How to Upcycle a T-shirt Into a Fabulous Bodysuit

The Designerquipo
by The Designerquipo
5 Materials
30 Minutes

The bodysuit is an essential in every woman’s wardrobe. Today, I’m going to show you how to make a trendy bodysuit by upcycling a t-shirt. Just follow along with this beginner-friendly tutorial.

Tools and materials:

  • Stretchy t-shirt to upcycle
  • Tailor’s chalk
  • Fabric scissors
  • Needle/thread or sewing machine
  • Snaps (optional)
Choosing a t-shirt to upcycle

1. Choose your t-shirt and plan

Find a t-shirt to upcycle that has a stretchy fabric.

The shirt should be comfortable (not too small) before turning it into the DIY bodysuit, to ensure a good fit.

Choosing a t-shirt to upcycle

For the bottom part of the bodysuit, you have a few options.

You can either use a pair of underwear as a pattern, create a pattern from scratch, or just cut out the shape and eyeball it, which is what I’m going to do.

It’s not so critical because the fabric will stretch to fit you perfectly.

2. Mark the bottom part of the bodysuit

Lay your t-shirt out on a flat surface and mark where you want the top of the leg holes and the crotch point. 

Marking the bodysuit

Fold your t-shirt in half so that the left and right sides are equal.

Then add a seam allowance at the crotch point of 2”. Join the new crotch point to the old hip point using tailor’s chalk. See video 1:50 - 2:25. 

Marking the bodysuit

3. Mark the new neckline

I chose to use two different necklines for the front and back to get rid of some holes that were at the top of my shirt. 

For the front neckline, mark 2.5” from the original neckline and 1.5” from the shoulder part, then draw that curve by joining those measurements together. See video 2:35 - 2:48. 

Marking the bodysuit

For the back I want a really deep, square neckline so that I can hide all the imperfections.

Mark the square neckline, making sure that your new points match up at the shoulders for a clean cut all the way through. See video 2:55 - 3:08.

Where to cut

4. Cut along your markings on the bottom

With the shirt folded in half, start by cutting out the bottom part that you marked, for the leg holes. 

Cutting t-shirt

Notice the extra seam allowance at the crotch part. This is essential for a comfortable fit!

Cutting t-shirt

But, if you want to class it up, you can spend a bit more time adding snaps there. We will sew this in a moment. 

Adding snaps

5. Cut out the front to back neckline

Cut along the markings you made for the front neckline.

Cutting t-shirt

Make sure to line the shirt up as you cut. 

Cutting t-shirt

Then continue cutting the back neckline.

Cutting t-shirt

Cutting t-shirt

6. Sew

To sew the crotch piece, put the right sides together, then sew a zigzag stitch.

You can hand sew or use a sewing machine. Alternatively, you can sew on snaps.



7. Try on and tweak

Once trying on my DIY bodysuit, I noticed that the back neckline was a bit too wide.

To fix this, I added on a simple tie. In the end it was a happy accident and I love how it turned out. 

Completed DIY t-shirt bodysuit

DIY t-shirt bodysuit

I hope this t-shirt bodysuit tutorial inspired you to create your own! Share your results in the comments below.

For more DIY upcycling ideas, check out my post on a Dress to Trench Coat Upcycle.

Suggested materials:
  • Stretchy t-shirt to upcycle
  • Tailor’s chalk
  • Fabric scissors
See all materials

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