Girl's Sewing | Pattern Hacks | Sewing | sewing with knits

Upcycle a Favorite Too Small Shirt into Something They’ll Love!

It’s always a sad day when you realize a favorite article of clothing has been outgrown.  (Not that that will stop them from wearing it, lol.)  Today, I’m sharing a quick trick for upcycling a too-small shirt into a NEW favorite shirt!


How to upcycle an outgrown shirt into a new top your little one will love!

We have a particular kitty shirt that was incredibly well-loved.  I found a picture of her wearing it in late 2012, and almost 4 years later it is definitely too short. (I bought that tee to go with the pants I made in that picture.)  The weird thing is, I kept putting this shirt in the giveaway pile and it kept magically re-appearing on my missy’s body!  (The combination of droopy drawers and underbelly baring tees are not necessarily a person’s best look, ha ha.)

After at least the 10th time of making her change the shirt into something that fit better- I decided to figure out a way to upcycle the kitty design to another shirt.

I found this pink sweatshirt at Wal-mart and grabbed it specifically for this project.  The shirt is practically the exact pattern as my free raglan tunic top pattern (has a slightly wider neckline) but I just wanted to get this project done.  

(Hate to admit, but If I waited until I sewed a new top- It would be another year before I posted this!)


Can we all take a moment to just sit back and admire how awesome this upcycle turned out??  My little Missy couldn’t have been more pleased with her “new” best friends kitty shirt.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.

Here is how I upcycled the old shirt:

Carefully cut around the design on the original shirt.  Cut as close as you can- but if there is embroidery, be careful to not cut into that.  (If you do, try adding a bit of fray check to that spot.)

(I probably could have cut closer- but I originally planned to use red thread and sew through the original fabric.  I determined it would be easier to sew along the embroidery of the transferred design.)

Pin the design in place.

Carefully stitch around the design.

That’s all it takes!

We have a new top that my kitty crazy daughter loves!

What do you think?  Do you have any tops this could work for?


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One Comment

  1. We have a whole stack of shirts (all with cats on them!) that my daughter outgrew but couldn't part with. I've got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for later today that features your tutorial: –Anne