Cropped for Summer // T-Shirt Edition

Things continue to heat up around here in NE Ohio (literally, it was almost 90 today and several days in a row now), and I’m so excited for summer! Not be-cause summer dressing and style is my favorite, but because I just love summer. I’m not sure what it is about summer, but it always brings about a sense of rebel-lion against routine, relaxation, a slower pace and LOTS of time for crafts. At least that is my recollection of summers past.

Abby here again, and similar to last month, this month’s post is resurrecting an old favorite: the art of t-shirt alteration! I love doing crafts with t-shirts because they are in abundance (at our house, at your local Goodwill, everywhere), so why not alter one to increase its chances of wear?

To create your own altered t-shirt, you’ll need:
1. A t-shirt / t-shirt yarn
2. Scissors
3. Straight pins (optional)
4. A crayon or marker (optional)
5. Seam Ripper (optional)


I’ve had this Smucker’s® T-Shirt lying around for a few years from a past work event. It fits a little tight through the hips, so it’s been on my list to alter it somehow to make it more wearable (vs. just donating or getting rid of it). I had a few ideas of how I could accommodate widening this shirt, but then I remembered I have these “Generation T” books* from when I was younger, and got lost (and distracted) with a bunch of other inspiration for altering this shirt. I landed on cropping and lacing up the sides. Check it out!

First I cut off the sleeves, just inside the seams.


Then I decided how short I wanted to crop my shirt. I probably could have been a little more scientific about it, but just eyed it and marked it with a crayon.

Once my top was cropped, I cut up the sides of my shirt to separate the front from the back, and I marked the armpit with a straight pin. Then I marked where I wanted my laces to go and used a seam ripper to poke holes into my shirt (front and back).

I used some t-shirt yarn to lace up the sides. (If you don’t have other T-shirt yarn around, you can use the bottom bit of your shirt to make T-shirt yarn for this project or a future one).

And because this project took very little time (and my children were still napping), I threw together some looks for a few occasions I’m not really ready for yet, but maybe you are:

Going out with friends, or attending a “Grease”-themed party

Returning to the office or garden party-themed brunch with friends


Hiking or 80’s themed boot camp


What do you think? Will you make your own fun, deconstructed T-shirt? If you do make your own, we’d love to see them! Share with us on social, @goodwillakron or @_abigaildrennen!

Happy crafting (and styling)!


*These books are likely available at your local Goodwill, but if you are really itching to dive in, they can be purchased online here and here