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  • Writer's pictureLonda

T-Shirt into Tunic Up-Cycle

UP-Cycled T Tunic Front
UP-Cycle Tunic Back View

AFTER I  made myself narrow the legs on that pair of pants, THEN I let myself float into my ‘sewing heaven’ to re-create this 15 year old T-Shirt into this Tunic top that I just LOVE!  My initial plans were to utilize the 8 gore skirt in some manner to add to the T-Shirt, but then I decided to take a look in my GREY Knit Stash Bin.  And…. up I came with the sheer net print and the heather grey jersey as seen below on the right.    I’ve found that to be creative in sewing, especially UP-Cycle, RE-Cycle sewing, that  one has to be ready to CHANGE THEIR MIND.  Do NOT get hung up on one idea, but be open to whatever ‘happens’.

UP-Cycle original T and skirt
grey fabric mix


Below is a photo of the beginning of this Tunic.  I held up the heather jersey at an angle and the edge rolled as you can see…AHH that was a great start!  So I pinned it on as held, and stitched below so it could roll as shown.  In the picture below, you can see the shadow of the finished length of the T-shirt underneath.  The red design tape is ‘eyeing’ in the lower neckline I envisioned.


To lower the neckline, I folded the top at center back and center front, aligning finished edge and cut a new neckline silhouette allowing for a 1/2″ seam allowance.   The ‘twisted’ collar treatment is the ‘Chico Twist’ technique from my pattern:  Upscale Techniques & Nifty Necklines.  


You can see in the photo below the EXTRA wide and long angle at which I cut the right side seam.  I handled the left side seam in a similar manner, and also inserted a piece of the sheer floral knit.  While doing this cutting, I cut longer and wider than I thought I might want because one can always cut something smaller and shorter.

cutting_extra_wide_angle side_seam shape
left_side_tie _detail

The Ties ‘happened’ because it seemed that it just all needed to be ‘pulled in’ at the midriff for figure flattery.  I cut to very long strips I’d cut plenty long and 1 1/2″ wide, stitched right sides together and then turned with my favorite – INEXPENSIVE tool, the Loop Turner.

I considered leaving the lowermost hem of the heather jersey just cut and ‘raw’, but I really think I’ll be wearing this Tunic alot and it would likely get ‘ragged’, so I tested on a scrap successfully.  My technique was fusing Knit Fusible Stay Tape on the wrong side right along the edge.  I then turned it to the inside and simply zigzag stitched.  Simple. Sweet., and hardly shows at all, yet a nice finished edge.  Just be sure always press before you judge any results.

Assessing the total look, I felt the floral sheer knit needed to be repeated in one more place – so I added some doubled extensions at the wrist.  Honestly I can’t wait to wear this new Re-Cycled Tunic.  Sew…try draping and cutting and rolling and adding to a ‘T-Shirt’ in your wardrobe.  AND…send me a picture for inclusion in my Blog.

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