Friday, November 28, 2014

(Tee)ransform: An Old Shirt into A Fringe Top!



Hello again!
Welcome to the "(Tee)ransform" series, in which I couldn't find a better name and provide you with DIY fashion how-tos about revamping your old T-shirts into ones that will look brand new! So of course, as I promised, here is a tutorial on how you could turn a T-shirt into a trendy and lovely fringe top! I saw a lot of people on Youtube do it, and I've been thinking about doing it for quite some time but never got to actually give it a try, until I practically realised how easy it is! This can take up to 3 or 4 hours only, so it's not entirely time-consuming if you have a day off. This step-by-step guide requires absolutely no sewing, which will be helpful as well!

You will need...

I got this T-shirt a long time ago when my mom bought it for me. It's from Coconut Island and I really liked wearing it because I had a thing for vintage and authentic prints, as well as white T-shirts in particular. And then little by little it just became more and more uncomfortable to wear, but I didn't want to let go of that really lovely print so I just kind of valued it a little more and kept it in my wardrobe.

You would know this if you were familiar with working with garments and fabrics, but if this is your first time, please note that you should use scissors made for cutting through fabric and not just the regular pair of office scissors! Here, we call them garment scissors, and they're basically a lot chunkier and bigger than regular ones.

Last but not least, you will need a chalk! And yes, the yellow one on the picture is my chalk. I am aware that the fabric chalks aren't supposed to look like that, um, shape, but in my defence it just kind of fell apart and chipped off right in the middle. Again, this is a chalk made for making trail lines on garments! It has a smoother texture than just chalk, and they're also inexpensive. 

1. Marking your garment.

Firstly, you'll need to get your chalk and make all the lines that your scissors are going to trace. I do not recommend you to cut it without marking it first, so before I made my cut-outs, I made sure to use my chalk and mark all of the parts I want to cut. Before getting to the fringe part, I wanted to cut off the seams at the neckline because I found it particularly uncomfortable since the shirt was getting smaller so the neckline tends to come a little too close to my neck that it could nearly choke me. So what I did was mark this yellow line just right along the bottom of the seams all around the neckline (front to back).

Then, we work on the bottom part which is the most important. So for my shirt, I made it into a V-shaped fringe top, which kind of explains how the fringe forms a V and falls into the middle of the shirt, but if you don't want it that way you could just make the fringe come along a straight line! So if you also want the V-shaped type, you could follow these easy steps to make the lines look neat:

So for a V-shaped fringe, you want it to be symmetrical. What I did first before making the line was make a tiny mark right in the middle of my shirt. But don't do this at the very bottom of your shirt just yet! Just mark it at about a fifth or a fourth of your shirt above the bottom. This will be the meeting point between the two lines that will form a "V"!

Then of course, after that (I hope you can see that clearly), you make the two lines from the sides of your shirt going down to the middle as shown!

Next, you make a second "V" which will be exactly the same as the first one, but you just place it below the one you've already made. The meeting point should be near to the bottom of your shirt and make sure that both lines are aligned. Also, try not to mark it a little too close to the first one because the fringe will be in the middle of these two lines!
When you're finished with the front, you can do the same at the back of your shirt.
Also, when you're marking both lines at the back of your shirt, make sure that the back lines meet with the front lines at the side of your shirt. Because if they don't meet at the seams of your shirt, then you will have a problem in cutting them according to the trail. So it's important to notice little details like this!

2. Start cutting the fabric!

When you're done with your chalk, you can now put it down and grab your scissors! After that (here comes the fun part), you start snipping away the fabric, but of course this takes a lot of precision as well if you want to make it as neat as possible.

I started out by cutting the trail that I made earlier around the neckline, just so that my hands could "warm up" before I get to making the fringe which will take a lot of carefulness and patience. In revamping your old T-shirts, I do suggest that you also do some alterations at the neckline or sleeves, because it's quite easy for these particular areas to make you uncomfortable when wearing it.
Next, I started cutting the fringe! So remember, to make it into a fringe top, start cutting from the sides and then cut the bottom line that forms a "V", not the upper line.

Anddd this is how it should basically turn out at first!

After that, you do the same with the lower trail at the back of your shirt, and it should look a lot like this, with your upper trail still visible!

Next, you start cutting the sides of your shirt again, and this should be done from the end of your lower trail to the end of your upper trail (as shown in the picture).

If it helps, you can add guidelines like these so you could start making the fringe part at the bottom of your shirt! So first thing you want to do is take out a ruler (make sure it's a steady one so that it could hold down the fabric), and then you take out your chalk and draw these lines between your upper and lower V trails. After that, you just cut along the short little lines. Simple!

After cutting the fabric into little rectangular shapes between the two trails, you could start tying them into little knots like these! This part is very important because if you don't tie the knots, your fringe top might look a little odd and undone. These knots are very very simple, and all you have to do is stretch out your fabric a little bit when you tie the knot, so that it could come out as smaller and more authentic.

