T-shirt refashion – Tube Top

Let me start out by acknowledging that it has been a long while since I have posted something. There. Acknowledged.

Ok, on to the fun stuff!

I’ve had this T-shirt (who am I kidding? I have lots of T-shirts) that has been begging me to do something to it. Anything. It was a little pitiful.

Want to spend just 30 minutes on a project while upcycling something? This is it!

I have odd tan lines AND I tan quite easily; an undesirable combo. I decided to make a simple tube top so that I can even out the tank top, racerback, strappy, and T-shirt lines that grace my upper chest and back.


Let’s sew this tube top!

Materials needed:

  • Old T-shirt – if you want yours fitted like mine, I suggest a T-shirt this is already form fitting on your body. Otherwise, for a more blouson affect, go for an oversized T-shirt.
  • Elastic – ensure the width is smaller than the width of the hem of the bottom of your shirt. In my case, 1/4 elastic would have been ideal. I only had 1/8 width elastic and actually it worked out fine. Measure your bust and subtract about 3 inches. Wrap that measurement of elastic around the chest just under the armpits. The elastic should be snug but not so much that it is uncomfortable.
  • Safety pin
  • Pins
  • Matching thread (or contrasting thread if you’re feeling avant garde)
  • scissors or rotary cutter
  • Sewing machine and/or needle (Tip! – It helps significantly to have a walking foot attachment  and ball needle when working with T-shirt fabric. The walking foot prevents the fabric from overly stretching when sewing and the ball needle prevents the fabric from piercing or cutting the threads within the weave.)

1. Cut off the top portion and sleeves just under the armpit.

IMG_20130629_092359_045 IMG_20130629_092818_800

I should point out that the bottom hem of the shirt becomes the top hem of the tube top.

2. Very close to one of the side seams, cut a tiny hole on the inside of the hem being careful not to cut through to the right side of the fabric. Using the safety pin, run the elastic through the hem of the shirt.


3. Ensure the elastic is not twisted. Sew the two ends of the elastic together. Then hand sew the tiny hole shut.


4. Pin the bottom hem to about half an inch in width. Sew all the way around. Add a second top stitch an eighth of an inch from the original hem stitch if you want to get fancy.


And seriously, only 30 minutes later, a new top has been reborn! Transfigurement conceived! I love phoenix clothing!


Have you any great upcycled t-shirt projects? I’d love to know about them!

4 thoughts on “T-shirt refashion – Tube Top

  1. Pingback: T-shirt refashion #2 – Blouson Tube Dress | The Crafty Coup

  2. Pingback: DIY Upcycled Men’s T-Shirt into a Mini Skirt | The Crafty Coup

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