I’ve been meaning to do this upcycle forever. I bought this extra-large long sleeve tee at the thrift store a couple of months ago and planned to use a pattern to make it fit me. I love reusing hems any time I can. It makes sewing so fast! The original thrifted tee is on the left and the finished/altered tee is on the right. 

I love saving money to sew and here are my 26 tips to save money while sewing.

Using a Pattern to Upcycle a Thrifted Tee

SUPPLIES

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Cut open the tee along the side seams.

Using a Pattern to Upcycle a Thrifted Tee

2. Carefully lay your pattern on the front so that the pattern is laying only on fabric. I lined up the edges of the neckband with the edges of the neck on the pattern. The bottom went past the hem slightly but there is hem allowance in the pattern to take into consideration.
3. Do the same to the back and line up the edges of the neckband with the edges of the neck on the pattern so that the front and back neckband will line up.

Using a Pattern to Upcycle a Thrifted Tee

4. Lay the sleeves on top of each other and facing opposite ways. Cut out the sleeves. I didn’t have the long sleeve pattern piece printed out so I made do with the short sleeve pattern piece.

Using a Pattern to Upcycle a Thrifted Tee

5. Construct the tee as the pattern directs but the hems and neckband will already be in place. I like to sew to the edge and backstitch and then serge the edges. Then I tuck the serging tails under the seam allowance and tack it with my sewing machine. I usually do a diagonal from the seam and hem edge away from the seam at an angle. This insures that the serging tails is stuck under the seam allowance. Then I trim any strings hanging out. Here is a view of the outside and inside of my tacking.

Using a Pattern to Upcycle a Thrifted Tee

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Author: Heather Handmade

I'm a seamstress and mother. I sew, blog, thrift, upcycle, design fabric, and teach sewing classes. I'm also a self-proclaimed fabric fondler.

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One thought on “Using a Pattern to Upcycle a Thrifted Tee

  1. I have two lace front shirts from Walmart (they were $3 each) sized 4xl to do this to. It is so fast to reuse hems. And I totally agree about using a tried and true pattern, and knowing how that pattern would fit on the item. That can make the difference between a fabulous creation and an epic fail. Cute shirt, looks like a wardrobe staple.

    Posted on December 3, 2016 at 4:18 am