Sunday, 28 August 2011

Sew-a-long with Vix - Transforming a boring band tee into a rocking boob tube



The pickings were slim at yesterday's car boot sale but I did manage to snaffle this official Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street tee shirt from a 10p box. I love the Stones but I'm not a fan of tee shirts so I refashioned it into a boob tube.



Here's how to do it.
(All measurements are imperial because I'm a pre-1971 model and therefore non-metric).



  • Measure across the widest part of your bust (in my case, 32inches), halve the measurement and add an extra inch for the seam allowance (which for me made a total of 17inches). 
  • Work out how long you want the top to be and add an extra inch for a hem (I wanted the top to finish just below my waist, making a total of 18inches in length). 


  • Using a straight rule chalk-mark these measurements on to the right side of the tee shirt both at the front and back. 
  • Cut both pieces to size.



  • With the right sides facing towards each other machine down one side using a zig-zag stitch (or hand sew using running stitch) allowing a half-inch seam. 

  • Turned the top half-inch of the printed side of fabric over to the wrong side, pin into place and zig-zag stitch across the entire top. 
  • Sew the other side of the tee shirt together, with the right sides facing each other.
  • Hem the bottom in the same way as you hemmed the top.


  • Using some quarter-inch wide elastic cut a piece the same width as the original measurement (in my case 17inches), securely sewing the end to the inner side seam and then hand-stitch the elastic all across the top, stretching the elastic taut after each stitch.



 The result should be ruched, like so.



There we have it, a cute boob tube in less than an hour. A perfect project for a wet afternoon.



Combined with a heap of my heavy metal jewellery my outfit got a great reception from the bikers in the pub last night.


With the exception of the silver lapis ring (Exam passing reward from Dad in 1977), the huge silver and brass bangle (inherited from Mum) and the Gaia ring (the divine Kitty) all my jewellery is from India. The nail varnish is Barry M's Cyan Blue.

Original 1970s C&A maxi (50p, car boot sale), Stones' tee shirt (10p, car boot sale), peep-toe Russo platforms (£5, Top shop 2006)
Want to make yourself something easy while the weather's rubbish?

If you don't fancy a boob tube there's my big hair tutorial here and my felt chrysanthemum tutorial here.

See you soon.

65 comments:

  1. Sounds like that sewing mojo is back! Yay Vix! Looking as gorgeous as ever, love ya.xx.

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  2. You really suit this 'heavy metal' image Vix, the outfit looks 1000 times better for the alteration. T-shirts aren't the most flattering of garments, neither are jeans yet so many (including myself) live in this boring combo.

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  3. you did great job with that shirt, looks fab!

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  4. wow you r amazing ... how u change a shirt in to your top ... lovely .... i love your top and rings .... you looks awesome in this dress ...
    http://fashionstyle-pk.blogspot.com/

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  5. It looks great! Honestly, you'd think more clothing manufacturers would click onto the fact that the traditional high round necked tshirt doesn't actually suit very many women. Even the fitted womens styles don't have flattering necklines. Grrr.

    Please may I borrow some sewing mojo? Mine has totally disappeared.

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  6. That is so cool! I love what you have done with that t-shirt. Can't wait to share with my friends.
    -Catherine

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  7. FABULOUS! I have loads of band tees that I don't know what to do with - I don't wear them and I don't wear boob tubes - but I cannot bring myself to ditch them either!

    You look amazing, amor. That maxi is darling - love the ruffle - and all that chunky jewellery is gorgeous. You're so clever.

    LovetheStones, Sarah xxx
    PS Are we skyping tomorrow?

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  8. Cool!!!!!! :)

    http://daphneglowsinthedark.blogspot.com/

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  9. What a fab post you crafty lady! Love the outcome beats the original tshirt - I wish more shops would sell more feminine band tops - high neck tops don't suit me at all!

