Make Your Favorite Old T-Shirt New Again

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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.

Intro: Make Your Favorite Old T-Shirt New Again

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.

Don't forget to vote in the sewing contest!

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 thttps://www.instructables.com/id/Monstrously-Easy-Applique-on-T-Shirts-and-More/

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.
  • If you are not yet a pro member it's time to become one as the 'ibles are so much easier to follow 
  • don't forget to rate this ible
  • vote for 'ibles in the sewing contest - not just mine but all the one's you like,
  • subscribe to me 

Step 9: More

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    28 Discussions

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    AndieL6

    Question 4 weeks ago on Step 8

    Can this be done by hand-sewing? Or is a machine necessary? I would be sewing my patch onto a black shirt. I know the stitching won't be as fancy or uniform as a machine, but is it doable?

    8 more answers
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    NinzerbeanAndieL6

    Reply 4 weeks ago

    Totally! And it will actually look better!

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    AndieL6Ninzerbean

    Reply 4 weeks ago

    Thank you! I am trying to make this:
    Hopefully it will work. I love the way yours came out. I know it was a long time ago, and your son is probably grown now, but this tutorial was extremely helpful! I loved the graphic on this T-shirt, but couldn't find it in my size. I'll report back with the finished product!

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    NinzerbeanAndieL6

    Reply 4 weeks ago

    Just a few suggestions - cut the cat out a bit more so there is not so much pink area and use black embroidery thread (maybe 2 strands, not all six) so it looks on purpose that you are hand sewing it. Be sure to leave a small border beyond where you stitch so it can sort of fold over a bit and look good after washing., You will still have to use the steam a seam 2 I hope you know or you will be fighting the two shirts the whole way around.

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    AndieL6Ninzerbean

    Reply 4 weeks ago

    Thank you so much for your tips! The reason I was trying to leave the pink part big instead of cutting closer to the graphic, is because I am trying to get rid of the previous graphic on the black shirt. I ordered my steam a seam & am hoping for great results!

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    NinzerbeanAndieL6

    Reply 4 weeks ago

    ahhhh, I get it. It's going to be great!

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    AndieL6Ninzerbean

    Reply 4 weeks ago

    We did it! Thank you so much for your help!

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    NinzerbeanAndieL6

    Reply 26 days ago

    Hey there, I posted how great your shirt looked and how proud I was of you and just now I was answering someone else and my reply to you is gone. I hope you got it and this is just an Instructables glitch.

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    AndreaN

    7 years ago on Introduction

    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!
    -Andrea

    3 replies
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    NinzerbeanAndreaN

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    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