T-shirt Hack No. 1

Convert an old striped T-shirt into a modern bolero jacket.


First, measuring the length of your jacket. Mark the t-shirt near the waistline, you will be adding a peplum approx. 1.5 inches later.


Align the shoulder seams, side seams and neckline edge, creating a center front fold line.

Cut along fold upward through the neckline.


From the lower portion of the t-shirt, trim approximately 2 inches all across the bottom ( including the original hem).

This will become the peplum on the bottom of the jacket.



Trim off the side seam of the center panel, align the two layers, matching stripes.

Measure your jacket body length and + 1″ for seams (1/2″ seam for top and bottom of front panel).

This will be the length, for the width allow 5″ mark with chalk and trim
(ex. my jacket body length is 9″ so I am cutting a 10″ L x 5″ W rectangle).



With right sides facing each other pin the peplum to jacket body all around the hem and trim the excess.



Using tailors chalk, mark a stitching line starting from side seam, below the tshirt original hem (where ruler grid overlaps overlocked stitching on T-shirt hem) to the center of jacket front, 1/4 inch above raw edge.


If you are using a standard machine, reducing the pressure on the presser foot will allow for easier sewing. Use a zigzag stick or stretch stitch setting if available.


Sew the peplum onto the jacket body following the chalk line.

On the back continue straight across so that the finished peplum will be approximately .5″ length in the back.

Press, trim seam and topstitch.


Oops, didn’t photograph this step; so I created a simple diagram using Illustrator.

Pin the interfaced edge of front panel to front edge of jacket. Overlaping 1/2″ on top and 1/2″ over jacket lower seam. Stitch from top to red dot (stopping at lower jacket seam).

Press open seam, pressing allowance towards front panel/away from jacket body.


Roll front edge of peplum inward .5″ hand stitch.

Fold front panel at center line. Stitch .5″ seam at the top and bottom of center panel.


Grade seams on front panel at corner and seam allowance to reduce thickness.

Turn center panel right side out.


Hand-stitch inside of front panel and voilà you are finished!



I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Please comment below with any
suggestions or questions.

Thank you!

One thought on “T-shirt Hack No. 1

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