The other day I was at H&M and saw this cute, cape-like top. Rather than a full-on sleeveless cape, I realized that it was simply oversized wing-sleeves – so much more practical! I thought it looked like simple enough construction, and decided to take on the challenge of converting an ordinary t-shirt into an extraordinary one. So follow along on perhaps my favorite DIY (and totally easy) tutorial so far!
What you will need:
- A plain, cotton t-shirt
- Fabric – I prefer using a knit jersey to match the t-shirt fabric. Plus it’s super easy to work with.
- A sewing machine or needle and thread
- Sewing pins
- Ruler or tape measurer
First thing you want to do is remove the sleeves of your shirt (unless you are using a tank, which I only recommend using if it has thick straps). I used one of these Jerzee tee’s you can get for $4 at a craft or fabric store.
First measure from the top of your shoulder to where you want your sleeve to hit on your waist (I went about 7″ from the bottom of the shirt). Add two inches your measurement to give you hemming room (I ended up with 17″). With your measuring tape (or ruler), hold a pencil at the measurement point and move it along from the folded side of the fabric in a quarter circle (from point A to point B). Following the quarter circle you just made, cut out the half circle sleeve. Repeat this step to get two sleeves.
Using your pins, you are going to attach your sleeves to the shirt. Pin the edge of your sleeve about an inch from the fold of your shirt and right on the edge of your sleeveless hole. The sleeve should be facing you inside out, and the shirt right side out. Fold the sleeve over the top of your shirt, and pin the remaining fabric to the opposite side (once again, about an inch from the fold of the shirt, and right on the edge of the sleeveless hole). I would mark the halfway point on the sleeve so that it’s easy to figure out how to get even sided sleeves. When you sew the sleeve on, you will flip the sleeve over for a seamless attachment!
Repeat Step Four to complete your shirt. It should end up looking like this:
Because I choose plain white fabric, I decided to decorate it with some fabric paint to add some pizazz:
After I let it dry, this is what I was left with:
What do you think of this project? Is it something you’d like to try? Let me know!