I love to mix patterns on BrassyApple.com and the easiest way to create your own pattern and color combination is to use t-shirts. Colored or patterned t-shirts do all the work for you! And it’s easier than you THINK! Today I am creating a t-shirt that has a striped patterned front and a plain green back.
- 2 t-shirts that are different colors/pattern (same brand/same size) and 1 size bigger than you normally wear. I chose a solid green tee and a blue and white striped tee.
- Hint: The T-shirts don’t have to be new. It is easier to work with shirts that are the same size, cut and brand. The reason you use larger shirts is you are cutting them apart and sewing them together again. You will be using up some of the side seams and sleeves for your new seam allowances. You don’t want the finished product to be too tight around your chest, belly or arms.
- Straight Pins
- Sewing Machine/Serger
Step 1: Lay 1 of the t-shirts flat. Using scissors, cut up the side seams of the shirt to cut away the front from the back. Follow the seam from the bottom hemline up and out the sleeve. Then cut from inside the neckline on the shoulder seam across the top of the shoulder and down sleeve until it’s completely cut. Repeat on the other side seam. You will end up with 2 pieces (a front and a back). Repeat the same process on the other t-shirt.
Step 2: Choose what color/pattern will be used for the front and for the back (I did blue/white stripes for the front and solid green on the back) and grab the correct front piece and the correct back piece of each of the shirts you are working with. You will have 4 pieces for this tutorial that can actually make 2 shirts in the opposite colors and patterns). Line up the front and back t-shirt pieces with right sides together and pin. Pay special attention to your bottom hems, sleeves and the necklines. Get these spots lined up well.
Step 3: Sew the two pieces together – Side seams, sleeves, neckline and tops of shoulders. Because you are working with a knit t-shirt the seams won’t fray and you can use a straight stitch on your sewing machine. If you’d like a more finished look use a serger or a zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine.
Done! You have created a t-shirt that is uniquely yours! Have fun creating new combinations of patterns and colors!
What can you do with your extra pieces?
1) You can use 2 extra t-shirt pieces to create another t-shirt – opposite of the one you just made.
Don’t need one the same size? Size it down to make a top to fit YOU better, a friend or even a tween daughter! Skinny-ing up a boxy top tutorial coming soon to BrassyApple.com
2) Use the t-shirt material to create a pocket, ruffle or another type of an embellishment.
3) Create a skirt for a little girl in your family by following my Pattern Play Knit SKIRT tutorial
Here are some other great ideas for ways to upcycle t-shirts.