Sunday, 20 January 2013

DIY Tragic to Hip not The Tragically Hip

I found this dress (pictured on the left) at a thrift store for $12. It was midi length, an extremely heavy cotton knit, had a tight t-shirt neckline and was the owner of two extremely unnecessary shoulder pads. And yet, I picked it up. Then I put it down and browsed some more. I went back to look at it again and put it down again. But I couldn't stay away. 

Side note: I do that a lot when I thrift shop. Ask my many, often bored stiff, companions. 

I think I knew though that I had wanted to attempt a cut-out t-shirt DIY for quite some time. The problem was that I don't wear a lot of t-shirts and the ones I like tend to be firm fitting - something about oversized shirts on me seems to scream pijamas. This dress solved the problem. It isn't a modern, thin, crappy cotton knit, which normally turns me off t-shirts. It is quite heavy and I could sense that its raw edge wouldn't roll too much. I also have a soft spot for the simple and homey flower patchwork on it. Too kitch to resist! 

Basically, with simple DIY jobs like this, where all you really need to do is snippity snip snip, patience and small steps is key. Don't cut too much at once because once you've cut it, you can't uncut it. 

All I used were good quality fabric scissors and pins. Oh and a long T-shirt dress to snip, snip and snip. I thought about what I wanted changed and how I would best achieve them by cutting. I cut the neckline out to a shape that framed my collar bones well. I then cut the dress to a length that was short enough but not too short that when the fabric rolled it would become unwearable. Its also important to make it straight along the bottom - even though the fabric will most definitely roll, you want to have some precious to achieve that 'perfect yet shabby' look. 

DIY cutting 01

CIY cutting 02

DIY cutting 03

Above you wil see the process I went through when cutting the sleeves. I started by leaving a fair amount of room for error between the already cut neckline and where I wanted the sleeve to end. When you reach the bottom of the sleeve you want to cut a right angle outwards (like in the second image). This is a basic rule when cutting off t-shirt sleeves. It just looks and fits around your body better. If you're sleeve isn't thin enough once you've tried it on and you want to keep cutting, keep cutting. 

To replicate the perfect sleeve I folded the dress in half and pinned the cut edge - making sure all the other uncut edges matched perfectly. The second sleeve was then cut off.

I then washed it, as you should always do with thrift store purchases before wear. This was also an opportunity to see how much the fabric would roll and so far it has been minimal. I'm sure though, with more washes and wears it will continue to roll up.

And thats it. You'll see the last photo in my next OOTD post. Until then, let me know if you try my sleeve cutting technique or have a better one for cutting up oversized shirts.

Erin xx


  1. oh wow this one is sooo cute
    and you look lovely in this dress

    want to follow each other? i will defiently follow back

    my blog:

    1. Aw thanks so much! I love it too :) My next OOTD is the last photo so I didn't want to too give too much away haha
      Definitely following you, LOVE your style :)



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