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DIY Reconstructed Clothing Tutorial: Reconstructed T-Shirt

Updated on November 20, 2011

DIY Fashion: Reconstructed Clothing

Reconstructed garments are items of clothing that have been altered in some way to change or enhance their appearance. The practice is very popular among DIY fashionistas, who enjoy the challenge and satisfaction of giving new life to a boring old garment.

This tutorial starts with a plain t-shirt. The design is best worn off-the-shoulder and makes a great swimsuit coverup for the beach. This particular shirt was made to be worn under a duct tape corset as part of a DIY steampunk outfit, but it also looks great on its own or paired with a belt.

Step One

Lay the t-shirt flat on a table.  Cut along the top edge of the sleeve from the cuff to the seam at the shoulder, but be careful not to cut through the shoulder seam.  Repeat on the other side.

Step Two

Line the neck area of the shirt with paper or cardboard to prevent marker from beleeding through.  Measure in two inches toward the neck from the shoulder seam at the top edge of the shirt.  Mark this point on each side with a permanent marker.  Mark the center point of the neck slightly under the collar as well.  Use a ruler to connect the points with straight lines.

Step Three

Across the back of the shirt, connect the two points on the tops of the shoulders with a straight line.  Cua long both of these lines carefully to widen the neck of the shirt.  Be careful to cut just inside the lines, so that all of the ink from the marker is on the scraps you are removing and none is visible on the finished shirt.

Step Four

Cut off the remaining hems around the sleeves and bottom of the shirt.   Stretch the edges along the sleeves and anywhere else desired to shape the shirt.  Throw the shirt in the washing macine and dryer to get rid of any fuzzy bits left from cutting and it is ready to wear!


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    • Kierstin Gunsberg profile image

      Kierstin Gunsberg 3 years ago from Traverse City, Michigan

      Fun DIY! And a great way to show off shoulder and upper back tattoos :)