DIY Embellished T-shirt

This spring has been tough on my wardrobe – especially my shirt wardrobe.  I haven’t had any success finding tops that look good and come in a color other than white, black or gray.  I was ready to go buy some inexpensive basic t-shirts and embellish them for Italy – I had some success with that last summer – but the lack of color available stalled my efforts.

But lately, Kristi’s been posting her embellished tees, and so my desire to revisit this idea was reborn.  I bought a simple white tee for the first project.  In lieu of buying a full second t-shirt to cut-up for embellishments, I just cut up an old white t-shirt that we had laying around the house.  I cut it into one strip, ruffled it, then sewed it around the collar with this top from J Crew in mind.

Not bad, but still a white t-shirt.  I’ve got white covered.  So I dyed it.  I took a glance at my color coded closet and noticed that the teal section was plenty full, green and orange could use a boost, and purples and pinks were in dire need of refreshment.  I started with a dark purple mix in honor of baseball season – I’ve got Rockies games to look cute at, dammit.

And here’s the finished product embellished, dyed, washed and dried.  It’s imperfect in color, but that’s how I roll.  And just in time for our first Rockies’ game of the season this weekend!  The entire process – from embellishment to dyeing was easy and came in under $10 – so there will be lots more t-shirt refashioning happening over here.


  1. that’s awesome!! i think the color looks great. i definitely need to learn some sewing skills…

  2. what a great idea, and my white t-shirts with my clumsiness only last a season, so dyeing is a great idea!

    is there a tutorial online for the ruffles?

  3. Cute! I’m so impressed. You go girl!

  4. This is awesome! I’d love to see more of these!

  5. So cute, I love it!

  6. This is so cute! What a great idea! And you look adorable. I LOVE the purple.

    We are hoping to go to see the Rockies when the Red Sox are in town this year. I LOVE the Red Sox. I always root for the Rox, but I won’t be when the Sox are here (sorry!). Anyway, we’ve decided that if Torsten’s company has made a sale by the time the Sox come to town, we’ll go. Otherwise it’ll be September baseball for us!

  7. Love it! The color is perfect for the games and the ruffle is so cute! I have been thinking of tackling this to bring some spice to my t-shirt collection and you have inspired me.

  8. Good stuff! I started an embellished shirt too, during the last summer Olympics- it has yet to be finished.

  9. OMG. OMG. OMG!

    I’m sending you my tees to ruffle up. Pronto. If we never meet, then I’m sending my tees w/ Kevin and he can hunt you down. I won’t even explain why I’m handing him a bag of tees. HA!

    I’ll think twice before dropping $40 on a ruffled tee ever again. J Crew can suck it.

  10. Too cute!

    What type of dye did you use?

  11. This looks great, I may need to try it!

  12. Awesome!! That looks incredible 🙂

  13. Great work and thanks for the shout out. Beware, it is adictive. I can’t wait to find more shirts to re-do now.

  14. Love the remake, and the dye job!