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  • Writer's pictureLonda

T-Shirt to Tunic Creating & Stitching Process

Updated: May 26, 2022

Way back in January of 2017, I let myself float into my ‘sewing heaven’ to re-create this 15-year-old T-Shirt into this Tunic top that I still 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 in the finished garment and in the 3rd and 4th photos. 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’.

Here is the original cut-velvet T-shirt and 8-gore skirt that honestly, I had worn for years. It was just time to give them new life - especially the knit top. The skirt has become part of a one-piece jacket/top available HERE, and I have much fabric left that will find a new life in another garment.


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 the 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.

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'm glad that I decided to actually 'hem' the lower edge. 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, and the stitching hardly shows at all, yet it is a nice finished edge. Just be sure to 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, this garment has been worn MANY times in the 4 years it has hung in my closet year-round. Even though the longer 'tunic length' isn't as popular as it was, I do enjoy wearing this top, especially with a skinny pant and boots.

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