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  10. Hi my dear-you've done an amazing diy job, it looks so cool and stylish and a great way to wear a much loved tee! Our boot sale today was not generous on the goodies either, just a couple of bits! Have a good week ahead xxx

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  11. Very smart! What a great idea. I totally get your imperial measurements, as since taking up dressmaking I've found that using American and vintage patterns means I've had to learn what's what, though I still can't convert properly!

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  12. Vixcita,
    what a great idea, you make t shirts look so rocking elegant. I cute my Morrissey t shirs mine into a boat neck with bow straps.
    love all your creative tuts amor.

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  13. I love this! I have many cool rock tees which would be perfect for this. Thanks for the lesson.

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  14. I just love this tutorial! You look amazing as always. I have been sooo freaking inspired by vintage lately....when I think vintage I of course think of you! Hearts, Janna Lynn

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  15. Looks great. I struggle to even take a hem up on something but you make this look straightforward. xx
    We Shop Therefore We Are

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  16. really well done and again, I would love to steal all your jewellery ;)

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  17. Great tutorial Vix!
    I have made some mens t's into tube tops but with a thicker sewn in elastic top. I am really liking how the top on yours is, so I will surely have to do this.

    You look damn hot in the tube top and that skirt with all the silver jewelery!!

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  18. I always find t shirts really shapeless and unflattering. I love this idea for making them into something much better. I love the chunnky silver jewellery

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  19. Awesome DIY job, Vix. I wouldn't have thought of it but then that's why we've got you to lead the way! I love all the bangles and rings and your nail color. I've never seen Barry M here so I will be searching out a similiar color as I do love yours.

    xo, Bonnie

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  20. Great post, Vix. You really do look so fab! :)

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  21. pretty cool outfit. i love the stones and i love this DIY tube top so much. this is much better than a simple tee!

    http://wardrobexperience.blogspot.com

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  22. I too have a bit of an aversion to T- shirts, (unless I'm wearing them in place of a thermal vest) and consequently, rarely buy them. So this is such an inspired new way to look at a T shirt: not as it is, but as a potential boob tube. Perfect! This looks great with that black maxi skirt. Loved what you did with the green crimplene too - excellent waistcoat. I've just bought a crimplene skirt in almost exactly the same shade.

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  23. drooling a bit over your jewellery!

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  24. what a great idea and u did really a good job!!! and it is really fun few days ago i also was thinking about to transform a band tee into a corsage top. actually i love to change things or way them in another way as they were made for, thank u for the inspiration!!!
    love and kiss,mary

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  25. WOWA,baby!!! You look incredibly fetching in that fabulously transformed T!!! I don't like T's either (too common and they enhance my booboids in the wrong way) but this is a fab way to make a T a work of sexy art!!!This whole outfit reeks of rock n roll,SEXY as!!!
    You're a clever possum,yes you are!!!
    Love you to BITS!
    Helga xxxXXXxxx

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  26. this is a lovely idea! I have a few of my bf's old t-shirts that I can't bear to part with because of the design but they don't fit me and lets be honest, I'll b\never wear them as is. Maybe I'll take a scissors and elastic to them!

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  27. Gorgeous! All your jewelry has inspired me to resurect my middle eastern pieces from my belly dancing days. -T

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  28. Looks great and 10p as well. Super Duper :-)

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  29. WOW that is impressive how clever are you ;-)) It looks amazing with your skirt. No wonder the bikers loved it and you ;-)) Enjoy the rest of your weekend, dee xx

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  30. Not only beautiful, but clever, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  31. Gorgeous! Love this look, the rock chick thing is so very you. And the jewellery is divine as always. x

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  32. Thats so cool! Looks great!

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  33. Wow Wow Wow Wow Wow.
    Such a diva, you.
    Love the transformation.
    LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of wearing It with oxidised Indian jewellery.

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  34. That looks fab and i love the jewellery. I may be post 1971 but i usually use imperial measurements too, its how my mmum taught me x

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  35. I love how you altered it ... it actually looks good as new!

    ♡ from © tanvii.com

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  36. Fab tutorial and I love how you manage to seamlessly combine a rock and roll customised tee with a gypsy style skirt!

