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Alter a Man’s T-shirt with Crochet Detail

How To Alter a Man’s T-shirt

A few months ago, I shared a post on How to “Girl Up” a Man’s T-Shirt” . Today, I want to continue that with a few new ideas! These shirts are so comfy so why not alter them to reflect your individual style? I’ll share how to alter a man’s t-shirt and add a bit of crochet detail to it…

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  • T-shirt (mine is a Men’s XL)
  • Scissors
  • Pins

Start by washing and drying the shirt to remove any sizing and to soften it up. Pin around the neck and cut the neckband away. This particular shirt already had a v-neck so I didn’t want to cut the neckline too low…

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To make a cute front detail, fold the front of the shirt and line up the shoulder seams. Make cuts in a triangle so they get smaller as the cuts go down the front. Open the front and pull the fabric a little to make the cuts “roll” (I’m not sure why it looks green in this pic – its the same shirt!). Use a sort of crochet technique to make a braid down the front, then pin the last loop to the shirt…

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I wanted a braid detail at the hip line so I folded the bottom of the shirt up about 5″ and drew a 3/4″ line from the fold. Then I made small cuts across the entire width of the shirt…

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I used a crochet hook this time (it went a lot faster) and made the hip detail…

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Use a needle and thread to secure the last loop to the shirt. More detail can be added such as screen printing, stenciling, bling, etc.

Here is another shirt where I added the triangle chain detail to the back…

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The possibilities are endless! I’d love to see YOUR ideas!!

I’ve been asked to add a how-to on the crochet detail so here goes:

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Step One

After making the cuts for the crochet detail, insert the hook under two of the “loops”.

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Step Two

Pull the loop closest to the hook under the first.

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Step Three

Pick up the next loop and pull it through the loop already on the hook.

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Step Four

Continue along until all loops have been worked then secure the last loop to the first loop using a needle and thread!

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This is such an easy technique and can be added to the shirt in a variety of ways. Have any questions about how to alter a man’s t-shirt again? Leave a comment below!

39 comments… add one
  • Jackie Sutt
    December 12, 2012, 11:54 pm Reply

    This is fantastic!!! Granddaughters will love this!!!!

    • CherTexter
      December 13, 2012, 7:33 am Reply

      Thank you so much! Hope they have fun with it! Stop by again soon…

      • kackyful
        May 3, 2014, 2:30 pm Reply

        How do you finish the last loop, as in fasten it so it doesn’t all come undone?

        • CherTexter
          May 3, 2014, 7:28 pm Reply

          Hello! I used a needle and thread the secure the loop to the very first loop. Hope this helps! Thank you for stopping by!

          • kackyful
            May 7, 2014, 4:31 pm

            Great! Thank you!

  • Crystal Romaniuk
    December 18, 2012, 10:27 pm Reply

    How do you do the ‘crocheting technique’ ??? I would love to do this, but that looks like the only part I might have trouble with.

    • CherTexter
      December 19, 2012, 7:27 am Reply

      It is basically pulling one “loop” (where the cuts in the fabric are made) through another using a crochet hook… Start with the bottom loop and using a crochet hook, pull the loop above it through then continue “hooking” the loops until the chain is completed. Does this make sense? If not, let me know and I will email pics to you! designsbystudioc [at] gmail [dot] com

      • Tita
        February 7, 2013, 3:51 pm Reply

        Could you send me those extra pics, I’d love to make it, it just looks a little confusing. Thank you

        • CherTexter
          February 9, 2013, 10:09 am Reply

          Hello! I just added the pics to the bottom of the post… Hope this helps!

  • Setjay
    February 6, 2013, 12:16 am Reply

    Genius ! I’m totally makin it

  • Be Ganacias
    February 11, 2013, 1:21 pm Reply

    Really Kool … Thanks for the inspiration

  • Me
    February 12, 2013, 12:02 pm Reply

    It would’ve been nice if you’d included a “finished” pic of the whole shirt, so we could see what it looks like when completely finished. Not being able to “see” the whole finished product means I probably won’t try it. : (

    • CherTexter
      February 12, 2013, 12:57 pm Reply

      Hello! There is a photo of the finished shirt… It is the turquoise shirt in the photo above the purple shirt. Hope this helps! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Leah Linebaugh
    March 2, 2013, 9:09 pm Reply

    terrific idea! thanks for the detailed explanation too.

