How To Deconstruct a T-shirt For Maximum Refashioning

How To Deconstruct a T-shirt For Maximum Refashioning

This is the best way to deconstruct a T-shirt & get the largest cuts possible for refashioning. Chopping up a t-shirt isn’t neuro-science; and this process may be instinctive for many long time sewists. If you’re a newbie to sewing or textile crafts; or if you’ve ever been an inch shy of the perfect refashion or craft project: this post is for you.

How To Deconstruct a T-Shirt and save every Inch for Refashioning

How To Deconstruct a T-shirt for Refashioning


How To Deconstruct a T-Shirt and save every Inch for Refashioning

1. Lay your shirt out flat. Press out any wrinkles.


Don’t lose a single bit of fabric when cutting. The less you waste, the more refashion options you have. The basic rule is to follow the seams, and cut as close to them as possible.


How To Deconstruct a T-Shirt and save every Inch for Refashioning

2. Cut side seams up to the armcye, and remove sleeves.


Some t-shirts have a side seam, others don’t. If your tee has no side seam, begin by cutting into the sleeve seam in the armpit area instead.


How To Deconstruct a T-Shirt and save every Inch for Refashioning

3. Cut shoulder seams to neckline. Remove ribbing.


Try to keep your neck ribbing or band in one piece. This stuff is gold. There’s nothing more satisfying than reaching into the scrap bin to find a perfectly matching piece of ribbing for a neckline. Ribs are super stretchy, so they usually fit even if the new neckline is a little bigger.


How To Deconstruct a T-Shirt and save every Inch for Refashioning

4. Remove any Serging or loose threads.


That’s it! Generally, when you refashion an existing garment you tend to piece it or use it for something smaller. But now you know hot to deconstruct a t-shirt for maximum capacity. Take your time, and you’ll have more options for your upcycle project.


Boxy t-shirt upcycle

This oversized, boxy tee became a fitted raglan. I wore it on a date to a Thunder basketball game with hubs. (I was so sure that my diy Thunder gear would get us on the Kiss-Cam, but no such luck.) I needed every inch, and it’s still tighter than I like across the chest. I don’t mind fitted, but there’s not much stretch. I felt like my boobs were gonna break the shirt. I guess I’m officially a fabric snob. Or maybe sewing for myself has made me hyper aware of fit. Even with all my careful t-shirt dissecting, I couldn’t quite eek it out.

On another note: In my last post I told you I’ve been having trouble getting indoor pics this winter. How sad is it that I photoshopped my floors out of these images? It was either that…or mop.


About The Author

Amy Mayen

Hello. I'm Amy and I'm addicted to sewing. I borderline-hoard fabric, buttons, & patterns. Sometimes I wish I could pile my fabric up on the floor and just roll in it!


  1. Victoria B.

    Oh my goodness I love this tutorial! I never thought about turning a t-shirt into a raglan…I’m going to start hunting through my stacks of tees (and maybe sneak into my hubby’s stash).

  2. Pam @Threading My Way

    Great job making your floors disappear. If only it were that easy to clean up mess in real life! Agree totally about the ribbing – it’s so expensive to buy.
    Pam @Threading My Way recently posted…Dress to Skirt Refashion…My Profile

  3. Angela

    Box tees are a crime on women! They should all be tranformed into girlier versions. And I really should spend some time learning to use photoshop more. Can I make all my clutter disappear?
    Angela recently posted…Is That Really Another Nessie Top for Elena?My Profile

  4. Gina

    I am so glad that you turned this into a cute raglan tee for you!! I was hyperventilating a bit seeing that Thunder tee getting cut up but I had faith that you would turn it into something fun!! You are hilarious photoshopping out your floors! I got a bit distracted but this was a great post Amy!! I will be confident of making the most of the fabric i have on my next refashion :)
    Gina recently posted…Finish it Up Friday: There’s a Mouse In the House!My Profile


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

Find Me At

Follow Me At


Shop Amazon

Check Out

Blog Oklahoma

New Horizons Designs

Green Style Creations

Curvy Sewing Collective

Check This Out

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!