Sew, What's New?

Curating sewing and quilting talent, techniques, and tutorials, since 1997.

Sew Amazing DIY Vest From a T-shirt - Upcycle

OK – Transforming a T into this cascading vest tickled my brain!   Cruising on Pinterest for upcycle fashion ideas for my upcoming Kids Fashion Sewing Camp, I came upon the photo seen at the left in the image above.  Since I lost a night’s sleep on this, let me explain…


  1. The neck h*** (see my improved shaping) turns into the back ‘hole’ of the vest.
  2. Shoulder seams: one becomes the lower center back seam, the other is at the top back of the neck.  You ‘wear’ by putting your head & arms into this ‘hole’.
  3. One long ‘side’ becomes the lowermost hem (which you can finish, or not).  The other long ‘side’ becomes the neckline and center front edge.
  4. The original hems of front and back become the horizontal draped edges at the lower front.

Does that clarify?  Probably not, so walk through this transformation, learning how to IMPROVE it all as we go.


polo_shirt-cutting   t-shirt_cutting

Look for a large t-shirt if you want a long vest, and a smaller t-shirt for a shorter vest.  Other than that, I can figure no ‘sizing’.  The purple polo shirt above was a men’s medium, while the burgundy t-shirt was a men’s 2 XL.  I feel the men’s medium will fit my young tween sewing students.


  1. Cut straight up the sides, cutting off the sleeves.
  2. Cut the ‘hole’ that will become the ‘back’ and ‘armholes’ all-in-one.  I decided, even on my first attempt, that I would prefer a longer seam at the lower center back, so I left the left shoulder seam as wide as possible, cutting an ‘elipse’ for this ‘hole’.  I
  3. SAVE everything!  That nice polo collar could become a strap across the back...

elipse hole  elispse_hole


That’s all you do, according to the directions!  Now I ask, wouldn’t that ‘hole’ stretch out?  With the stress of spanning the back and arms, wouldn’t those edges not only stretch, but even perhaps, the knit fabric would develop a run?  

For the rest of the directions, click over to the original post at my blog at this link

Recycled and Upcycled Projects at SWN:

Find more inspiring upcycled sewing photos like this on Sew, What's...

Refashioning & Recycling Videos @ SWN!

Views: 228


You need to be a member of Sew, What's New? to add comments!

Join Sew, What's New?

© 2022   Created by Sara.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service