March 08, 2011

T-Shirt to Spring Jacket



Welcome all you Celebrate the Boy fans.  Thanks for dropping in.  I love a good boy project and this is one I've had in my head for months.  Who's ready?  Raise your hands please!


Here's what we're up to today.  The basic idea is to take a t-shirt and turn it into a jacket or pullover.  I love to sew, but I consider myself to be a beginner.  So, rather than starting from scratch I like to start with an existing shirt.  Plus, honestly speaking, my boys are sweaty little guys.  I can't ever put a thick sweater on them.  I like thin layers and so do they.


Here's another version.  You can mix and match the ideas to create one that suits your little guy's needs.


Showing you the options kind of makes this like a book that has different ending options.  Just pick and choose what you like.  First, I'll show you how I made the orange jacket step by step.

I bought a plain t-shirt, an exposed zipper, knit ribbing, and I gathered some scraps that coordinated.  Let's talk zippers first.  They carry a wide variety of these zippers at JoAnn's now.  Bring your coupon or you'll spend more on the zipper than the t-shirt.  (My t-shirt was $3.50 and the zipper was around $5.)  You need to measure your child to get an idea of the zipper length to buy.  It's a heavy zipper that you can't really shorten, so make sure you measure first.


The first thing we'll do is sew on some strips across the chest of the shirt.  (I didn't fold under the strips.  I like the raw edges personally.)  If sewing with knits makes you nervous you can use heat 'n bond to help you out.  (Warning: If you're going to use it and you're sewing on strips that have a graphic like mine be sure not to put an iron right on it.  It could melt it.  So, just lay a thin fabric over the top of it when you iron it on.)

When I sew with knits I like to make my piece extra long and then trim is afterwards.  Then if things shift a bit during sewing I'm not short on fabric.


After the strips are sewn we can add the ribbing.  You don't need much.  I think I used less than 1/4 of a yard.  I cut strips that were about 5 inches wide, so they would be about 2.5 inches when folded and sewn on.  The width of the ribbing depends on your zipper length.  You'll want to lay out your zipper and see how much ribbing you need to make the zipper fit the length of the jacket. 


Sew a loop of fabric about an inch more narrow than the width of the t-shirt.  See how it's not as wide as the shirt?  See also how I've laid out the zipper to figure out the length of the ribbing?  (Remember you'll loose a 1/4 of an inch on the length of  both when you sew them together.)  You want the ribbing to be more snug just like it is on a sweatshirt. 


When sewing on the ribbing just place the ribbing where it goes (like in the picture above) and fold it up onto the shirt so that it's around the entire shirt.  Since the ribbing is a smaller circle you'll stretch it gently as you sew.  You'll do the exact same thing for the sleeves.  They are a little trickier, since they are so small, but it's not too hard.  If you have a serger you can serge the edges.  If you don't it's okay.  I don't either.  The knit isn't going to fray so don't sweat it.  Now you'll have this.


Now let's make the hood.  I took one of my son's hoods to trace.  I laid it on the edge of t-shirt (as shown) so I could use the existing hems. 


Lay the right sides together and sew the hood, leaving the bottom open where it wil be sewn to the shirt.  Now we'll sew it onto the shirt.  Cut out the neckline.  I would actually cut right where the collar and the shirt join.  (I cut a little extra off there.)  When sewing on the hood I find the middle of the back of the shirt and place the middle of the hood there.  That way I know it will be centered.


Now you'll notice the the seams are quite visible and when wearing a hood, you see them a bit.  I decided to cover them by taking some knit strips, folding then over the seams, and sewing it all the way around.


It will also help in case there'a gap between the hood and the zipper.  (I'm sorry I didn't take a great picture of this, but I'm talking about the green knit fabric you see around the neckline.)  It cleans up the look of the jacket.


