It’s time to dig out the ill fitting tee shirts you have been holding on to, because I have a way too cute repurpose for you. Try to resist it. And if you feel so inclined you could make one for yourself out of a larger shirt or some fabric, the directions will be about the same.

You will need:
  • 1 old tee shirt (hopefully free of stains, but I did have some minor stains I could work around)
  • Some small scraps of stretch fabric or another tee. (optional but I like to line the top)
  • two buttons
  • anything else you would like to add to the finished product like fabric rosettes.
  • A current fitting top for a pattern

Step 1: cut about 8 inches off the bottom of the shirt. (more or less depending on your model size measure from about 2 inches below the armpit to where you want the top to end. For me this was 8 inches)

Step 2: Find a top that fits well. I turn it inside out so you can easily tuck the sleeves in. lay it on top of the top of the shirt so that it starts about two inches under the armpit. Then simply cut around the shirt.

Step 2 a: You should end up with two pieces that look something like this.

Step 3: Fold one of them in half

Step 4: Starting at the corner or the shoulder angle downward cutting a triangle off the piece,
stopping about two inches from the bottom.

Step 4 a: When you open it up you should have something that looks like this. Cut it in half.

Step 5: Out of scraps, or another tee shirt, cut a back and both front pieces. So you should have two of each piece.

Step 6: Sew right sides together with all three pieces. (don’t sew the top of the shoulder, or the side under the arm opening closed.)

Step 7: Turn the pieces to the front and pin right sides together at the shoulders, and sew in place.

Step 8: Open up the sides and pin right sides together and sew in place, it will look something like the picture above. You do this so there are no visible seams when you fold them over.

Step 9: Tack the front pieces together overlapping by a half an inch, and then top stitch the sides and front.

Step 10: Grab the tube you cut off the bottom of the tee and turn it inside out, put the top upside down into the tube so that right sides are together. Pin together at the sides of the top and tube. Then pin together the middle of the tube and top. From the middle pin, you are going to create pleats. To do this you fold the fabric over itself like the picture above. You can make them as big or small as you like, I do about a quarter of an inch to half inch pleats.

Step 10 a: Pin the pleats in place like the picture above. Do this until the tube no longer has gap away from the top. (as in they are the same size) You will do this to the front and back and then sew the pieces together

Step 11: Turn it right side out and add buttons to the front right where you overlapped. You can also add any other embellishments now. And you are done! Now wasn’t that easy, and a way better use to your shirt that was just taking up space in your closet?