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Tuesday tutorial: frugal fashion, no-sew, drape vest & infinity scarf for under $10

OK, I own it, I am a cheapskate. I mean like bare-bones-sorting-through-the-clearance-bin cheap! Not as cheap as some of those recycling-salad-dressing-ladies I have seen on TV, that is beyond the pale even for me. But cheap enough that I won’t pay for new fashion,when I know, with a few internet searches and a little ingenuity, I can DIY a perfectly lovely version at home.

So this week I want to tell you about my two new favorite DIYs of the hour. I warn you! Stay away from Pintrest! I spend hours and hours of my life being sucked down the endless black hole of craftiness!

Do you love those drapey vests that every teenager on the planet is rocking with skinny little leggings and knee-high boots? Yeah me too. (Although, I wouldn’t be caught dead in leggings without a barrier layer!)

Well here is your saving grace, all you need are:

  • A two pack of men’s extra large t-shirts, color of your choice, or if you have some old shirts laying around collecting dust you can cup them up and save your dough! Patterned? Old race shirts? No problem! If you leave the designs on they actually make really quirky, interesting fashion pieces. It can add a needed pop of color to your wardrobe. (For this tutorial I bought a pair of Hanes Tees from the Dollar general two for $8 because I have pretty much already repurposed all of last seasons race shirts.)
  • A pair of scissors.

BAM! How much simpler can it be? Not much!

supplies

You will literally be able to turn these Tees into a cute combo in less than 10 minutes for under $10. It is easy and simple and looks very mod.

First things first. The scarf is by far the easiest thing you’ve ever made. Can you make Easy Mac? You can make this!

easymac

Stick it in the microwave and make your scarf while dinner cooks!

 

Lay your first T-shirt out on a flat surface. I like to use the floor. I like to use the floor that doesn’t have carpet, ahem, carpet is fabric, scissors cut fabric…not that I’ve ever cut my carpet, but you should just be careful, OK?

Once you have it flattened out make two parallel cuts through both layers. The first cut should trim off the hem of the shirt. The second cut should just from the armpit of one sleeve to the other.

scarf1

Remember: DON’T CUT THE CARPET!

Once you’ve cut the shirt discard the hem and the top with the sleeves. Put them to the side for your next DIY, or throw them out, whatever. Personally, I can’t throw anything away so they end up in the rag-bag sadly waiting, like little fabric wallflowers, for the next wave of creativity to make them crafty project princesses.

Take the tube of fabric and stretch it! I mean put some muscle in it ladies! Unless you’ve got the strength of Arnold you aren’t going to rip it. The more you can stretch it the better. The double benefit is that stretching rolls the edges and gives it a slightly more finished look.

Even Arnie might not tear your scarf! You could probably tow your car with it! (I kid, please don't try that.)

Even Arnie might not tear your scarf! You could probably tow your car with it! (I kid, please don’t try that.)

Now, on to the vest. This looks more complicated, and honestly, the first time I saw one I felt like I was back in High School Geometry class. The look on my face was probably something like this:cat

But I promise, it is easy! I watched several different versions and then finally figured it out. This truly makes one of the cutest vests ever and it looks good both over long-sleeves and tank tops. It is super cute summer wear because it is partially backless.

Start by laying your second T-shirt flat on the floor. (I don’t need to go over the carpet thing again do I?)

First, you’re going to cut off the sleeves, make the cut on the torso side of the seam so you get a raw edge.

vest5

Sleeves, be gone!!!!

Next, cut out the collar. Be careful here, it is better to cut too little than to cut too much. This will be the open back portion of your vest, where your shoulders show, you don’t want it to gape. Try for a semi-circle shape, it doesn’t have to be perfect because, when you put it on, the fabric will pull and roll the edge down.  Again, you are cutting through both layers simultaneously.

You can see it isn't a perfect circle but it works. A shallow oval shape, with the long part pointing towards the bottom hem will give slightly more back coverage.

You can see it isn’t a perfect circle but it works. A shallow oval shape, with the long part pointing towards the bottom hem will give slightly more back coverage. A rounder shape will be a lower opening.

Finally, you will cut a straight line from the arm pit to the bottom hem of the shirt, on both sides.

vest3

What you end up with is basically a long rectangle with a hole in the middle.

Slip your arms through the hole, drape the scarf around your neck twice, and TADA! You have a vest/scarf combo! You have just successfully made yourself a new outfit for the evening. Um, well, you may need to wear pants and an undershirt. I guess that depends on just how bold you are.

vest2

In case you are still wondering just how to put it on. You slip both arms into the hole and drape the long sides of the fabric forward.

A quick look at the back! Our dress form, courtesy of Heather Pauley, is unnaturally thin so the vest will fit a little more snugly on a human.

A quick look at the back! Our dress form, courtesy of Heather Pauley, is unnaturally thin so the vest will fit a little more snugly on a human.

Do you have some great n0-sew T-shirt transformations? Share them in the comments! We love to hear from you!

All pictures are courtesy of Chip Ellis, Charleston Gazette.

 

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1 Comment

  1. Melinda Hernandez - April 14, 2014

    Nice article! Wonderful! You have a very lovely scarf and vest. You made the scarf and the vest very simple and it is easy to follow. No need to sew or what. Thanks for the tutorial. I will do this at my spare time. I am really thankful for you for sharing this post.

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