Lastly, we'll sew on the zipper.  I love the exposed zippers that are so popular right now.  Sewing this baby on is pretty easy.  Pin it in place and sew 4 lines down it.  First sew the outer edge of the zipper and then the other outer edge.  Then if you have a zipper foot on your machine you can use it to sew a line close to the zipper on both sides.  If you don't have a zipper foot just do your best to get in close.  Fold over the top of the zipper when you get to the top.  (Tip: If your zipper is not long enough just fold up the ribbing again and sew it above your last seam, shortening the overall length of the jacket.)


Once the zipper is sewn on you can unzip it, cut down the shirt, and trim the edges of the shirt underneath so they don't get stuck in the zipper.


You're done!  Hooray!  Now grab your little guy and try it on.  This one's a little big for Rex now, but here's my nephew modeling it.


Now, I'm going to make an executive decision here (because it makes me feel cool to feel like an executive).  This tutorial was seriously long, so I'm going to show you how I made the pullover on Thursday.  I don't want you to overdose on shirt transformations today.  I'll also show you how I made the scooter print on the pullover's pocket, since sometimes it's hard to find fun knits.

Tomorrow  is Wake Up Wednesday and then Thursday will be the Pullover.  Thanks for your patience and thank you for reading!
Visit thecsiproject.com

75 comments:

  1. I love it! It's so great to see cool refashions for boy's.

    Jeanna @ dramaqueenseams.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ooooh, I'm really digging that orange and brown one. Like, A LOT. I could see any of my nephews sporting that quite happily, in late spring maybe. (we definitely wear the full-on hardcore layers up here, ha.)

    ReplyDelete
  3. i love that orange one! so creative. and it doesn't look to hard for this beginner! :0) Thanks Cheri!

    - jen
    jehling2 at gmail (d0t)com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love this! However, my MIL has an obsession with hoodies and has bought my son about 7 of them, so it would be kinda pointless to make it. But I do have a daughter!

    ReplyDelete
  5. first... I LOVE THE ORANGE!!!! And i can't wait to make this!!! i love how your tutorials have options! i love how you make me want to make my son custom clothes. you rock!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Way way way awesome! My brain would hurt if I were as clever as you :) Darn good thing I'm not and just have you to copy!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I swear to you I had a non-hooded sweat shirt and a couple of tees in my cart at Dollar Tree last night to do something very, very similar. I put them back, though, because they were too expensive. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  8. That looks great!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love this, Cheri! I had a t-shirt I had wanted to add a hood to, but you've taken it to an all new level with the jacket! You are amazing, once again!

    ReplyDelete
  10. that is SO cute! i have 2 girls and 1 boy and i love seeing all of the items being made for 'celebrate the boy' month! i've enjoyed making some boy things for my son as i usually make a lot of girl stuff. and he is 4 so he's still excited when i make him something. thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is so cute! My son will totally go for these hoodies! I love the pieced together look. I made 5 of your Upcycled Boy's Hats for my nephews and my son for Christmas gifts. They were a huge success and these hoodies remind me of the hats!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Cheri! You have outdone yourself once again! I love it and am heading to the store to buy my guy a shirt to transform! Thanks so much for the great tut and inspiration! You are amazing!
    (jacshembree.blogspot.com)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Okay, what I love is that your stuff just looks awesome! It has such a cool factor, all of it. I would totally buy these.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh my goodness! This is too cute. Your designs rock!

    ReplyDelete
  15. i looooove this jacket!!! ihave to make one!!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. This rocks! YOu are so creative! I definately have to make one of these- like today!

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a cute idea!! I really like the way you put it all together! Way fun!

