This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase using my links I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for helping me create more free content. Read more on my disclosure page.

I love to spice up dresses and jeans with long summer vest. In my last visit to Target I found a few very cool and super cheap items, I already showed you what I did with this dress. So now I wanted to show what I did with two T-shirts, I also used a little piece of lace for the back, but you don't need to use it if you don't like lace.

I really liked that the T-shirts were very soft and a thin material, thinner than normal cotton T-shirts. They cost me $3.00 each and both were XL. I am a Medium in shirts so I would recommend to use shirts two sizes bigger than what you normally wear so they are long enough and you end up with a pretty and full bottom.

Do you like it? Here is a tutorial for you =]

This was a very cool and not so complicated project, I recommend you to measure your back because in my case I ended up liking the back a little bit more tight than the full width of the back shirt, that is why I gather the extra material in the lace, as you can see on the pictures of the back, so before you finalize the back try it on and make sure you are comfortable with the width.

I love how it looks with a belt on, it's almost like a very thin cardigan =]

I hope you all like it and please share a link or photo if you make it, I would love to see =]
Have a wonderful day!

* This tutorial is provided for personal, non-commercial use only.
Check the Site policy at the bottom for further information, Thank you!



Where you can download FREE practice sheets, coloring pages,
SVG cut files and more! Just subscribe to the newsletter for instant access.


Joy Kelley is a Chilean Designer & lettering Artist. Mom to 3 little boys. Crafter. Pattern lover. Color obsessed. Lemon pie dependent. And the hand behind the HowJoyful Studio & HowJoyful Shop. Read more about her & the blog here →

68 replies
  1. Rachel
    Rachel says:

    That is soooooo pretty! Now I need to find a shirt- I can’t wait to do this! Thanks tons, I’ll be spreading the word as well.

  2. Jen
    Jen says:

    I absolutely love this!! Did you use a serger? I’m so nervous to even attempt clothes without one, but I don’t have one so all I do is drool over them!

  3. Kimberly
    Kimberly says:

    I love this! I just have a question, I might have missed this in the tutorial, but how do you fix the shirt under the “cardigan”? I couldn’t find it in the above pictures, but I might have just skippe over it? It looks like it is just folded over for the top, but I’m not sure. Any help? Sorry to be a bother!

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      I just put a belt over the “cardigan” and that’s it. In the picture I used a short black strapless dress. Hope that helps =]

  4. MySelf
    MySelf says:

    thank you so much for this. i love it! because shirts are sometimes so much more beautiful than some vests or cardigans!

  5. Katie
    Katie says:

    OhMyGosh, this is adorable! You can count on me trying it when I have a day off! xD. Normally, I’m afraid of sewing projects, but the way you’ve laid everything out, it looks super easy.

  6. Karen
    Karen says:

    So, is there some way to copy & paste this “pattern” to keep for later? I’m new to this blog, just joined today, so I don’t have a clue……

    Thanks –

  7. Heather
    Heather says:

    Wow, how do you do those cool illustrations for the steps? Is that a program you use or are you just that awesome in Illustrator :)

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      I actually use Fireworks just because I am too used to it for graphics, it’s just like Illustrator tho. Since I optimize my images for web it’s faster to just draw there than do it on Illustrator and then export to fireworks =] Thank you for the compliments Heather!

  8. Stephanie Elizabeth {Fab You Bliss}
    Stephanie Elizabeth {Fab You Bliss} says:

    This is awesome Joy! I did your “Pillow Case to top” tutorial over last weekend and it turned out really pretty. Although, because my hips are a little wider than my top I had to cut a couple of slits up the sides about 3 inches for some “breathing room” ;-) But it looks great and my husband loves it too! I’m marking this one for my next non-blog project!

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Hi Stephanie! I am so happy you made the pillowcase top and you and your husband liked it =] Let me know how it goes with this one, I’d love to see pics hehe =] I hope you have a lovely day!

  9. Susannah Wollman
    Susannah Wollman says:

    How funny that your blog name should be my blog name’s sister! I love the tutorial, and really appreciate the graphics. Thank you

  10. Sandra
    Sandra says:

    This is a wonderful idea… I have bunches of tees left over from a business venture… rather than giving away, I just might give this a try. Thanks

  11. Hilah
    Hilah says:

    This looks super cute and I’d love to make it, but i’m having a hard time reading the pattern since both shirts are stripped in the picture. I’m going to try it anyway though, for sure.

  12. Laura Maddox
    Laura Maddox says:

    This T-Shirt idea is amazing, especially if you are losing weight and you have them to make into different vest. Thank You so much.

  13. Candie
    Candie says:

    What a fun project! Now I just need to find some old shirts to recycle! You should totally enter this project in Craftbaby’s ‘Upcycle Challenge’!

  14. mhadz
    mhadz says:

    wow love it! its just that I don’t have a sewing machine yet…so I’ll be doing this by hand hope it works out >,<

  15. Beccy
    Beccy says:

    Can u wash it?!!
    This js an awesome idea and I LOVE it!!!
    I wanna see if Ican make it before school starts!!! :)

  16. Diane Dikeman
    Diane Dikeman says:

    I love the things you put out there for those of us that really need a little instruction! You have a beautiful web-page! Love Love Love!
    Diane Dikeman
    Talala, Oklahoma

  17. brittanyduke
    brittanyduke says:

    I have never made, or tried to make cloths before.. This is a great idea! Can you tell me how to fined other ideas you have come up with? I enjoy doing art types of things, and fined joy in doing them, I would like to try this.


    Brittany <3

  18. Karina
    Karina says:

    OMG I love this!! and the tutorial was very easy to follow!! Thanks soo much for taking the time to post this!!

  19. Kristin
    Kristin says:

    Love this! I have a ton of XL shirts from work events and concerts that I have been making fitted. This is a nice change of pace. Thinking about either sewing the front seem closed or not cutting it and making it for a beach cover up. Thanks for the inspiration!

  20. Kimberly
    Kimberly says:

    This is so awesome!! Thank you so much for sharing. I am a seamstress and quilter and I can very much appreciate a simple yet very trendy pattern. :-)

  21. Julie Koerber
    Julie Koerber says:

    Just made this this morning and thank goodness for a quilting ruler and rotary cutter — made cutting this out really, really fast. Sewing took a little less than an hour and I think the results are cute! I bought a large tee thinking it would help with the “swing” of this but I am thinking I might need to downsize the t-shirt and try again — looked a little too big. No worries though — still cute. I am going to make a flower pin out of the extra t-shirt material, add a bit of bling with a rhinestone button and that will be a fun accent. Thanks for the tutorial — super easy!

  22. cheap personalized t shirts
    cheap personalized t shirts says:

    Hello There. I discovered your weblog using msn. That is a very smartly written article.
    I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of
    your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will
    certainly comeback.

  23. internet
    internet says:

    Everything is very open with a clear clarification of
    the challenges. It was definitely informative. Your website is extremely helpful.
    Thank you for sharing!

  24. hoodies women
    hoodies women says:

    You could definitely see your enthusiasm within the work you write.
    The world hopes for more passionate writers such as you
    who are not afraid to say how they believe. All the time follow your heart.

  25. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    I saw a dress you made for halloween a few years ago and it has literally been my dream wedding dress ever since (I didnt know where the picture had come from all this time until I spotted your dressform and backdrop!!) — if you know which dress I mean (white and bluey-purple-ish tulle) can you tell me where I can find the tutorial please??
    Love this one too!– next project!

Comments are closed.