petal embellishments. Many of the projects below use just one shirt (a larger size) or two of the same color. I’ll be adding more goodies to this list as I find them, have fun!
Ruffled Front: Diagonal strips are cut from one shirt then gathered into ruffles, pinned into place on sewn on top of 2nd shirt.

Easy Lace Strip Tee: You can use either stretchy or non-stretchy lace for this project, apply lace in a straight line or zigzag pattern.
Textured: Gorgeous! Shirr a shirt that’s larger than your size using the gathering foot on a sewing machine (or try elastic thread instead).

Textured T-Shirt Tutorial: Strips from one tee are cut then sewn across the top of another tee (center panel, not the whole front).
Lace Stripes: Sew lace strips across the top of the shirt, only the top edge is sewn leaving the bottom edge ruffly.

Flutter Flower Shirt: Inspired by a JCrew design, you’ll need two matching t-shirts to make this (one is cut in strips then handsewn together to make petals).
Flower Ruffle Tank: A tank top is cut from a larger shirt then the rest of the material is used to sew a ruffled neck and rose appliques (for the bottom corner).

Shirred Makeover: Transform a larger t-shirt than what you would normally wear with a flared waist, flared sleeves, shirring, pleats and contrasting trim.
Ruffled Corset: This one’s made with 2 1/2 t-shirts and features a squared off neckline and the bottom cut into a corset-like shape.

DIY Knotted Tee: Easy project! The neckline is cut into a bigger roundneck then all the way down the side, knotted at the top and then re-sewn.
Ruffled: Two t-shirts are used for this project, one to cut into strips to make ruffles that are then pinned & sewn onto the other.

Ruffle Necktie: Easy project using a thrifted tie, a t-shirt and a button. Tie is sewn onto tee in a ruffle design, button added for embellishment.
Summer Vest Tutorial: Two t-shirts for this project, both are cut and reassembled together to make a light, pretty vest.

T-shirt Redo: Circles and leaf shapes are cut from knit material the same color as the tee then sewn around the neckline.
Braided Neck Tee: Very little sewing involved with this technique (just a few stitches at the beginning and end).

Ruffle Waterfall Tee: Made with Liquid Stitch, ruffle fabric, a t-shirt or tank top.
Twist How-To: Strips are cut from the shirt bottom and sleeves then repurposed around the neckline and front.

How To Lengthen: Is a cute tee too short? Here’s an easy way to fix that using a pretty fat quarter.
Pearl Encrusted V-Neck: A simple project hand stitching 3 different sizes of pearl along the neckline.

Ruffle Neck: Transform a V-neck into this ruffled square-neck with elastic and a zig-zag stitch.
Dip Dyed: You’ll need fabric dye, salt, a plain white tee and warm water to make these.

Lettuce Edged: The sleeves and bottom are cut then zig-zag stitched to make a frilly lettuce edge, neckline is gathered with elastic thread, ties at the waist.
Faux Beaded: Plan your design on paper, transfer to fabric then use puff paint.

Anthro Inspired Tee: Made with two tees (or one + matching jersey fabric), 2 1/2″ strips are cut then pleated into a curved shape before being sewn onto shirt.

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    • Jordan A

    Thanks so much for this tutorial!My closet is filled with T-shirts.

    • Kate @ DCL

    Thanks so much for featuring my tutorial! 🙂

    • Carmen Russell

    Thank you my Tshirts will never look plain again.

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