Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Down To A "T"

I've been shopping my wardrobe lately in an attempt to guilt myself out of making impulse buys of a) things I do not need or b) things which are exactly the same as those that I already own which I have forgotten about.

I found a couple of neglected tshirts that looked in need of some customisation. I used to love customising tshirts as a teen and the homemade/grunge aesthetic fits the new season's appetite for all things '90s as well as my creative whims. I wish I had more time and sewing skills to make more of my own creations but for those of us who are unable to even thread a needle, these customisations need nothing more than a pair of scissors, take less than half an hour and can be adapted in endless ways:

Step 1: Find your neglected tshirt. I bought this in Australia back in 2010 but as I'm currently re-watching season 1 of Gossip Girl it seems appropriate again.
Step 2: Compare neglected tshirt with one that fits you so that you don't end up making it elf-sized. I.e. only customise tshirts that are too big for you.
Step 3: Cut up the side seem of the tshirt. Snip off the overlocking.
Step 4: Cut horizontally from the side seam.
Step 5: It should look like this. Don't worry about the strips being exactly equal, life's too short / my cutting skills are not very good. It would have been helpful to have sharper scissors, preferably ones that are only used for fabric.
Step 7: Tie the strips in double knots.
Step 8: I repeated the above steps on the opposite side shoulder seam to give an asymmetric look. Neglected tshirt is now the perfect layering piece for A/W.
The second tshirt which needed a new lease of life was a Kobe university one that I bought when I visited Japan. 
Step 1: Cut off the collar, sleeve and bottom seams.
Step 2: Cut horizontally along the back of the tshirt. The length of the cuts and the gaps between them will give a different finished look - I didn't want things to get too fiddly so made the gaps between the cuts quite big. If you like to be precise about things you can measure the strips and mark where to cut with fabric pen / eyeliner. I was impatient and just snipped away and it worked out fine!
Step 3: Cut the bottom strip in two. Starting from the top, weave the strips as in this method. It's super easy once you get the hang of it (and I can't even do a fishtail braid if that helps put the simplicity in context).
Step 4: Tie off the bottom and its done! This makes the tshirt more fitted as you're making the back narrower and gives a cool cutaway back detail.
Have you tried any customisation? I'm going to continue the trip down '90s memory lane with some tie-dying next time (mess permitting).


  1. Ah amazing customisation skillz here Lily, I always mess it up if I try, cue oddly shaped t shirts with bits chopped out of them haha!

    Maria xxx

  2. Very impressed with your skills Lily!

  3. Very impressed with your skills Lily!


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