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3 Ways to Refashion a Blank T-Shirt

By ShirtSpace | Aug 23, 2019 |  Updated Feb 13, 2024

At ShirtSpace, we love that the classic lines of a regular t-shirt can be transformed with a few cuts and stitches into an entirely different outfit. We’d like to offer three ways to add some summertime splash and sexy sizzle to your wardrobe with these three easy ways to transform a blank t-shirt into entirely different outfits.

Bell-Sleeved Summer Top

The bell-sleeved summer top is an elegant variation on the t-shirt, but you don’t have to pay extra for those bell-shaped sleeves. All you need is a classic t-shirt and some basic sewing supplies.

Lay your t-shirt out flat and cut the bottom edge of the t-shirt off. Aim for about six inches in length. Cut along both the side seams of this loop of material to create two long strips of cloth. These will be your bell sleeves.

Fold each strip in half and sew the ends together to create two loops. Baste-stich the top edge, leaving a length of string on both ends so you can pull the string to create ruffles.

Cut off the shirt’s sleeve hems, then fit one of the loops you made to the shirt’s sleeve opening’s circumference, pulling the string to fit the bell to the opening. This will form the new bell sleeve.

Now flip the shirt inside out. Place the cuff into the sleeve so the right sides and seams match up. Pin at four different locations and evenly disperse the ruffles. Sew using a zigzag patch, and repeat on the other sleeve.

To finish the cut waist, use a double needle to match the previous hemline and give the bell-sleeved shirt a professional finish.

V-Neck Choker

Add a little allure to your summer evenings with this delightful V-neck choker. Admirers will never guess it’s actually a refashioned t-shirt. You’ll need tailor’s chalk and a ruler in addition to scissors and your sewing machine.

With the t-shirt front facing you, use the tailor’s chalk and the ruler to mark a line from the edge of the collar to the armpit and cut. Now fold the shirt in half and use the ruler and chalk to mark an even V-neck. Remember the deeper you make this cut, the more you’ll be showing off to the world, so cut with care.

Open the shirt again and make a quarter-inch cut on both sides of the collar. Pull the edges over and hem these and the arm holes.

To make the new neckline, cut the bottom hem off one of the cut sleeves and then cut the strip in half. Attach the strips to the ends of the other sleeve, right sides together.

Attach the new neckpiece to the old collar, starting at the midpoint of the old collar and the new neckpiece. Sew from the midpoint to the back on both sides. You’ll be left with two hanging strips at the back. Cut a three-inch opening in the back between these strings and tie the strings into a bow.

No Sew Halter Top

Even if you don’t have a sewing machine, you can refashion a t-shirt into this sassy halter top. All you need are some scissors and tailor’s chalk.

First, remove the collar of the t-shirt. Now create a tank top by cutting away the sleeves and some extra material. Turn the shirt over and use the chalk to draw a “smile” shape from the bottom of one armhole to the other. Cut this line, but only through the back material.

Create a one-inch border around the newly-cut back collar and cut. The top portion of the back of the shirt will now be gone. Tug at the edges of the collar to create a curled hem.

Take the back piece you just removed and cut it into ½-inch wide strips. Arrange the strips into a string and then knot each piece together to create the back strap.

Cut a quarter-inch slit into each side seam about a half-inch from the top of the “smile”. Now work the string you just made through the top collar, stringing each end through a side seam slit. Tie in the middle and you’ve got a new halter top. 

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