Refashion: Colour Block Tee

I’m not sure refashions can get much simpler than this! This one first appeared in Issue 2 of Simply Sewing Magazine way back at the start of the year (hence the older pic!)…The licence for the content I create for Simply Sewing reverts back to me after 6 months. So I am reproducing it here for my records and your reference 🙂 Enjoy!!Colour Block Tee Refashion -

It’s a super quick and easy way to lengthen a jersey tee or just combine two plain tees for a bit of colour blocking interest.

One of the things I find with T Shirts is that, over time and many machine cycles, they shrink. Now I’m quite particular about the length of my tee as I hate flashing my midriff when I raise my arms, sit down lean over etc. So once a top sits a little too short on me, it ends up languishing unworn in my wardrobe. This quick and simple refashion solves the problem of a too short top AND nails the colour blocking trend, all in one fell swoop. What’s more, because we’re using the top of one tee and the bottom of the other, all the neck, sleeve and hemline finishing is already done! Colour Block Tee Refashion -

Cut your main tee (the light grey one in my case because I like the shape and fit of it) straight across from side seam to side seam, at the point you want the colour blocking to start, plus a little seam allowance. Retain the top portion.Colour Block Tee Refashion -

Cut the bottom half off your “donor” tee. (The dark grey one in my case. Ideally you want this one to be the same width or slightly wider than your main tee. I call it the “donor tee because it’s very kindly donating fabric to it’s  cousin, the light grey tee ;)) Colour Block Tee Refashion -

How much you cut off will depend on how deep you want your colour block band to be. For example, if you want a 12″ band, then measure 12″ up from the hem, plus a little seam allowance, and cut straight across at that point.Colour Block Tee Refashion -

Then, mark with a pin, how much you need to trim off to have your colour block band, be the same width as the top portion of your main tee…Colour Block Tee Refashion -

Sew, and trim the excess off the colour band to resize it. You need the side seams of the colour band to line up perfectly with the side seams of the main tee.Colour Block Tee Refashion -

Lay the two portions like so. The tee part right way out and the band part inside out, with the neckline of the tee facing the raw edge of the band…Colour Block Tee Refashion -

: Slide the tee all the way inside the band so that the two pieces are right sides together, and the raw edges of the tee line up with the raw edges of the band…Colour Block Tee Refashion -

Lining up the side seams first, and keeping raw edges even, pin and then sew all the way around.

Flip right side out, press the seam, and you’re done!Colour Block Tee Refashion - makery (9)



T Shirt fabric can be a little tricky to work with. The raw edges can curl over and stretch out on jersey fabrics even if handled with care. To help with this, use a little spray starch on your fabric during construction, (especially along the cut edges) then launder it out afterwards

I used an overlocker for this project. But I happily sewed jersey fabric on my standard sewing machine before I was lucky enough to get an overlocker. They are fantastic for sewing with jersey but by no means essential, particularly on looser styles. A lot of modern sewing machines have a stretch stitch for exactly that reason. Failing that, use a straight stitch and hold the fabric under very slight tension/stretch as you feed it through the machine

Consider colour blocking skirts, jumpers and non jersey tops. Combine different textures and patterns. Combining different garments is a great way to rejuvenate and get more use out of old clothes as well as putting your own individual stamp on what you wear.



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  1. Kat @ House of Lane September 17, 2015

    I have never been much of a refashioner. For some reason I just don’t think to do it at all. But since your refashioners series this year I am really getting into it. I am looking at everything differently now! Thank you for the inspiration.

    • portia September 18, 2015

      That’s the best comment I could get Kat! Thank you! 🙂

  2. archita September 19, 2015

    would you mind make refashioners series with MAN TIE as subject 😀 i have it much on my drawer

    Thank You , your website such an inspiration


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