This week has been chock full on firsts for me. I bought my very first dress form --> her name is Lola; she was a showgirl. I made my very first galaxy tee. And now I'm sharing my very first ever cut up tee tutorial.
I LOVE cutting up tee shirts. It's amazing how something slouchy and unflattering can become something form fitting and chic. And I know some equate tee shirt makeover with skimpy but that just doesn't have to be the case. Though I tend to wear some off the wall things, I'm pretty conservative in my wardrobe tastes. As I was told very recently, "40 is the new 30 and you're dressing like you're 40, girl." And this shirt is totally made over but even an ultra conservative girl is gonna rock it even with some age appropriate bermuda shorts :)
For this project you will need:
100% cotton black tee shirt, 1-2 sizes larger than you normally wear
And a quick note... Black tee shirts are NOT white shirts that have been dyed black. Most often they are brown or red shirts that have been dyed black. This is done so that you get that nice, rich black color in the fabric. So when you bleach your tee you're probably not going to get straight white. Instead you're going to get to that brown or red state from before it was black. So don't be surprised when your tee isn't bright white and cheery in spots. Just work with what you get! That's one of the greatest things about tie dye!
Technically you should wash your shirt before starting. But I don't do technically :)
Take your shirt and lay it out on something to protect your work surface. I'm using a cheap, plastic drop cloth. Mix your bleach solution with 1 part bleach to 3 parts water.
Spray a big blog right in the center of your shirt from about 6 inches from the fabric. Allow the fabric to start to change colors. Go out to about 8 then 10 inches and spray again until you're happy with the main focus of your galaxy.
Take the spray bottle and get a few good sized drops onto the very center by just barely hitting the spray lever so that the bleach solution spits out.
Continue the spitting and spraying from a distance around the sleeves, neck and bottom. Spray and wait as you cannot make the shirt black again!
At this point your tee will be kind of damp, which is perfect for spiraling this baby up for some crazy swirly galaxy action.
Pinch the fabric with your fingers right in the middle of the bleached blob. Twist and twist to form the spin like you see above. Hit it with your bleach spray and wait.
Did it take enough color out that you can notice? If not hit it with just a bit more bleach until you can tell the difference. Flip over and do any bleaching that you want on the back side of the tee. Throw in the washer for the lightest cycle you have to remove the bleach.
Add warm water to your spray dyes and get to spraying the bleached out areas. Be sure to kind of group colors together for the best effect. Make your center blob one main color (lime green is awesome for this). Next drip the occasional drop of the other colors (remove the sprayer and let the dye drip from the ends or use an eyedropper if you have one).
Roll this baby up and place in a plastic bag for about 6 hours. Rinse until your water runs clear, toss in the was without any soap or fabric softener and get the rest of that business out. Allow to fully dry.
Now it's time to get to trimming. If you've never done this before I HIGHLY suggest trying it on a couple of junky tees. Grab a few at the thrift store, bum a few from your brother, boyfriend, husband or father and practice a few times.
Starting from the middle of the collar cut down 1-2 inches in a straight line.
Follow the collar the way to the seam that holds the front and the back pieces together.
Try your shirt on and see if you like the way it lays. If you need a bit more shoulder to be showing, cut just a little bit more fabric away starting at the seam and moving inward. You don't want to go all the way down to the 1-2 inch mark you started cutting at, but taper the cut to about the middle to 3/4 of the way in the new neckline.
To finish the neckline, simply follow the back collared piece and remove with scissors. If necessary, trim any strange stragglers up around the neckline now.
Next cut off just above the seams at the bottom and on the sleeves of the tee to help them be more flowy.. An inch will do you.
Along the sides cut slits that are 9-10 inches long. Use a ruler so that both sides are even.
When wearing the tee, tie a knot on one side or the other (since you cut both sides you can mix it up and tie either side!) with a double knot. Gently play with the fabric to make the creases that result lay in a flattering way.
Drop the tee off your shoulder and you're all set! Isn't Miss Lola just gorgeous in her new asymmetrical off the shoulder galaxy tee?
The knotted side has some nice creases that helps the tee allow for a bit of tummy.
And the opposite side has a sexy, yet conservative slit.
And there she is! All you need is a black tee shirt, some bleach and some spray tie dye and you're in business!
I hope that you enjoyed my first ever tee shirt makeover tutorial and the introduction of the beautiful Miss Lola. For even more DIY fashion goodness (mostly shoes, honestly) check out my blog Dream a Little Bigger!
Head over to our TIE DYE YOUR SUMMER site for even more inspiration, how-to's, and fun videos to get you mega-inspired for some DIY summer fun!