Refashion: Cropped Tee to Banded Tee

This is a really simple refashion that elevates a cropped boxy tee to something a little more interesting and with a bit more coverage. I don’t do “cropped”. Trust me….nobody wants to see that! This can work with a standard tee too. really anything that you want to add a bit of length or design detail to. It’s a great way to use up an otherwise redundant strip of a favourite fabric. Pick one thats a similar weight and drape to the top you’re refashioning. I’m mixing woven with jersey here….

To start…turn the tee inside out. Put it on and mark where you want your contrast fabric band to sit…

Cut straight across the tee just below this point to allow for some seam allowance…I’m a sod for not measuring or marking anything. But you can always measure 5/8″ down from your pin and chalk a line across as a guide if you’re more conscientious than I am!

Cut your contrast fabric band at your desired width. Lay it between your two tee pieces and mark where it needs to line up with the rest of the tee, with a line of pins. Sew down this line and finish/trim raw edges so you have a tube of fabric the same width as your tee.

With the tee RS out and the band WS out, place the bottom of the tee inside the contrast fabric tube, (the tee will be right sides together with the fabric tube) line up raw edges, then pin and sew all the way around. Repeat this step with the top portion of your tee, sewing it to the other raw edge…

Give it a good press and you’re done!

I used a serger for this project. You can use a standard machine and just zig zag the raw edges. Best of all….no hemming (as you’re using the original hem of the tee) and takes about 20 minutes!

Happy sewing!


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  1. Liochka January 27, 2015

    simply nice !! so cool !

  2. MrsC (Maryanne) January 27, 2015

    Noice! I did something similar to a top that I bought, half knowing it was too short, and it was a crazy print too. Luckily I found a different crazy print that just blended in. Much nicer!
    You have so many good ideas, I am still excited about the chair!

    • Portia Lawrie January 29, 2015

      Maryanne you are too kind 🙁 I’m still excited about the chair too!

      • jENNIE July 15, 2015

        Could you use no sew glue to add the extra piece if you don’t have serger or sewing machine?

        • portia July 15, 2015

          Unlikely Jennie. Don’t think it would stand up to wear. But you could absolutely hand sew this as it’s just simple straight lines 🙂

  3. acraftyscientist January 27, 2015

    I can imagine this with some strategic colour blocking: grey and mustard yellow, red and navy, navy and off white… ohhh, the possibilities! Need to hit the charity shots this weekend 🙂

  4. DressUpNotDown January 27, 2015

    Oh yes, nice…very nice!!!


  5. Anne January 29, 2015

    Love it!! I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for later this morning that links to your tutorial:

    • Portia Lawrie January 29, 2015

      Anne thanks so much for your continued support for my posts 🙂 Px

  6. Karen Ellis [RUDE] March 4, 2015

    Great minds think alike. Will post mine ASAP [after i wash the oil stain out] This truly is such a comfy REfash, easy and practical.

  7. sarah June 30, 2015

    great idea! the result is perfect!

  8. Christine August 17, 2015

    Could you use a non stretch cotton for the added panel?

    • portia August 17, 2015

      Mine is a wiven so in theory yes…as long as it’s of a similar weight to the tee itself. Px

  9. Sabrina Ahmed October 12, 2015

    Nice idea, especially if you have shirts that you’ve outgrew with! 🙂


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