DIY: Refashioning a T-Shirt into a Striped Peplum Top

It's been awhile since I've posted a DIY project, and in the spirit of spring being just around the corner, I thought I'd share this refashion! Before and After T-Shirt to Striped Peplum2

I was inspired by this post from Merrick's Art on how to create a peplum top from an oversized shirt. I figured that I could recreate it with a plain t-shirt and maybe add some stripes for added interest. If you plan on following this tutorial, make sure you pick a t-shirt that is longer than you normally wear tops to accommodate for the peplum. My peplum didn't go as well as I had hoped, but I am happy with how it turned out anyway.

Steps to Refashioning a T-Shirt into a Striped Peplum Top

  1. Start with a somewhat oversized t-shirt. If you have a very large top, you will have to take it in a lot more than I did.
  2. Cut off the top where your natural waist hits. Keep the bottom because that's what you'll use to create your peplum. Try on the cropped top and mark where you'd like to take the top in with pins. You can be really crafty and remove the sleeves before taking them in and then sewing them back on, but I was able to sew it all along my pinned line using a zig-zag stitch.
  3. Gather your peplum at the top of the bottom half of your shirt. I tried to gather it using the elastic method, as Merrick's Art does, but for some reason, my elastic wasn't stretching enough. I decided to gather my tshirt by sewing two straight stitches with the longest stitch length possible (one at 1/4 inch and the second at 1/2 inch). Then, I tugged on the threads and carefully gathered the peplum so that it was the length of my natural waist (the size of the bottom of your top half).

    Attach the peplum by turning it inside out and pinning it to the right side of your top half. Sew along it, making sure you are sewing after the two gathering lines. Trim any excess fabric and turn it all right side out. You can stop here if you don't want to change the sleeves or add stripes.

  4. I trimmed the sleeves and attached the sleeve hem to the shoulder and underneath so that it "gathered" the sleeve in a more girlish cap sleeve. I also trimmed the neckline into a scoop and sewed a hem.
  5. To paint stripes, cut out your design from freezer paper  (see how to use freezer paper as a stencil in another DIY here). Carefully iron it on to your shirt using a ruler to space out your stripes equally.
  6. Choose a fabric paint or multi-surface paint. I used Martha Stewart's Glitter and Metallic Multi-Surface Paint. You can apply it with a sponge brush. **Note: I would suggest using only one layer of one color. I painted too many layers and it became very hard.**
  7. Carefully paint your stripe, using the freezer paper as a stencil. Be sure to put cardboard or paper in between the layers of your shirt so they don't stick together.
  8. Once you've finished painting, peel off your freezer paper before it is dry. Allow to dry overnight.
  9. Iron over your stripes using a press cloth and make sure you remember to wash it inside out in the future. Enjoy!

This is a quick project for all of those leftover t-shirts you might have lying around. Let me know if you have any questions about it! Happy crafting!