DIY: A T-Shirt Alteration with Lessons to Learn

I had some free time on my hands the other week. I decided to update my tube top DIY, and then I still had time to spare. So I grabbed another t-shirt, thought for a minute about what I wanted to do, and then got to work.

Which, while this top isn’t a complete¬†disaster, I’m not very happy with it. I’m a little sad that I didn’t stop myself, but it’s not the end of the world.
So here’s the lesson to learn here: stop and plan exactly how you’re going to go about altering a shirt. Look it up online to see if someone’s done it before–they can tell you about any challenges they faced on the way. And for Batman’s sake, don’t cut it if you don’t have a plan. You will always cut off more than you want, or cut things wrong.
So, without further ado, let’s move on to my crap only-okay t-shirt. I’ll point out where the problems occurred, so when you try to do your own alterations, you can look out for these mistakes and issues.
By the way, this is the t-shirt I altered. I got it from the shop of one of my favorite comics ever, Questionable Content. Here’s the picture from the store, and a link to buy it is here.
$18.50 USD
I started out the way I normally start my t-shirt alteration–by cutting off the sleeves and the collar. In the picture above, I’m sewing up the sides (since the sleeves on XL t-shirts tend to go very low on me, since they’re oversized).
Here is where I made my first mistake. I have never tries to braid the straps of a shirt before, and I split the front two straps, and the back strap. I should have made the straps longer, all the way down to the back of the shirt. In doing so, I should have combined the straps together in the middle back. Instead, I split that back square in two and braided a bit of the back. Here’s the process:
Here is a picture of the entire cut strap. It’s an equal length on the front and the back of the shirt.
I added the pink straps to add a bit of girly flair. I just sewed the pink strap to the inside of the shirt. The braid will hide the stitches on the front of the shirt.
I braided the front straps and the middle back straps in a simple braid.
Then I sewed the three straps together in a Y shape. Finally, I made a pink strap to cover the seams.
Here, unfortunately, is the only crappy picture I have of the back. You can see the pink strap covering the junction. And, also, my…thumb? I’m guessing that’s my thumb. I take awesome pictures, guys.
Aaand, finally, here’s the front. And here’s what I don’t like about the shirt. As I was cutting down the straps, I kept feeling like I needed to make them longer–I was going to be braiding them, after all. In order to do that, though, I had to keep trimming down the neckline, and now it’s ridiculously close to the print and it makes me sad. I’m also kicking myself because this is not what I originally planned to do with it, and now I don’t like it. I guess I could wear it as a workout shirt, but I’m still¬†“meh”-ing pretty hard.
So here you go, faithful readers. I give you a DIY that I kind of messed up, so that you don’t make the same mistakes. Learn from me, even if you only learn what not to do.

One thought on “DIY: A T-Shirt Alteration with Lessons to Learn

  1. I think we are often harder & more critical on ourselves. I totally understand how you feel about the design being up too high – I obsess over things too abd have taken stuff apart to fix a little thing – I think your altered tee is cute!
    Good job!

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