Make Your Favorite Old T-Shirt New Again





Introduction: Make Your Favorite Old T-Shirt New Again

About: I love to stay home as much as as I love to travel, I've been to 49 states (missing Alaska) and 31 countries. I have two wiener dogs now and a cat. We all live together in a house in the woods. With no roaches.

Don't you hate it when your coolest, most favorite/lucky/sentimental old T-shirt finally is no longer fit to be seen in? This 'ible will show you how you can save the best part of your old favorite and get many more years of wear/luck and sentiment from the new one.

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Step 1: Suplies

  • Sewing machine and contrasting thread
  • "Steam-a-seam 2" fusable webbing
  • Old beloved T-shirt
  • New blank T-shirt
  • Scissors
  • iron
T-shirt fabric is really stretchy and trying to sew the fabric together without the benefit of Steam-a-Seam 2, will turn into a mess. There are other products on the market to act like a stabilizer but this is the only one that I have used that lets the T-shirt feel just like a soft old T-shirt. 

Step 2: Your Favorite Old T-shirt

When my son was 3, he loved this shirt and as you can see from the first photo he was able to wear it for many years as he slowly grew into its large size. Fast forward (not really, as they were the slowest years of my life so far) 10 years and I still have the shirt. Being a sentimental (read also as semi-mental) mom I could not bring myself to give it away. 

Step 3: New T-shirt

Find a new blank T-shirt that sort of goes with the graphic you are going to cut out of your old favorite T-shirt, now turn it inside out. 

Step 4: "Steam-a Seam 2"

I love this stuff, it is magic. Read the instructions on the box or for more details go t

Anyway, trace a circle or square around what you want to keep from your favorite old shirt and make about an 1/3 inch border to surround the design.

Step 5: Iron

You will want to pull off the paper backing of the Steam-a-Seam 2, center your design with the back of it facing you, and iron it to the front of your new inside out T-shirt.

Step 6: Sew From the Back and Then Turn Right Side Out

I like to use a thread that contrasts with the new shirt and goes with the color of the old one. You can sew neat concentric rings or zigzags all over the place. The sewing is going to become an integral part of the design so you want it to show up. 

Now you are going to turn your new T-shirt right side out.

Step 7: Cut

I love this part. If you have applique scissors by all means use them, if you don't have them just carefully cut smoothly along close to the edge to show the graphic from the old T-shirt that is just hiding underneath the new one. 

Step 8: You're Done!

A special patch to anyone and everyone who posts a photo of their new T-shirt.
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    I've made a bunch of these, and next month will be showing other people how to at the Maker Faire (as part of the Swap-A-Rama-Rama remake/re-use/upcycle/whatever you want to call it room.). I'll be doing all kinds of applique but prominently featuring yours. And I will give credit where credit is due. Thanks so much!

    3 replies

    Cool!! Thanks! Show me what you've made.

    Where's the best place to post the pics?

    Right here, see down on the left when you open the reply box it says "add images"? I cant wait!

    They are applique scissors, they are really nice to have but you don't need them. They allow you to cut really close to the edge of something that is on top of another piece of fabric.

    I'll bet with your babies you could do a lot with this 'ible, thank you!

    All of these years I was just sewing the holes closed and stuffing them with pillow batting.. I got a great shirt with a cool logo on the back.. I will just cut out the back and sew it on the front of a new one... So I can look at it..

    1 reply

    Neat idea. My daughter had a T that she didn't want to part with and a friend made her a clock using the T as the face.

    1 reply

    It's weird how we get attached to the stuff on shirts or the shirts themselves, I think it would be fun to do a whole new shirt with lots of old shirt parts attached, I'm glad your friend made good use of your daughter's shirt.

    You can also buy Steam A Seam 2 on a roll. I use it all the time when I'm closing seams that normally would need to be hand stitched. It's probably more expensive, but I'm not sure. My roll is 1/4" x 40' & was +/- $4.00. I like it for projects like this simply because I'm lazy, and you can tear the small strip. LOL. Great I'ble! I'm "semi-mental" about a few of my son's old t-shirts too & it never dawned on me to do something like this. :)

    Great instructible! A few years back, a friend challenged me to come up with a "manly" reusable grocery bag. When DH was ready to toss his Mexican wrestler tee with the "Quien es mas macho?" slogan, I cut out the design and sewed it on a denim bag. Way cool!

    is that stymie? stymie's hand's are so.. flesh-tone'd.

    love this! I do this all the time with sports clothes and jerseys that don't fit me. I cut out the logo and glue it using E6000 to a cute shirt I can find at a store I like. Its also a good way to save money and recycle shirts you would otherwise throw out. Great job on the post and good to know Im not the only one out there who does this! :)

    Great instructable, Ninzerbean! Wish I could sew...looks like fun. Cman