• Ms. Melior

Three Easy Ways To Upcycle Your Tops

Updated: Nov 24, 2020

Ms. Melior is back with another great DIY!

By Ms Melior

With conscious fashion on the rise, we all are doing our best to keep clothing alive and wearable for as long as possible… and I’m totally here for it! I’m also here, to help give you some fresh and fashionable ways to do that. So, here are three easy ways to upcycle your tops (no sewing machine required).

1. Add Shoulder Pads

I’ve seen this trend going around where basic t-shirts are given a voguish look. And all that needs to be done is adding shoulder pads! I picked up some large shoulder pads from my local craft store. Turning the t-shirt inside-out, I used one simple back-stitch* down the center of the shoulder pad to attach it to the t-shirt. 

Flip the t-shirt right-side-out and you’re nearly done. All you have to do is cut the sleeves off. You can leave the edges raw or iron them inwards like I did. You can even go one step further and sew them down, again with a simple back-stitch*. 

*A back-stitch is a simple but strong stitching technique that is done by hand using a needle and thread (see how to do it here).

2. Add Ruching

For this upcycle, gather together your basic t-shirt, fabric glue, and some colorful, thick strings. Cut four strips of fabric about 3 cm wide and the length of your t-shirt. Flip your t-shirt inside out and glue the edges of these fabric strips in a rounded way from the middle of the sleeve down to the bottom of the shirt (two strips per side, on the front, as seen here).

Do not glue in the center of the strips. The idea is to create tunnels for our strings. Cut off the excess fabric from the strips so that it can’t be seen below the t-shirt when you flip it right-side-out.

Thread one string from the bottom of the shirt, up one tunnel, out the top end of the first tunnel and down the tunnel just next to it. 

Repeat this with the second string on the other side. Now turn the shirt right-side-out. Pull the fabric up to create a ruch and tie the strings into knots to hold the fabric up.

And that’s it! You have a super cool new t-shirt.

3. Add a ring

Now this is a really easy but cute way to spruce up a top. I actually decided to upcycle this dress that I never wore, so I cropped it into a top first and hemmed the bottom. First, lay the bracelet onto the front of the top where you want it to sit (ideally, in the center). 

Trace the top 3/4ths of the bracelet onto the top and cut out this rounded shape.

Then wrap the cut rounded edges around the bracelet and pin them in place. Using a backstitch or fabric glue, glue the edges of fabric down to keep the bracelet locked in.

And ta-da! You’re all finished. 

I hope these upcycle ideas inspire you. Love, 

Ms. Melior