Spring DIY: 4 ways to uniquely transform your T-shirts

Yay. It’s spring. So…ya…but it’s still cold here in Toronto. *sigh. In anticipation of warmer days, I wanted to keep busy with a few t-shirt DIY’s to get me through the last of the cold gloomy winter, as these days summer only feels far away…but it’s coming! And a great summer basic is the T-Shirt, and knowing that distressed cut up tees are still in, why buy when I can DIY? What I love about transforming these clothings is that it’s super easy, no sewing and wearing them just has got a crafty cool, edgy vibe to them. And when I saw Forever 21 recently had a buy 1 get 1 free sale on all sale items, I wanted to take advantage. Buying really cheap sale clothes to cut up makes sense, since the sale stuff are often pretty boring, they are left over stock after all…and asking for transformation via distressing/cutting! Here are the 4 shirts/shifts that I bought from there and will be cutting up:

My “buy 1 get 1” haul from Forever 21. Let’s start cutting and distressing!
  1. Long Beige T-shirt dress with cuffed sleeves:

For this DIY, I wanted to use this shirt as a sleep shirt, long and comfy, no shorts or pants needed to lounge in around the house! But with the thick cuffed sleeves it was not that comfy, or cool looking. So first I cut out the cuffs, for an unfinished sleeve look, and then, cut vertical slits 1 cm wide in the front upper portion and got this:

I like it a lot more now. It’s airy with the slits and so comfy to sleep in. Long enough to wear without sleep pants and not be scandalous!

2. Black tank dress with lace trim:

This dress had all kinds of wrong things going on. It was a thick stiff cotton shift material, the lace trim was too long and not delicate, and the way it hung on me originally was just not flattering. After cutting it up, and doing a “bow tie” tee cut up on the the back, I liked the way it hung a lot more, and it looks more like a party dress now, don’t you think?

“Bow tie” cut up at the back consists of two horizontal cuts and then cinching the material together with another frabric. Super easy and shows off the back…

3. Plain White tee with Pink Trim

I loved the open neck line and soft material of this tee even before I DIYed it. But this tee was still a bit on the boring side, and the big side. I figured that a back weave and side weavings might make it smaller if not more interesting. If you really like this look, it’s easy to find instructions on line on how to do it. It’s actually as easy as braiding hair.

I thought the back/side view of this tee was more interesting, but I did keep the pink collar v-neck trim more visible from the front.

4. Super plain blue pocket tee:

So this t-shirt reminded me of a shirt that an artist/painter might wear in her studio. Loose, flowy, and distressed beyond recognition. But as a new tee, this  shirt wasn’t going to tell that story. So, after sandpapering holes, cutting holes and just destroying the colour of the shirt with bleach, I got a more raggedy worn-in look. Now the shirt tells the story that I might be a struggling artist and this shirt has been destroyed since I use it for art making and everything else the imagination will allow. Kind of cool…

Faded, and with tons of holes, this shirt is just asking to be replaced…but loving that worn in, and careless look.

So after 4 T-shirt transformations, I’m not sure which is my favorite look. Do you have a favorite? Just a note about why I didn’t post instructions on how to do these looks; I wanted this article to be more about being inspired to transform your own clothes in easy effortless ways, but not as a tutorial. But I learned all these techniques online via articles and youtube, so just type in “DIY shirt cut up” and you’ll find all you need to do this too! And other tutorials would probably explain it better than me anyways. Happy Spring DIY-ing!

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