A T-shirt Tutorial from DIY Crush


There’s a t-shirt hanging in my closet from 6th grade…you don’t need to do the math, but 6th grade was a long time ago (at least in t-shirt years).  I can’t seem to let this shirt go—I want to do something with it, but I’ve never found the right thing to do. I think I’ve found my answer in today’s post: today we’ve got a guest post from Denise over at DIY Crush. I’m so excited to have her on the blog today with her t-shirt recycling project! Make sure that you hop on over to her site, DIY Crush for more great patterns and tutorials. The stage is yours, Denise!

Hi there, I’m Denise from DIY Crush! I love to sew and make free tutorials & patterns! I am thrilled to guest post here today! Thanks Rachel, for having me!


My daughter adores some of her t-shirts that much that it is hard for me to sort them out once she outgrows them. Here I have these two pretty tops that no longer fit her. Since I love recycling/upcycling old clothes, I thought to combine these two and make one new and larger shirt for her. Luckily the colors/prints match nicely together! I chose to recycle the t-shirt on the left since she loves dogs 😉


A tip to take in consideration when blending two different materials such as knit and woven fabric: Luckily my floral shirt’s material was cut on the bias so it had a great amount of stretch. I didn’t need to pay more attention to that but if you have a woven fabric that does not stretch and you want to sew it to knit fabric, be sure to check for adequate wear comfort so that the new shirt won’t pop its threads or become impossible to put on, especially for kids.

Here is what I used:

  • 2 old shirts
  • 1 new shirt in the larger size for comparison
  • scissors
  • sewing machine
  • serger (optional)
  • straight pins

First, I compared the old shirt with the new and larger one to see how much I needed to add to make it fit.



From the second shirt I cut off all the pieces that will be usable. If I won’t need them for this project, I’ll save them because the floral is so adorable!


Then I cut off the sides of the t-shirt, that’s where I will sew in strips of the other top to make it wider. I also cut off the (cute) curved bottom hem. I really wanted to keep it but for this project I wasn’t able to.



Now it’s time to fit in some of the fabric pieces I have cut from the floral shirt. I placed the t-shirt onto the floral fabric to see how much I would need in width and length. I cut it to size and repeated that step for the other side.



I unfolded the t-shirt and placed it front side down, then I pinned the side strip to the t-shirt and sewed it in place. At the same time I folded the side strip’s top edge under twice which will become the new sleeve hem. Later on I stitched it down.


I flipped the shirt over to pin the other side to the front. Then I repeated these steps for the other side.


Now it was time to finish the bottom hem. I was able to cut a couple of nice pieces off of the floral shirt which were already hemmed. I compared the width with the width of the t-shirt and cut those to size, then I sewed/serged both sides of my new (and longer) border.


Last steps are to insert the border into the t-shirt with right sides together, pinning and sewing in place. Be sure to opt for a stretch stitch or similar to preserve the maximum stretchability.


Serge or zigzag stitch the raw edge, finish off the loose threads from serging if you have any and your shirt is done!


If you liked this tutorial, please stop by my blog at DIY Crush and follow me these social medias:


  1. Great idea. My sister has about a hundred t-shirts in her closet that she can’t get rid of because they were given to her by other people. This would be a great answer for whittling down her stash of shirts.

  2. Rachel, thanks so much for having! I had a blast making this post for you!

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