Introduction: Ring Out the Old, Bring in the New

About: I'm Kozmic Blues! I'm always thinking and looking for new things to do. I also love Rock music and I usually mix both things to do my own accessories or clothes. I hope you'll enjoy my projects! I also have a…

I really hate it when I have to throw my favourite T-shirts away. Sometimes they are completely worn out, sometimes they have too many holes... So, before "retiring" them, I cut the parts I love the most and I use them to create new clothing items. I know it sounds a little bit weird, but you can make a perfect T-shirt out of the best bits of your old shirts! This way, you give them a second chance.


Many years ago, I bought a Jack Skellington T-shirt. I really loved it but I had to stop using it after wearing it weekly for several years. Before throwing it away, I cut Jack’s face to re-use it someday.

A few weeks ago, I found a striped shirt in a second hand store. It was too small for me, but I bought it to re-use its extra large sleeves. And suddenly, Jack's face (which I cut 7 years ago) came to mind! It was time to resurrect it! And here’s where my project starts.


- Two sleeves

- A desing from an old shirt

- One t-shirt

- Eyelets

- Chain

- Jumping rings


- Sewing Machine

- Pliers

- Eyelet setter

- Scissors

- Sewing thread

- Sewing needle

- Pin needles

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Step 1:

First, choose a pair of sleeves from an old T-shirt. Take the shirt and cut the sleeves out. Make sure both sleeves are of the same length.

Once you've cut the sleeves, you can use the rest of the shirt to make other projects (a short sleeved t-shirt, some patches, some cloths to paint on, etc).

Step 2:

Turn the sleeves inside out. The hem will be on the bottom side of the sleeve (the one closest to your hand). I used a 1 cm hem, so I let a margin of 2 cm of fabric. To do this, I folded the fabric to form the hem. Then, I refolded it to keep the cut part inside the hem. And I put a few pin needles to keep everything in place.

Step 3:

Now try on the sleeve to mesure its total length (while still inside out). Fold the top of the sleeve until you reach the desired mesure and place some needles. Take it off and mark the same length on the other sleeve. Then, cut the leftover fabric on both and prepare the hem following the instructions on the last step. One you've done, try the sleeves on again to make sure they have the right length.

Step 4:

Sew both hems with the sewing machine.

Step 5:

Now you need to prepare the T-shirt where you'll attach the sleeves. Cut the neck into a shape you like. Personally, I cut the neck's hem first and then I shaped it. The final shape is entirely up to you.

Step 6:

If the shirt is too long (like mine was), try it on and put a pin on the desired length. Take it off and put it inside out. Fold the hem you've measured.

Step 7:

To make the final hem, mesure 4cm all around the shirt. Once you have all the needles on a straight line, cut the leftover fabric. Then fold the fabric all around the shirt. You will have then a 2cm hem. Try the shirt on to make sure the hem is fine.

Step 8:

Stitch it provisionally. If you want to be really sure that it works, you can try it on again.

Step 9:

Now sew the part of the hem closest to the edge (leave 0.5cm aprox between the outer border and the first line of the hem). After that, to sew the second line, I guided myself with a ruler: I aligned it with the first line I sewed and I sewed right above it.

I learned it by observing the hems on the shirts I have. I saw there were two lines of stitches, and I did the same. (These pictures are purple because I worked during the night with artificial light... but it's the same t-shirt.)

Step 10:

Time to put the eyelets on.

First, you need to mesure the distance between the eyelets (I left 3cm aprox). With a pencil or a pen, make some marks where the eyelets will be. Take a hole puncher and make a hole, then put the eyelet and attach it with the press pliers. Do it all around the floating sleeves. Then do the same on the shirt.

You can also add some eyelets on the shirt's hem to decorate it.

Step 11:

Try the shirt on and mesure the length chain you need between the shirt and the sleeves. Once you know the length cut 8 pieces of chain. Add jumping rings to each edge of the chain.

Step 12:

Put the shirt on a flat surface and place the pieces where they are supposed to go. Attach the sleeves to the shirt with the jumping rings you've put on the chain. I made it randomly and it worked well. But you can make it in a more "professional" way if you wish.

Step 13:

Finally, take the bit of the old, worn-out shirt you wanted to keep. In my case I took Jack Skellington's face. Place it on the front of the shirt. You can attach it with pins and try in on. I folded a hem all around the design but if you want a "punk" look you can attach it without a hem.

Step 14:

Stitch it temporally. Due to my Jack was too old and used, I need to stitch it even in the center (following my grandma's instructions).

Step 15:

Finally, take the sewing machine and sew it definitely. I used a zig-zag stitch in white to decorate it a little.

Step 16:

And here it is, your new T-shirt! A shirt which allows you to keep the things you love the most of your old shirts!

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