You know those times when you’re just minding your own business, trying to convince yourself to stop procrastinating and start working, when suddenly your best friend calls you up and is all, “So I just scored free tickets to the grand opening party for the new rock and roll exhibit at the Science Centre with Q107 tonight. Wanna go?” And you’re all, “Well, I really have to work and look after my kids and be a good wife and mom but uh HELLZ YES.”
Then I said, “What the hell am I going to wear?”
And she said, “Something rock and roll. Like a concert tee.”
But I was like, “The only concert tee I have is my Bowie shirt and it doesn’t fit.”
So she was all, “Too bad, SUCKAH!!!”
And I was totally, “OH YEAH? YOU WANNA GO? RIGHT NOW, BEE-YOTCH?? THAT’S RIGHT!!”
Then she was all —
All right, fine…that’s not *exactly* how it went, but it pretty much captures the essence of the conversation.
So there I was, faced with a fashion emergency, and there was only one possible answer: “Hie, my good steed – we must away to the land of PINTEREST,” and off I went to my handy T-shirt refashion board for inspiration. One pin was not quite what I was looking for but pointed me in the right direction (see what I did there with “pointed”?), and it was off to the races, or at least the sewing machine…
…and now I’m back to share my simple t-shirt + jeans refashion with you, dear readers!
Rock ‘n’ Roll Concert Tee + Jeans 30 Minute Refashion
(or more like 15 if you’re more experienced than me!)
Step 1: Find that one too-small t-shirt that you have kept in your pajama drawer for 10 years even though it has never actually fit because they only had small when you bought and you haven’t been an adult size small since you grew boobs in grade 6 it so it’s wishful thinking to imagine that it will ever be wearable even as PJs because there is basically nothing in the world less comfortable than a too-tight, too-thick long-sleeved t-shirt but you never threw it out because BOWIE, amiright??
Step 2: Find the ripped jeans that your big brother was kind enough to donate to your collection of random fabric and other assorted sewing crap.
Step 3: Either using a shirt that you like the neckline of as a guide, or just winging it, depending on your comfort level, cut a more flattering neckline than the cross-between-crewneck-and-noose that the shirt came with. Again, using a shirt that you like as a guide if you wish, cut your choice of sleeve (or leave as is). I cut down the long sleeves to a short flutter sleeve. Finally, laying the shirt flat and making sure the sides are even, cut the sides of the shirt open up to just below the armpit seam.
Step 4: Okay, there’s 2 ways to do this next part:
Measure around your hips (adding as many extra inches as you would like if you want the top to be flowy). Divide that number in half. Measure the width of the shirt, subtracting 1/2 inch for seam allowances (2 x 1/4 inch) Subtract the width of the shirt from the first number. Divide *that* number in half. Flatten the legs of the jeans with the inseam on the edge (I used the inseam because it was more visually interesting). Measure your latest number along the cuff of the jeans from the inseam edge towards the middle, add 1/4 inch seam allowance, and mark it. Measure the length of your cut from the bottom of the shirt to the armpit and add 1/4 seam allowance. Measure along the inseam of the jeans from the cuff up, adding 1/4 inch, and mark. (Are you confused yet?) Using a ruler, draw a line between your two markings and cut along the line. You will now have a right-angle triangle of folded fabric that will form a triangular insert on one side of your shirt. Cut the other jeans leg to match.*
Lay a shirt that you like the fit of (I used a flowy one) on top of your t-shirt. Lay the folded jeans leg, cuff lined up with the bottom of the good-fit shirt and outside seam edge along the edge of the good fit t-shirt, and draw a line on the jeans from the bottom corner to the armpit of the t-shirt you are refashioning. Cut about 1/4 inch outside of that line for seam. Repeat with the other jeans leg. (My sister the quilter is currently going “EEP! EEP! EEP!” at my reckless disregard for exactness.)
Step 5: Pin the insert into the shirt, good sides together.
Step 6: Sew the insert in, starting from the bottom. The t-shirt will probably get a little gathered up in the armpit and that’s okay. I did both sides up to an inch or so below the armpit – it gets a little tight in there with the sharp turn, so I finished the rest of the sides before I tackled that, and I went over it a few times for strength.
Voila! Attempt to take a flattering selfie that shows the whole shirt, fail miserably, and ask your neighbour to do it for you.
Good luck! Let me know how it goes!
*This is not the method I used, so I apologize if it makes no sense at all. I’m making it up. If you are using this method, you are probably better at this than I am and can probably figure out what I meant. Either way, good luck to you. If you do get hopelessly screwed up because of my screwing instruction, please feel free to comment, “You’re a complete jerk, Karyn,” and I will reply with a heartfelt apology.