Tee Shirt Upgrade

2 Apr

This isn’t really so much a “makeover” as an “upgrade.” It started out a humble tee-shirt, and it ends up…

…a humble tee-shirt, with frills.

I got this idea while browsing a clothing mail-order catalogue over breakfast. I saw a crocheted-edged tee in the catalogue, and realized that somewhere in my stash I probably had some yarn that matched some tee-shirt in my collection, and indeed, there was.)

1) Cut off whatever parts of the tee you want. (I cut out the neckline, cut off the sleeves, and cut off the bottom 6″ of the hem.

2) At each cut edge, fold under 1/4″ of fabric and, with a fat, sharp metal sewing needle, hand-stitch the edge through both layers in blanket stitch. This gives you a neat line of loops along the edge of the fabric, in which to crochet. (at left, below)

3) With a crochet hook to match the weight of your yarn, at a side seam, attach a new end of yarn to your blanket stitching with a slip-stitch. Single crochet one row of stitches all the way around. (at right, above)

Now, what you do after this, exactly, depends on how much you cut off, and how much you need to build back up again. You could build a whole bodice in crochet to go on a tee shirt base. I was thinking for my next one I’ll do a more elaborate lace collar, and then cut away a tee shirt to match it. But for this one, I stayed simple since it’s my first. For the frothy sleeves on mine I used a lace pattern from a book of vintage patterns in my collection.

But around the neck and hem, I made up a simple scallop stitch. It goes something like this:

Row 1: Single crochet all the way around (same as step 3, above).

Row 2: *Ch 6, skip the next 3 sc stitches, sc in following (4th) sc stitch.  Repeat from * until the end, fudging the count a little bit at the end if you don’t have a perfect multiple of 4 stitches in your row.

Row 3: (sc, 6 dc, sc) in each Ch 6.  Anchor your last stitch with a slip stitch, cut yarn, weave in end.

That’s it!

(My original inspiration is online, here. It shows how conceivably, one could cut off quite a bit and crochet it right back on again.)

5 Responses to “Tee Shirt Upgrade”

  1. ReadyThreadSew April 2, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

    Now, this is some crochet that I might not get bored with after one sleeve :). I have spent most of today sorting through my summer clothes that Mr RTS brought down from the attic for me at the weekend, and I have far too many plain t-shirts. I really don’t *need* any new projects right now, but this is seriously tempting me. Post bookmarked!

  2. Smash Knits April 3, 2012 at 12:15 am #

    Love this! I love embellishing things with crochet edging. Next on my list is pillowcases. It’s so vintage but modern at the same time!! Great project 🙂

  3. Cheryl Marie April 3, 2012 at 7:35 am #

    I LOVE your new T! I have been wanting to do this for a while – I have several plain items that I would like to refresh, but I wasn’t exactly sure how to go about it. Thanks for sharing the how-to’s on your new T – it looks great.


  4. mujerboricua April 3, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    I love the crochet embellishment. Looks super cute!

  5. saltymom April 4, 2012 at 9:51 am #

    Your new tshirt looks super sweet. Nice project !

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