    • CherTexter
      March 3, 2013, 7:53 am Reply

      Thank you so much! Stop by again soon!

  • Bon
    March 20, 2013, 11:48 am Reply

    I also would like to see this on a person or mannequin. I know the detail makes the shirt a little more fitted in that area and it would be nice to see that effect before I start cutting up on my shirts.

    April 30, 2013, 12:53 pm Reply

    I wish there was a video tutorial I am much better at SEEING IT HAPPEN and mimicking the steps then the pictures…I am a bit of a spazzz!

    • CherTexter
      April 30, 2013, 5:40 pm Reply

      Hello! I understand that and I will certainly try my best to create one! Thank you for stopping by!

    • Jess
      September 9, 2016, 1:51 pm Reply

      I agree in video but a bit slow

  • Tina
    May 10, 2013, 12:32 pm Reply

    I thought this tutorial was perfect! Thank you for sharing! Cannot wait to get started!

    • CherTexter
      May 10, 2013, 2:39 pm Reply

      Thank you!! I really appreciate that! Have fun and share photos when you are finished, I would love to see!

  • vickischneider
    June 10, 2013, 4:30 pm Reply

    Just tried the collar design and the results are perfect! Was going to throw the t-shirt away due to a tear on the hemline, but now I’m going to keep it and braid the bottom, too. One question, though: what happens when you wash it? Do the cut edges unravel/run? I was thinking I might have to machine stitch the edges to keep them from running, but don’t want to go to the trouble if it’s not needed.

    • CherTexter
      June 10, 2013, 4:58 pm Reply

      If it is a regular tshirt, the edges will not run but will curl. Sewing the edge beforehand will not be necessary. If it is a silky nylon type of shirt, they edges may run. Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!!

  • Kwalify
    September 6, 2013, 2:56 am Reply

    I love it! Thanks so much for the helpfull tips.

    • CherTexter
      September 7, 2013, 4:15 pm Reply

      Awesome! I hope you enjoy the techniques!

  • my life on the divide
    September 7, 2013, 3:58 pm Reply

    I am commenting as a guest because the sign in thing is not working for me :( I am kasey from My life on the divide. I found your tutorial here, well just the one picture. I wanted to make sure you are ok with it. I have

    • CherTexter
      September 7, 2013, 4:10 pm Reply

      Not a problem! As long as there is a link back to my site (and I see there is) I do not have a problem with it! THANK YOU so much for asking!

  • Heather
    September 26, 2013, 5:31 pm Reply

    Hello. This is a very nice tutorial. I’m getting ready to try it right now. I have one question. When crocheting the hip area, will this be on the front and the back? I know that seems like a silly question but i just want to be sure. Thank you very much.

    • CherTexter
      September 26, 2013, 5:41 pm Reply

      Not a silly question at all! It will go all the way around the shirt, front and back. Hope this helps! Thank you for stopping by!!

  • byebyeclio
    September 28, 2013, 4:58 pm Reply

    Love this – have to wear a charity tshirt for work all next week and wanted a straightforward way to give the hem a bit more shape – will now be braided! Thanks so much for sharing your idea!

    • CherTexter
      September 28, 2013, 5:27 pm Reply

      Thank YOU so much! I think your shirt will look awesome and you will rock it!

  • Frozenmama
    August 24, 2014, 5:48 pm Reply

    I want to use a t-shirt I have for part of a Elsa costume for my 5 year old daughter and love the idea of pulling it in like this… how much do you think the tshirt will be pulled in by using this method… I will be doing this on the back of the t-shirt so as to keep the sequins on the front undisturbed…

    • CherTexter
      August 25, 2014, 6:02 am Reply

      Hi, there! In all honesty, I don’t know how much it will pull the shirt in… I would think that it wouldn’t be very much! Maybe try it on a piece of scrap fabric measuring the piece before and then after! Hope this helps!

  • Jojo Sewist
    July 20, 2016, 9:40 am Reply

    Hope this can still find way to you. Just love the creativity of some people.thanks for a great idea.

    • Cher
      July 23, 2016, 5:42 am Reply

      Thank you so much, Jojo Sewist! I appreciate that!

  • Jess
    September 9, 2016, 1:47 pm Reply

    When u crochet where do u tie the last hook

    • Cher
      September 10, 2016, 6:48 am Reply

      Hi, Jess! Just use a needle and thread to secure the last loop either to itself or to the first loop.

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