I chopped up a badly-fitting top to make a new t-shirt look


Having chosen something beauty-related for my first Waste Not Want challenge, I wanted to do something connected to the fashion aspect of my month-long test for the next one.

Earlier this year I was given a rather lovely, plumb coloured cotton t-shirt. Unfortunately, it may have been a great colour, but it was a terrible fit.

Far too huge and as a result deeply unflattering. There had to be something I could do with it, other than just pass it on to the charity shop.

Naturally I turned to the internet for ideas, and it turns out there are literally hundreds of things you can do with an old (or in this case new but unworn) t-shirt, from cutting it into strips and ‘knitting’ it into, well, all manner of things, to cutting and sewing it into an entirely new shape.

I decided the former was a bit time-consuming just now (though that’s definitely something I’d love to try), so I plumped for having a go at the latter.

Here’s what the t-shirt looked like before I started (see what I mean about unflattering?)

New t-shirt Diane Kenwood Waste Not Want Not

First I laid it out on the floor.

New t-shirt Diane Kenwood Waste Not Want Not

Then I cut off the collar so the neckline was wide across my shoulders.

New t-shirt Diane Kenwood Waste Not Want Not

Next step was to slim down the sleeves. I put the shirt on, inside out, and pinned each one so they were the tightness around my arm that I wanted, then with it back on the floor, pinned a line from the armhole to the edge of the sleeve seam.

Diane Kenwood Waste Not Want Not

With the shirt still inside out, I sewed the pinned sleeve seam.

I’m not going to show you a picture of that, because I’m pretty sure those of you who are expert sewers would be horrified at how deplorable my sewing skills are, even with the assistance of my sturdy 30 year old sewing machine.

But I figured – who’s going to look at my stitching work when I’ve got the shirt on.

Putting the shirt on again I pinned the bottom edges so it fitted snugly, but not too tightly, across my hips. Then, with it off, I pinned up two inches and across at a diagonal to the side seam.

Diane Kenwood Waste Not Want Not

Sewing along that pinned line, I ruched the fabric on both sides of the shirt.

Diane Kenwood Waste Not Want Not

This is what it looked like with the t-shirt turned the right way round.

Diane Kenwood Waste Not Want Not

And that’s it! In less than 40 minutes my baggy, unappealing t-shirt had been transformed into something that fitted and suited me far better (or at least that’s what I think!)

Diane Kenwood Waste Not Want Not

Of course I’ve done this at just the time the weather is getting colder, but next spring/summer I guarantee it won’t be languishing in my cupboard. I’ll be wearing it with pleasure and not a small modicum of pride.

Challenge number two, a ten out of ten from me!