How to Cut a T-Shirt: Slashes with a Hood

A couple weeks ago held a mini contest on Instagram for a “wicked good fabric” t-shirt.  Lucky for me I was chosen as one of the winners!  About a week later I received my package and in it was the t-shirt AND a reuable shopping bag, some beautiful quatrefoil fabric and a package of flowering seeds.  Of course, me being me, I couldn’t just let the shirt be.  I found some cute fabric (on sale even) and decided to make my first cut t-shirt.  This will be part 1 in a series with how I decorate my flower pot and what I do with my fabric being parts 2 and 3.


What you’ll need:

Knit fabric
Measuring tape
Chalk (I used regular chalk. It won’t hurt the shirt and you won’t see any lines once your done.)
NOTE: 1/4 inch seam allowances are used throughout most of this tutorial.


This step is optional.  You can cut a slight curve for your waist.  To match the other side, fold the shirt in half and cut along the curve you just cut.  I would only do this on a shirt that is too big.


Go ahead and cut off the hem of the shirt.


And get rid of those sleeves, too (I cut along the seam to start).


Because it’s not made to be worn without the sleeves it may look a little wonky.  Put the shirt on and mark with the chalk where you want strap of the pseudo tank top to end.     Starting at the top where you marked, cut a new curve.  Cut a little at a time if you’re unsure.  Once you get something you’re happy with, fold the shirt in half and copy the new curve.


This step is also optional.  I wanted the neckline to come down a little lower.  To do this, open up the shirt and match the shoulder seams.  Cut a little at a time until you get a new neckline you are happy with.  You may need to try the shirt on in between cutting until you get it just right.  Do you the same with the back if you want, but I chose to leave it alone.


Now this is the fun part.  You can cut your shirt ANY way you want.  I’ve seen hearts, flowers, skulls and stars among other things.  Since I’m adding a hood (those would be covered), I just did straight lines.  Use the chalk to mark your lines.  When you go to cut, cut straight lines.  Don’t cut out holes in order for the fabric to show through from behind.  The knit t-shirt will work its magic so don’t worry.


Lay your fabric out and place your t-shirt on top as flat and straight as you can.  Once again, don’t try to spread the slits open.  Place bunches and bunches of pins all throughout to hold everything in place (cut away the excess fabric).  Sew along each side of every slit about 1/4″ away from the edge.  The sewing doesn’t have to be uniform or straight.  You can get as far away as 1/2″ if you like.  This is the part that will roll later and reveal the knit fabric underneath.  TIP: Use a different color thread for added style.


Once you’re done it should look something like this (don’t mind my toes).


Trim the rest of the excess fabric away.  You can trim away in between the lines but for me it wasn’t necessary.


Before you sew your sides seams together (unlike what I did, lol), fold your neck line in half like you did before and measure from top to bottom.  Make note of the measurement.


Now you can sew you sides together (right sides together).


Take the measurement you had earlier and add an extra 2 inches.  This will alot for the 1/4″ hem on each side of the hood plus the 1/4″ seam for the back and another 3/4″ for error.  Better to have too much than too little.  When you sew on your hood if you have too much the front ends will just cross over to add a decorative element.  For example, if your measurement was 15 inches, the bottom of your hood would measure 17 inches across.  To get the height of your hood, place your measuring tape at your hairline and while looking straight ahead measure down to where the neckline of your shirt lies.  Add 3 inches.  This gives you enough room for your hem, seam allowance and enough fabric to billow.  Just trust me.  Use a piece of string or another measuring to get the curve.  There are no rules here. Go ahead and sew the back curve of your hood. Optional: Trim the sides of your hood like I did in the third picture.


Topstitch about 1/8 inch away from the seam you just sewed.


Fold over the sides of your hood twice about 1/4 inch each time.  It helps to press it because of the curve of the hood.  Stitch about 1/8 inch away from the edge.


Fold the neckhole in half once again matching the seams and place a pin in the middle of the back.  This is where you will match the back seam of your hood.


With your shirt inside out, pin the right side of your hood to the right side of your shirt.  Tuck the hood inside once you have that pinned.  Pin from the center along each side.  The ends of your hood will either meet in the middle or overlap a little on the front center.  Sew your hood to your shirt.  Backstitch well where your hood ends meet.  There will be stress at this point when you wear it and you don’t want it to tear over time.


Topstitch the seam so that it’s facing downward.


How do you get your shirt to roll so that your fabric shows through?  You could wash it, but if you impatient like me do it this way: With your iron on the hottest setting your most delicate fabric can stand, hold it just above your shirt and shoot it with bursts of steam.  The knit fabric will roll right up.  You may need to help it along in some places by slightly rolling it with your fingers then shooting it with steam being careful not to burn yourself.


Thanks again to for the awesome care package!  Abbey is super sweet.  I already know what bag I’m going to make with the fabric I was sent.  I just have to figure out how I’m going to decorate my flower pot.  I think I’m more nervous about the planting part than anything else.  lol


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