What You Will Need
- Oversized t-shirt
- Sewing machine
- Fabric scissors
- Dressmaker's chalk
- Ball head pins
Lay your t-shirt down on a flat surface, making sure the seams are all in line with one another.
Use a sample dress as a template for your t-shirt and draw around it with your dressmaker's chalk. Make sure this template dress fits exactly how you want this new dress to fit.
Remove the template dress and pin the two layers of fabric together with a ball head pin perpendicular from the chalk lines.
Place the template dress back over the t-shirt and mark with your dressmaker's chalk where the arm holes are. Bring these lines down the sleeves of the t-shirt with a curve.
Sew along the lines making sure you don't sew directly up to the neckline. I would recommend using an overlock stretch stitch setting on your sewing machine. Turn the dress inside out.
Using your fabric scissors, aim to cut out the existing seams. You should be left with two flaps of fabric down each seam.
Cut perpendicularly to the seam to create fringes. You can make these however thick or thin you like, I think the thinner the fringe the better effect and movement when you walk.
Cut around the neckline to how you want it to sit. The t-shirt had a v-neck so I cut it into a scoop neck.
Flip the dress over and using the dressmaker's chalk, sketch out a line where you want the bottom of the backless detail to hit. Then draw a line down the centre from the nape to this line and two lines from either side of the neckline to meet the same point.
Using your fabric scissors, cut down the centre line to meet the bottom line. Then create the fringing by cutting perpendicular lines from the centre to meet the lines at the side. While it has been drawn as a V shape, it will fall like a scoop back.
This is the finished result! I added a strip of fabric and attached it to either side to stop the sleeves falling down off each shoulder. This dress literally cost me nothing to make as a friend had kindly given me this oversized t-shirt. I wore this for this year's Parklife festival and literally made this the night before.
This is an incredibly easy way to upcycle something you would otherwise throw away. Rather than adding to a landfill site, why not completely change an existing top and make it into something you will wear over and over again? There are plenty plain t-shirts in the Oxfam online shop, why not try recreating this project and making a festival-ready fringe top? Choose a patterned t-shirt to add a bit of character or a top made from a different material.
Landfills remains the primary method of dealing with waste in the UK, their methane gases contribute to 40% of Britain's total methane emissions. With emissions running high and space for landfills running low (don't forget that it takes a long time for waste to decompose), there's no better time to start recycling.