I cut up an old red tee above for my Chinese New Year dance class above and it was an instant hit once I stepped into the studio. Not only was it crazy sexy but the ribbons looked like Chinese firecrackers which was extremely suitable for the occasion. I just sliced off the collar and made it a V-neck and sliced off the sleeves to make it a sleeveless top. An alternative could have been making it a halter top instead.
Making a top with a tied ribbon design like above can make it very versatile as it can fit a wide range of body sizes as you can tie it to fit your torso size.
I personally cut up several of my tees and tank tops much to the hubsters horror at first. "Why are you destroying your shirts!!" he exclaimed but when I show him each finished piece on my body - he nods in understanding and says "your students might think you don't have enough clothes because you wear all these shreds of fabric instead of normal gear but its nice..."
An old or new tee shirt.
One that should still be relatively tightly weaved & of average quality rather than be old, thin & flappy or it will not hold up the shredding.
A sharp pair of regular scissors or fabric scissors preferred.
A long metal ruler
Fabric chalk *to mark out your patterns to make cutting easier ie for shapes like the heart below*
A cardboard piece or a cutting board
Scraps of other material ie ribbons
How you cut up your shirt would very much depend on your creativity and you can easily go online to youtube to check out various designs to try out on your old tshirts. Over above, I'm sharing one that I thought *although its a little draggy long to watch* a video that clearly explains how to weave a shirt like what I did below. She weaves her shirt 3 times in her top but mine was a single weave done in a V pattern with a cut out heart. Weaving a shirt looks incredibly nice and its really easy to do too even though it looks complicated.
I practiced on an old black tee above and learnt a couple of things NOT to do in my next deconstruction. *As you can tell, I'm increasingly addicted to cutting up my clothes that I've put aside a whole bag of old tops that are destined for the cut*
For the top above, I learnt the following:
1. The dip in the heart shape needs to be deeper to be more obvious its a heart.
2. The longest part of the weave should start below the armpit height & not above or you'll get a gaping hole. (but which would be filled w the sports bra anyway...) and the longest length of line shouldn't be cut too near to the sides of the shirt. 3/4 length is the longest it should go. This time I went as long as 2cm away from side seams.
3. Spacing between each horizontal line must be thicker than 1.5 inches or the shirt's structure gets weak. I cut the lines about 1.5 inches estimated apart for this top and I felt that the structure wasn't going to make this shirt last very long esp. after some machine washing.
4. Weaving this shirt 2-3 times might tighten up the shirt better as the shirt was still quite loose.
I thought this girl below had a great idea for a corset ribbon kind of design which I will try with a fitted top shortly. Its really sweet and would really make a plain top look special. I like it and I'll do one too!!
There you have it so far... I'll post more deconstructed designs as & when I create them but if you make one, show me! Email your creation to firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to see it!
UPDATE! Created some more tops. Made one for my friend, Serene below here with her dark blue tshirt and added a purple ribbon at the end.
And with my newly purchased fabric scissors. $4 only from Spotlight! I sliced n diced up this one below for my class tomorrow in under 20 minutes! A pair of sharp fabric scissors makes SO much difference in the speed of how this can be done!
Thanks for looking!