Refashion: DIY Upcycle Turtleneck into Long Sleeve T-shirt with Tribal Print

Refashioned Turtleneck into Long Sleeve T-shirt with Tribal Print - Step by Step Upcycling Tutorial Included

I spied the tribal print blouse at the thrift store and fell in love with the colors and pattern.  What I didn’t love was the baby doll silhouette.  While it had great hanger appeal, the blouse made me look pregnant when I tried it on.  I decided it would make a great refashion project and found a matching turtleneck to restyle it into a long sleeve t-shirt.

Refashioned Turtleneck into Long Sleeve T-shirt with Tribal Print - Close up

Here’s a closeup of the print.

Refashioned Turtleneck into Long Sleeve T-shirt with Tribal Print - Chopped up Turtleneck

I chopped up the turtleneck into pieces.  It was a medium size shirt I had to cut down into a smaller size.  The safety pin marks the cut line where I will sew on the printed fabric.

Refashioned Turtleneck into Long Sleeve T-shirt with Tribal Print - Chopped up Blouse

I chopped up the printed blouse.  The bottom of the blouse will be the front of the remade T-shirt and the upper part will be recycled into bias binding to finish the neckline.

Refashioned Turtleneck into Long Sleeve T-shirt with Tribal Print

I cut off the front of the turtleneck that will be replaced with the printed fabric.

Refashioned Turtleneck into Long Sleeve T-shirt with Tribal Print - Cutting printed fabric to size

Using the blue piece as a pattern, I cut the printed fabric down to the same length and added a seam allowance.

Refashioned Turtleneck into Long Sleeve T-shirt with Tribal Print - Gathering Stitches

I wanted to emphasize the blousiness of the printed fabric by creating some subtle gathers.  It’s really hard to see in this picture, but I hand sewed a short length of running stitches in black thread.  Then I pulled it to create gathers.

Refashioned Turtleneck into Long Sleeve T-shirt with Tribal Print - attaching print to turtleneck

I serged the printed fabric to the upper part of the turtleneck.  It’s easier to see the gathers in this picture.

Refashioned Turtleneck into Long Sleeve T-shirt with Tribal Print - shaping the front

Using the chopped-off front piece of the turtleneck as a pattern, I shaped the armholes and sides.

Refashioned Turtleneck into Long Sleeve T-shirt with Tribal Print - Serged Sides

I serged the sides of the bodice.

Refashioned Turtleneck into Long Sleeve T-shirt with Tribal Print - pinned sleeves

I attached the sleeves by sticking it in the bodice right side out and pinned it in place.

Refashioned Turtleneck into Long Sleeve T-shirt with Tribal Print - serged sleeves

Then I serged the sleeve.  Repeat on the other side.

Refashioned Turtleneck into Long Sleeve T-shirt with Tribal Print - making bias binding

To finish the neckline, I made a 2″ bias binding strip from the upper part of the printed blouse.  I cut out a new neckline so the shirt would be easy to pull over my head (I forgot to take a picture of this step).

Refashioned Turtleneck into Long Sleeve T-shirt with Tribal Print - serging bias binding

I folded the bias binding in half and serged it to the neckline.  I folded it around the edge and whip stitched it down from the back.

Refashioned Turtleneck into Long Sleeve T-shirt with Tribal Print - finished shirt

I like how the pattern of the tribal print pops against the solid blue.  What do you think of the final product?

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There are 5 comments for this article
  1. Pingback: Tutorial: Refashion two tops into one color blocked tee – Sewing
  2. jeanie at 7:01 pm

    thanks, what a great refashion. I see how necessary it is to take the sleeves off. I would have not done that. It would have been a fail!

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