    ReplyDelete
  18. love it! love all the boy stuff:) :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. So creative! I love it!

    f e l i c i t y ☂, at
    { s i m p l e · e l e g a n c e }

    ReplyDelete
  20. This is amazing!!!! Love, love, love the idea! Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love it. I will be trying this tutorial out. Thanks for sharing. You always have such good ideas for boys.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Home run! That is amazing. You did a great job. I am entirely too chicken to try that out, so I'll just sit and drool over yours. :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Love this! I think you've convinced me to try zippers. :) And your boys are the cutest!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. look at you smarty pants. I love an idea that breaks all the rules of how to sew. You inspiration never disappoints me. this is on my list of must do.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I love your style!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. You're an absolute GENIUS. I like to think of myself as creative, but you seriously have me beat in that category. I LOVE THIS. So fantastic and a great way to transform outgrow clothes. I can't wait to try this and I can't wait for the other tutorial!! I just got a serger so I'm on a mission to make awesome stuff now :)

    Thanks for all you share with us, it is MUCH appreciated! :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. This is seriously awesome!!! I can't wait for my little guy to get a little bigger so he can wear one! :D

    ReplyDelete
  28. So awesome! I will be digging through the goodwill pile for some great pieces I can salvage for something for my little man.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Just when I think you have done it all, you amaze me yet again! You are the Queen of Boy!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I am seriously impressed! This will definitely be my next project!\

    ReplyDelete
  31. Sooo cool! And a good way to lenghten shirts they´ve grown out of but won´t ever let go.

    My son would also love the orange and brown as these are the colours if his favourite cuddle toy. Do you know the Mouse? http://www.wdrmaus.de/index.php5

    Anja

    ReplyDelete
  32. I love this! I want to go to my local thrift store and find fun knit shirts to make a couple of these for my son and girly some up for my daughter too. You are so creative! Thanks for sharing. :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Love 'em both! I don't have any boys, myself, but these instructions easily translate into totally awesome shirts for everyone in the house!!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Coolest refashion EVER! This is a fun idea, I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  35. I have a some shirts that I have wanted to do something with. That is awesome idea!

    ReplyDelete
  36. genius!
    this is awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Dude. You are Amaze-O-Rific!
    So, when do I get a boy??!
    I'll have to whip up a femmy girl version of this a.s.a.p.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Awesome as always! I love this idea. Thanks for the great tutorial.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I.LOVE.THIS! I have a sweaty boy too, and we are all about thin layers. Will be making him one soon- Thanks for the AWESOME tutorial!:D

    ReplyDelete
  40. Amazing! ALL my boys will be sporting one of these! Thanks for the great tute...now I am off to find some old tees to cut up!!!

    ReplyDelete
  41. I just stumbled upon your blog. I read 'about' you...I, too, HATE driving & put things I've already done on my 'to do list' !! :) I love this jacket idea; all my kids are grown, but I'm a gma to a cute little boy...and I just might try this! Great boy ideas ~ Great blog!

    http://alilbitofthis-alilbitofthat.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  42. Waaw, this is too cool! thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  43. That is freaking AWESOME!!! I so wish I were crafty!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Thank you so much - what a great tutorial! And I love your blog...came over from MADE and stayed awhile!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Really. REALLY? Really! How can you do this? How do you come up with amazing ideas day after day?
    Well done. Great work.

    ReplyDelete
  46. This was great! Thanks so much. There is hope for people like me who are afraid of zippers! I love this idea!

    ReplyDelete
  47. LOVE! Living in FL our regular jackets/sweatshirts are to warm even for the weather right now and sometimes you just need a little something extra. Perfect! And I'm headed to Wal Mart tomorrow anyway. Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  48. So excited that I found your blog! I have two boys (and I'm a novice crafter!) It is so hard to find "boy stuff". I mean, yay for little dresses and bows, but they do nothing for me since I have no pink in my house. Thanks so much for your great ideas. I'll be on here everyday now!

    ReplyDelete
  49. THis is brilliant! BRILLIANT!!! I need to feature this on at somedaycrafts so I can make these in a while. LOVE IT!!!! you are too talented!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Awesome! Love the exposed zipper...so much easier too, yah? You've got some lucky boys there ;)

    ReplyDelete
  51. wow cheri! I'm blown away, these are so so cool. I love the zipper and it's just so cool, very tough and fun and very boy. hmm, I might dare to even make a girl version or two of these, YESSS!

