Anyone that knows me knows I like to make things, especially with pictures. My room alone has three different collages on various areas of the walls, along with other crafty items or placement. But not everything I’ve made is displayed in my room, it’s either in someone else’s or in my closet.
I can’t sew, but I can cut, kind of, so whenever I have a t shirt that’s way too big for me, or just kind of boring, I like to pull out the scissors and see what I can turn it into. There’s so many ways to transform a shirt, and it’s kind of overwhelming if you actually sit down and think about it.
It doesn’t have to be an oversized t-shirt either, it can be a nicer shirt, a jacket, shoes, jeans, pretty much anything you wear can be altered in some way. And, cutting it down is just one of the options when it comes to tools. You don’t even have to cut anything at all to create a whole new garment, you can dye, paint, iron/sew, embellish, embroider, and probably a lot more that I don’t even know about. And that’s just the material, when it comes to what you do with it, the possibilities are endless.
But today, I’m keeping it simple with fabric and scissors, and I’m going to give you babes a detailed tutorial on how to make a tie front shirt.
Since tie and knot front tops, yet another 90’s trend, are hot right now, they’re going to be one of the more expensive items in the stores. Why pay $20 for a basic shirt that ties in the front, when you can easily make it yourself out of something you already own? I don’t know about you, but I think transforming something is a lot more fun than swiping a credit card.
I made a trip to Wal-Mart recently looking for a men’s button down for my quality assurance class, and I came across a pretty good selection of graphic tees in the Big&Tall that are perfect for DIY crafts like this. I ended up getting a little sidetracked and picked up one with the batman logo, which is what I’m going to be using in this post.
If you don’t already know, get an idea of what you want the final product to look like. Decide on the length and style that you want the sleeves and collar to be, if you even want to change them at all.
I got my shirt in a L so I have some leeway. Generally, the bigger the better anyway. The best thing to do when deciding where to cut is to put it on so you know where exactly how it will fall on your body, and then make a small mark. Sharpie is fine, but I suggest something removable, like a pencil or sticker, in case you slightly miss. For the tie-front, you are going to want to mark:
-The length of the ties (mark in the middle)
-The length of the shirt (mark on back and front middle)
I’m going for the muscle tee style, so I used chalk to mark where I want the sleeves to end and how low I want the collar, along with the length of the shirt and ties. I also used a straight edge to draw out the diagonal lines for the ties, which is just a “V” with a line down the center, so I can get a better visual. That’s not necessary, but it’s a great option if you are bad at cutting lines or just like to be precise.
Once you have your shirt marked, lay it out on a hard, flat surface, smooth it out, and line up the edges. It really helps to put a piece of cardboard, or something similar, on the inside too, that way you can separate the top and the bottom. Fabric scissors are obviously the best thing to use, but any pair of large, sharp scissors will work, which is what I’m using. To avoid jagged edges, stretch it a little bit and try to make your scissors glide against fabric. I used my feet as a paper weight but getting someone to hold it is probably easier.
It’s up to you what you want to cut first, the collar is easiest for me, but it’s different for everyone. When you’re ready to make the ties, cut the length of the shirt on the backside only. I went up the middle, and then over, but it might be easier to cut the sides first. This is where the cardboard really comes in handy. On the front, cut straight up the center, and then cut an outward diagonal on the sides. When your done, stretch it out lightly on all the openings.
Now you should have a super cute tie front shirt, and I should too, except I accidentally detached the back from the front when I was trying to even up the sleeves. Luckily I was able to save it by tying the ends together. I tied the ends that were diagonally across from each other into a knot, and I ended up with a really cute cross-back that shows off my [new] tattoo perfectly.
I am a perfect example of how things can go wrong, and I even did a practice shirt first! If you mess up, don’t get too discouraged, because it happens to the best of us. And in my case, it worked out for the better. I’m totally wearing this the next time I go out.
If you try this I hope all goes well! Happy cutting!
dress well. eat well. live well.