Monthly Archives: May 2013

Minimal Sewing: Recycle a Shirt


We all have those shirts…the one you like and wear so much that your armpits destroy it. Right? Wait, that’s not just me is it?! I’m ashamed to share with you all that I have super pits that ruin everything.

I’ve had this Threadless shirt for awhile and I had it shoved into my closet because at some point about a year and a half ago it started to get that permanent armpit smell. Still, I couldn’t bring myself to trash it.

The no-sew workout tank is one of my most frequently viewed posts. This involves a smidge of sewing but it’s so simple you could even do it by hand if you don’t have a sewing machine!

Things you’ll need:

A shirt you want to salvage

Good (fabric) scissors


Sewing machine (or alternatively, just a needle and thread)

A safety pin

I originally saw this idea here: and was excited to make something less workout-ish.

Here’s my shirt:

shirt I refuse to toss

Why would you get rid of a zebra? You wouldn’t.

Cut off the sleeves, then cut across the top in a straight line. You should cut as close to the collar as you can so you have plenty of room to work with to create your casing for the straps. My design was a bit high up on the chest so part of the zebra’s ear got sewed through.

Snip snip

Snip snip

Cut the sergered edge off of your sleeves (the part where your arm comes out) in one whole strip each- this is what you will use for straps. Now thread one through the front and one through the back casings that you just sewed. Sorry, I’m getting rusty in my blogging and I didn’t photograph this part. Woops, I got lazy.

Attach a safety pin to the fabric you are threading into the shirt and use it to guide the fabric through.

Last, sew the straps together. I just did a zigzag stitch forward and backward several times where the strap ends meet.

I can show off the tattoo I got last month in all my DIY tanks!

I can show off the tattoo I got last month in all my DIY tanks!

Tada! A fun little summer weekend tank.