    ReplyDelete
  52. You genius you! Nice work ma'am!

    ReplyDelete
  53. I love this! I can't wait for Thursday for the pull-over tutorial. Two more things to add to my ever growing list of Cheri's-projects-that-I-must-recreate!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Hi,
    That is so cute and a great idea. Good way to use fav shirts and put into one!! I will try this out!!

    Diana

    ReplyDelete
  55. awesome! what a great way to reduce, reuse, and recycle!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Love, love, LOVE!!!! I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-turn-a-t-shirt-into-a-zippered-hoodie/2011/03/09/

    --Anne

    ReplyDelete
  57. Awesome! I don't think this would be just limited to little boys. I honestly could see my teenaged daughter making one!

    Tina
    Off The Wall Expressions on Etsy

    ReplyDelete
  58. WAY COOL. this is such a great idea. It turned out awesome. Now my head is spinning with ideas!! I need to go and stock up on zippers!

    ReplyDelete
  59. Awesome tutorial! Great idea, and I love customized kids clothing. Have you found all the great projects and ideas over at www.WeAllSew.com yet? I think you'd like all the great sewing links!

    ReplyDelete
  60. AWESOME Cheri! I love this, I am gonna give this a go this weekend, yay! Kylie

    ReplyDelete
  61. I've been reading your blog for nearly a year now. You never cease to amaze! Thank you for this wonderful post! I love how you are able to make projects easy, cool and adorable all in one! Nice work! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  62. What the what?! Love it!

    Came by from Made and I'll certainly be coming back often. You rock!

    ReplyDelete
  63. I love the contrasting metal zipper and how you added the scraps...it looks very cool!

    ReplyDelete
  64. Your amazing! I love everything you do, but this has got to be one of the coolest ideas ever!

    ReplyDelete
  65. This is very cool. I've been wanting to do a hoodie for a while. This makes it look easy even! Love the trick for the hoodie! I also wanted to let you know that I added this to my link love today.

    ReplyDelete
  66. This is very cool. I've been wanting to do a hoodie for a while. This makes it look easy even! Love the trick for the hoodie! I also wanted to let you know that I added this to my link love today.

    ReplyDelete
  67. What a fun and inexpensive idea! I'd like to try one of these for myself!

    ReplyDelete
  68. I'm finally featuring this at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com today.

    ReplyDelete
  69. I finally had (made?) time to make my version. Definitely way more girlish ;-) but I plan to make a lot more, and there will be boyish jackets be as well!

    http://wp.me/pK2DW-mP

    ReplyDelete
  70. Okay, I finally bit the bullet and did it! I saw this the day you posted it (yes I blog stalk you - but only because you're totally awesome!), and the first one is done - getting to baby girls tomorrow.

    http://caelas-creations.blogspot.com/2011/09/spring-training-sweatshirt.html

    ReplyDelete
  71. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I made my first jacket with it, and my son loves it!

    ReplyDelete
  72. Hello,
    I just came across your blog while searching for how to turn a sweatshirt into a jacket. In your tutorial, you mentioned using an exposed zipper, which I may find at Joann's. I am planning a trip to Joann's. Will the zipper packet, have "exposed" zipper on it?
    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The exposed zipper is more about the way it's sewn on. However, the current trend of the exposed zipper is always a metal zipper, so you can still buy it in a packet, but just pick a metal one.

      Thanks!
      Cheri

      Delete
  73. Love your blog and this project! We linked it up on our post today. If you like you can find it here http://onceuponasewingmachine.com/5-things-we-love-diy-childs-fall-wardrobe/

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for leaving a comment! If you are asking a question and you do NOT have your profile linked to your email address, I will respond in the comment section, so just come back to check it later. Thanks!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails