Thursday, April 18, 2013

Upcycle Tshirt to Cool Tank Top

Seventy1Percent LOVES to design, screen print, and wear ocean inspired tshirts. Rebecca blogs about ocean life and wants to share with Team FEST a way to upcycle those old tshirts and turn them into cool tanks suitable for the hot Florida sun!

Obviously we have a TON of tshirts around the house. Its one of the hazards of having a tshirt screen printing business. With summer fast approaching I decided it was time to "cool off" some of my tshirt collection. Read how I turned my tee into an 80's inspired tank I can wear all summer long! Bonus: No one else will have one like it!

Step 1. Find an oldie but goodie to recycle. This tshirt I found was an original design so it has tons of sentimental value.

Step 2. Lay the tshirt flat AND inside out. This way any ink or other marks from tracing will not show up on the front of the tank. Pin the tshirt down if you wish. Find a favorite tank (razorback works best because regular straps tend to fall off the shoulders) and trace the back side as best as you can. 

Step 3. Unpin and reverse the tshirt and the tank. Be sure to line up the strap line. Trace the front of the tank onto the inside out side of the front of the tshirt.
Shirt is inside out and tank is placed. 

Trace the outline
Line up strap lines

No worries if you screw up the lines! Tee is inside out!

Step 4. Cut out. Carefully and one side at a time.

I also cut off the bottom seam so the bottom has a raw edge. 

Step 5. Voila! You have an 80's inspired tank. Don't worry about the raw edges, it gives it a cool vibe.

Step 6. Would you like to add more? I decided to add some "knots" to the straps. To do this, cut out strips from your spare fabric. Play with the thickness and length. Mine were about a foot long and an inch thick. Don't get too technical or you'll drive yourself nuts! Take the strips and tie a knot over the strap. I tied the knot right where the shoulder seam lines up. After you've tied your knot, wrap the strip around and around towards the bottom of the strap. When it looks "cool" tie the two ends together. Cut off the excess. It often takes more than one try til you've found what looks good.

Pepper loves to get involved in my projects. 

7. Pair it with your favorite bathing suit or comfy leggings and go let loose in the Florida sun. 

What do you do with your old tshirts? Have you tried something similar to this? We'd love to hear from you. Feel free to contact Rebecca at Seventy1Percent if you have any questions or just want to chat! Go Team FEST. Stay cool this summer and see you at the beach!


  1. Love it! Perfect for Summer.

    Jillian -

  2. Thanks for sharing your project on the Love 2 Upcycle Linky Party last week. Your project has been featured. Be sure to swing by, check it out and link up another fabulous project.