button down t-shirt reconstruction

Funny enough, I am not a big fan of the t-shirt reconstruction.  At least for me.  For the childs, when girl child was small enough, I loved to make dresses out of our old t-shirts and now I still combine old t-shirts them in all sorts of ways and I've made dozens of pairs of pajama pants from used jersey (here is one pattern).  Oh, and shopping bags (cut off arms, sew closed bottom, viola!)  

For myself, though, as a matronly woman of almost forty (did I mention I'm going to level up an entire decade this year?) and someone who sews professionally, the average tee reconstruction feels... young.  Yes, that's the word.

Go ahead and label me a t-shirt reconstruction snob if you like.

But as old as I am, I do have a few too many t-shirts (because that's all I wear), especially roller derby shirts, and I have decided to make a big pile of them and not stop sewing until I have somehow transformed them into wearable our usable in some way.  As inspiration, I was sifting through our local library's sewing section and I came across a book called Tease: 50 Inspired T-Shirt Transformations and scored this little idea from it that I though maybe I could actually pull off.

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It is one one fitted t-shirt:

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Plus one button down shirt:

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The collar and front placket were cut off carefully, leaving about an inch of material for sewing onto the t-shirt, then pinned onto the t-shirt in the appropriate place.  (I saved the rest of the button down shirt for other projects - I may just add a crocheted collar cuff to it and call it a sweater shirt.)

The collar and placket were sewn directly on top of the tee - no fancy stuff here.  The raw edge of the placket was cut down close to the seam and allowed to fray.

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Apparently I didn't do so well with the matronly-woman look, as girl child immediately asked to have me help her make one of her own.  Yet another derby t-shirt rescued from the bottom of the drawer for improvement.  

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Girl child's placket took a wander off to the side.

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Now we're all dress up and ready for... well, I don't know.  Sewing?  I have another half dozen or so shirts that I plan to take down over the next few days.  Wish me luck!


ps, I just found another t-shirt to dress project I did... more derby, of course!  I must have dozens of these little projects all around me.  Just as an update, girl child and I are both still skating derby.  It'll be my fifth season this coming year and girl child is hoping to be bouting by summertime. 


  1. Interesting idea, I love Roller girls squewiff pink placket. Maybe you'd be interested in this tutorial I came across. It's in German but I think the pictures are sufficient.

  2. Fun stuff! I wish I had more t-shirts, but mine all get trashed because I never remember to change before I start crafting.

    I am about to jump into the world of roller derby. I'm participating in a Fresh Meat Boot Camp here in Great Falls, MT in a few weeks. I'm a little nervous...