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  37. Fab boob tube Vix, you clever lady.
    I need the Barry M Cyan!
    Dx

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  38. back down the bottom of the comments list - but I have an excuse, I was visiting my mother!

    That's a brilliant sewing job you've done there. It would take me a damn sight more than an hour Vix lol!

    Got that Barry M nail polish - it's FAB, isn't it?!

    Ali x

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  39. This outfit is lovely and simple but very sexy! I love the long black ruffle skirt!

    What a neat idea turning it into a boob tube! It looks far better!

    Gorgeous! xxx

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  40. Damn that's a gorgeous refashion - so much better than the old crew neck jobby. You look like sex on heels in the whole ensemble. I wouldn't be surprised if the bikers stood you drinks for the whole night!! Thanks so much for sharing the method and pics love! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

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  41. Omg I LOVE the Stones as evidenced by my never ending pursuit of young Keith hair! Very cool tee and re-fashion! Tees drive me crazy and the first thing I do is either slash or cut the neck out completely. They always feel like they're choking me! I have one suggestion that would've made the re-fashion a slight bit easier, regarding sewing in the top elastic. Just make a tube with the elastic, fold it in half, and pin at four corners. Then you can do a running zigzag stitch ruching as you go along. I'm the laziest seamstress around so it never would've gotten done if I had to hand sew it! (I hope that made sense, it's easier to show than to write out!)
    XXX
    Suzanne

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  42. So many talents! Your top looks great with the long black skirt.

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  43. What a cool idea.It looks amazing on you.But you rock everything anyway.great job girl.xx

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  44. Nifty idea! I think I'll have to make myself a few of these for Summer.

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  45. Love these type of easy sewing projects....you are rocking yours!

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  46. I could never do that in under an hour, I'm such a procrastinator! You look fab - it goes so well with that skirt :)

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  47. You rock! (sorry couldn't resist), fab idea and ideal for a rainy day, hope you managed to get a few blackberries inbetween showers. The top looks great btw

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  48. What a great idea to use a band t-shirt as a boob tube - love it!
    xxx

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  49. Gorgeous make Vix, I wish I could be creative and do something like that, you really ARE talented!!

    Jules @ A Bit of Jules

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  50. Brilliant! You're a legend!

    Love that retro Rolling Stones merchandise.

    x

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  51. Wow looks fabulous!! Great tutorial perfect for a rainy day.... I think I may need to try this out when my sewing machine gets here. Gorgeous jewelry looks very striking thanks for sharing :) Love Heather

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  52. what a great idea! You've inspired me :) and such a bargain

    xxx

    Catflicks

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  53. wow Vix you are so talented that top looks fantastic on you xx

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  54. Clever you!!
    I never do classic crew neck t-shirts either. But sadly the booboids (I just HAVE to borrow Helga's wonderful term!) aren't perky enough to cope in a boob tube...
    But I can admire your handiwork and your creativity. I'm sure the bikers in the pub were admiring the whole gorgeous package! Rocking the jewellery and nail varnish, as always xxxxxxxx

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  55. so great and easy way to improve pretty designs on unfit t-shirts!, and you look stunning!
    And loooove all your turquoise rings and delightful bracelets!
    besos

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  56. Amazing ! you are truly talented !!!!xxx

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  57. Beauty, brains and she sews, I'll take two of you :) I like this a lot because I am often wondering what the hell do I do with all my years of concerts shirts....hmmmmm...I think I have an idea!

    You look super sexy btw in your newly made hot boob tube!

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  58. Fab transformation. I could quite happily enjoy seeing more of these tutorials xxx

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  59. Very rock chic, it looks fabulous on you! A great upcycle!

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  60. Those bangles, the skirt and the refashioned top look amazing on you !!

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  61. You look gorgeous!)) Thanks for the tutorial)))

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  62. That is such a great idea, Vix. Now here we've got some real rock chic chic! X

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  63. I LOVE this! Obviously missed it last year so thanks for the link.

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Love from Vix
xxx