And of course, little accidents like these happen. Haha. This was when I was starting to lose my patience, so please take note: Rest when you're feeling tired or impatient. When you're already worn out and maybe your body is feeling sore or your hands are tired, then just rest. Leave your work and read a book or watch TV or just relax for a little while, then continue! It's not a good idea to neglect your fatigue, because it often results in little technical mistakes.
The knot, by the way, is just a really really simple one! I don't know if this picture helps but anyway it's just to show you that it's basically just the fabric making a loop then going inside that loop, then you pull it and it's done. Again, super easy and fast to do.

Continue to cut them in straight lines and tie knots at the end of each section. If you've done both sides of the shirt (front and back), the fringe part should look a lot like this!

In the middle of the process, I checked out the sleeves and decided to cut the seams off as well, because that would make the shirt a lot more convenient and comfortable, and gives it a much trendier look than before!

Aaaanddd ta-daa! Your fringe shirt is done!
Of course, after that, you'll need to wash it before you wear it because you don't want to have traces of chalk and bits of leftover fabric getting tangled up in your fringe shirt, so just wash it before you wear it of course. But I do not recommend you put it into the washing machine, because it's very risky! You might harm the knots or the fragile little cut-outs. So for mine, I did it by hand.

And that's it! That's how you could easily turn your old shirt into a trendy fringe top! I hope you guys liked this post and if you tried this at home, I would love to see how it turned out for you :) 

Here are some additional tips that you guys should also pay attention to in the process of revamping your old T-shirts:
  • Avoid watching TV while you are working on your shirt. Okay, this might not be what you wanted to hear but just hear me out. Of course, I think that in doing these projects you should be comfortable and relaxed for it to result in a better outcome, but the thing about television is that it's mildly distracting! Unless you just listen to the TV (and it's okay if you do this, I sometimes do it too for background sound), then I suggest you turn the TV off and listen to music instead! During the process, I kept my laptop on and went into Youtube where I keep a playlist of classical music. I kind of have a thing for pianos and cellos so I keep a compilation of these classical songs that I find really soothing and nice to listen to. It helped me concentrate but also stay relaxed.

  • It's okay if you messed up a little bit. It doesn't mean you suck at it! It just takes a little practice if you're unfamiliar with working with garments. However, in this case particularly, the thing about fringe tops is they look absolutely divine and recklessly wonderful and neat, yet they're actually very imperfectly structured! The knots that hang below the shirt as well as the cuts don't have to be even for it to look good. I even messed up a whole knot and it turned out shorter than the rest of them, but my friends could hardly notice until I told them about it. So it is completely natural to mess up here and there. Just finish what you started!
So that's basically all there is! I hope you liked this, please comment and follow and share, and next, I'll be doing DIY custom-made mugs so I'm excited to start doing that as well! Also, more posts are coming your way for the (Tee)ransform series, so I really hope you stay tuned. I wish you have a really great day.


  1. Hi dear and thank you very much for follow me on Bloglovin. I'm very happy and I follow you immediately. Congratulations for this work....nice idea!!! Have a nice day, kisses,

    1. Aw thank you for following me back! You're very sweet. <3

  2. Wow great idea and what a fun project!! A transformation of this shirt is amazing!! Great post, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of your posts. :))

  3. Wow you did an amazing job! :) It looks beautiful :)


    1. Ahh thanks so much! Thank you for coming here and commenting, this means so much! You have no idea how much I admire you. Xoxoxo

  4. I love the after look cant wait to see more posts.

  5. This is such a clever idea, definatly gonna re-create this look! :) x x

  6. Adding the chevron shape is such a good idea! I wish i'd done that with mine now! Thanks for the tip!

  7. LOVVVE your fringe top!!! LOOKS sooo epic how you made it! Soooo cool babe! And fab DIY!
    xoThe Beckerman Girls

    1. Aw thank you for being so sweet! This means a lot xoxo


  9. What a great idea, and the outcome is fabulous. You did an amazing job, Joanne. Thx for sharing.

    1. Ahh, thank you so much for saying that. You're very kind! :)

  10. I love the end result (and I can totally see stores charging way more for the fringed look even though it was so easy for you to DIY. Do you have to wash the shirt by hand now?

    Another Beautiful Thing

    1. I do too! :) That's why I decided to post it. Thanks a lot!
      Yes I recumbent washing the shirt by hand. But maybe it's just because I'm not too much of a risk-taker, so that's why I didn't want to put it into a machine. If you do put it into a washing machine, don't go too fast. Small tassels like those can be quite fragile!
      Thanks for commenting, xoxo.

  11. wow it's fantastic, but for me it's impossible... very compliments!

  12. WOW! Love the way you styled that tee, i'm definitely going to have to try this out!
    Thanks for the inspiration!


  13. Your top is so cute

  14. Wow nice diy, great look!