How to Upcycle an Old T-shirt With Trendy Cottagecore Sleeves

3 Materials
2 Hours

Is your closet cluttered with old t-shirts you never wear anymore? Upcycle them into a trendy cottagecore top with puffy, gathered sleeves. In this DIY thrift flip tutorial, I'll show you how to add sleeves made from a thrift store skirt and sew them to your t-shirt.

This upcycled top has a sweet, feminine vibe that's easy to work into your wardrobe. Let's get started.

Step 1: Turn the t-shirt upside down and cut out new armholes

I reused the hem of the shirt as the new neckline by turning it upside down. I cut out new armholes and cut off the old armholes with a horizontal cut from armpit to armpit. I didn't hem the new since t-shirt fabric doesn't unravel.

Step 2: Thread elastic through the new neckline

To prevent the neckline from stretching and sagging, I threaded elastic through the hem.

Step 3: Cut out sleeves from the skirt

I drafted a very wide pattern for the sleeves, placed it on the fold of the skirt, and cut out the sleeves.

Step 4: Hem the bottom of the sleeve and add elastic

I made a 1/2" casing for the hem, threaded elastic through it, tacked the ends of the elastic together, and closed the casing.

Step 5: Gather the shoulders

I made a casing for the shoulder, threaded elastic through it to create gathers, and tacked the ends of the elastic to the ends of the casing.

Step 6: Sew sleeves to the bodice

With right sides together, I pinned and sewed the sleeve to the bodice.

Step 6: Repeat and attach the second sleeve

Rinse and repeat the above steps for the second sleeve.

Enjoy your new upcycled t-shirt with cottagecore sleeves!

Suggested materials:
  • T-shirt   (thrift store)
  • Skirt   (thrift store)
  • Elastic   (origial skirt and sewing statsh)

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