Laced Up Cutout Upcycle

This pattern hack came to me by request, and super happy that it did.  I choose to upcycle a t shirt for this, but you can start with what ever knit fabric you’d like.  The Pattern I will be using is the Honky Tonk Angle pattern as my base.

Here is what I started with- A big baggy tshirt.  Not cute or flattering on anyone. (good for pjs, but that’s about it) Remember to start with a shirt that is at least 2x too big. This way you have plenty of fabric and room to create something new.

Cut your fabric

  • Cut your pattern pieces.  I like to get the most out of my t shirts I upcycle.  I cut the front, back, and sleeves from one shirt.  The scraps will become the tabs I need later. – Don’t toss your scraps!
  • Take your front piece and draw your cutouts.  You can do this on the pattern piece first, I usually do.  For this one I just drew right on my fabric.
  • The first lines you make will be where you want your cutouts start.
  • The next set of lines will be your “cut” lines.  Draw a line 1/2″ away from your original line. This will be folded under later.

Create your cutouts

  • Remove your cutouts and set aside for later.
  • Fold under a 1/2″ hem along the edges of your main fabric.
  • Pin in place.
  • Take your cutouts and add 3/4″ around the edge- cut that from your accent fabric.
  • Place the cutout under your main fabric overlapping it 3/4″.
  • Pin in place.

Make your tabs

Your tabs will be 1″ wide x 1.75″ long.  I like to make long strips and sew the side seam then cut into the small piece.  This is way faster than cutting a bunch of small pieces and then sewing the side seams.  You don’t need to worry about backstitching on these since they will be sewn into the seam of the cutouts.

Adding your tabs

  • Measure your tab spaces.  I marked every 2″ on my top.  If you want yours closer, you can do that.
  • Fold the tab in half and insert it under the 1/2″ fold you made earlier.
  • Pin in place.

You may notice I haven’t sewn anything down yet.  I like to keep things as quick and simple as possible, so I did a coverstitch over my seam.  One step, that is it.  If you don’t have a coverstitch you can twin needle the seams.
Now that your front is all sewn up, go back to the original pattern and sew the rest.

Extra steps if needed

  • Back up to the 1/2″ hem we made first.
  • Add your tabs
  • Stay stitch or Baste your tabs in place.
  • Now add your cutout piece and sew in place.

Making your ties

  • Your ties will be much longer than you would expect.
  • Make 1.5″ strips as long as you can- mine are over 60″.
  • Sew right sides together and turn right side out.
  • Lace up your tabs.
  • Now you can see if your ties are too long- cut the extra and hem the ends of your ties.

That’s it!  Your cute new upcycled dress is done!

* This one I modified the Vegas Sundress pattern before I hacked it into this amazing tank top.

Need more help?
Join me in my facebook group.

Like my fabric?
Main panel is a T-shirt Upcycle
Taco fabric is from  Pink Zeppelin Fabrics

Want More Tutorials?

Color blocked Pencil Skirt
Making your own cording
T-shirt upcycling basics 101
Sewing Stuff I Love
Basic tips for sewing with knits
Quick & Easy three step hems

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