DIY: T Shirt Deconstruction Using Fringe

Reworking the T shirt is an art that has been around for some time–think Jennifer Beals and her cut-up sweatshirt in Flashdance.

I experimented with some amateur T shirt DIYs last semester, but I felt inspired last night to do something a little more labor intensive. The process looks much more complicated than it actually is. If I can do it, you can do it.

The Inspiration

This fringe is inspired by Alessandra Ambrosio’s vest she wore to Coachella. What is so great about Coachella fashion is the mix of boho, etheral, and edge. Although I will demonstrate this technique on graphic T shirts, I am sure it would work well on a smaller scale for skirt hems.

The Instructions

What You Will Need: T shirt, sharp scissors and your creativity (*ruler optional if you want to be precise)

1. Before you begin, try your shirt on and look in a mirror. If you want to do a cropped fringe, check where your bust falls on the shirt–this is important to keep in mind when you start cutting the shirt to avoid under cleavage.

2. Lay your T shirt out on a flat surface. Smooth it out. Remember that imaginary bust line.

Figure 1

3. Make a cut in the middle of the shirt no further than the imaginary bust line.

Figure 2

4. Continue cutting fringe, spacing each piece at approximately 1-1.5 inches apart. Once you are done, your shirt should look like Figure 3B.

Figure 3A
Figure 3B

 5. Make one knot at the top of each fringe piece.  Make sure the knots are not too tight. When you are finished, your T shirt should look like Figure 4B.

Figure 4A
Figure 4B

 6. Cut each fringe piece in half and stop the cut a half inch away from the knot (Figure 5A). When you are finished, your shirt should look like Figure 5B.

Figure 5A
Figure 5B

7. Next, make another knot using two neighboring halved fringe pieces. Figures 6A-E will illustrate the process and the result.

Figure 6A
Figure 6B
Figure 6C
Figure 6D
Figure 6E

 8. Repeat the same process as shown in Step 7, but you should be tying four fringe halve pieces together. After following Figures 7A-7C, Figure 7D is the final product of the fringe.

Figure 7A
Figure 7B

Figure 7C
Figure 7D

 9. Cut the T shirt sleeves along the seam.

Figure 8
Congratulations! YOU’RE DONE!

 10. The shirt I used for this project was a few sizes too large, so I felt the need to cut a slight V neck.


If you do not feel like doing this project yourself, check out some cool picks from Urban Outfitters:

Daydreamer LA Shredded Back Tee in Grey, $39.00

Junk Food Fringed Skull Tee in Grey, $39.00
Truly Madly Deeply Cutout Back Tee in White, $39.00
Title Unknown Cropped Fringe Tee  in Grey Multi , $34.00

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