T-Shirt Cutting: A Comprehensive Guide to Creative Techniques for Cutting and Upcycling Your Old Tees

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    While you could simply discard your old t-shirt and purchase a replacement, why not consider repurposing it as a captivating side project? In this way, you not only save money but also unleash your creativity by transforming it into an entirely new garment, thereby giving it a new lease on life.

    But what are the steps involved in this process, and how can you ensure that your t-shirt doesn’t end up as a pile of rags? Fortunately, there are various t-shirt cutting instructions available that you can experiment with. The choice of technique will depend on the specific look or style you aspire to achieve.

    By following these instructions, you can skillfully manipulate the fabric, transforming it into different shapes and forms, all while adding your personal touch to the final outcome. The possibilities are endless, allowing you to embark on a fun and rewarding journey of exploring new design points and crafting unique clothing pieces from your old t-shirts.

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      Here are some of the easiest ones to learn, as well as some great ideas for t-shirt cutting that you can try at home:

      1. Shoulder cut
      2. Lace t-shirt cut
      3. Neckline blade cut
      4. Front tie t-shirt cut
      5. Dolman tee
      6. Muscle t-shirt cutting
      7. Crop top t-shirt

      Back in the day, repurposing clothing was a widespread practice, especially when the cost of new garments was exorbitant. The world economics operated differently back then, and without the ability to stitch or repurpose your clothing, your wardrobe would have been left desolate and devoid of options.

      In the present day, cutting t-shirts and other garments has taken on new significance, serving as a means to make a fashion statement or prolong the lifespan of cherished garments. Alongside this trend, advancements in tools and technology have made the entire process significantly more convenient. Modern tools like rotary cutters, pinking shears, cutting mats, and straight pins, along with the aid of an iron, have transformed the art of cutting and repurposing clothes.

      Moreover, understanding vital concepts such as seam allowance, bias tape, binding, and the appropriate use of a serger becomes crucial. These elements are particularly relevant when working with different fabrics, whether it’s the stretch of knit materials or the stability of woven ones. Paying attention to the grainline, incorporating fusible interfacing, and implementing staystitching techniques ensures a well-structured and professional outcome.

      With these tools and techniques at your disposal, you can breathe new life into your wardrobe, fashioning customized statements that truly embody your unique personality and style preferences.

      With all that said, let’s dive into this tutorial of popular t-shirt cutting methods.

      1. The Shoulder Cut

      An interesting way to give new life to your t-shirts is by making a one-shoulder cut. The best way to do this is to cut off the shoulder on one side. All the while, letting the collar remain untouched.

      The shoulder cut exposes more skin than usual without being revealing.

      The collar will allow the t-shirt to remain in place while revealing the shoulder of choice. The end result is attractive and popular with young women.

      Additionally, you can use a sewing machine to make the cut smoother by giving it a new seam. Doing this will increase the shirt’s durability.

      2. Lace T-Shirt Cut

      An incredibly attractive piece of clothing. A lace t-shirt cut is created by adding lace in a crisscross pattern across the chest after you cut out a piece of fabric.

      Not only will this give you a unique pattern that will look unlike anything else. Wearing it will also serve as a show of confidence.

      Attractive crisscross pattern that is beyond unique

      That being said, you will need a sewing machine to accomplish this. The lace will need to be sown with the fabric in order to keep everything in place.

      Begin cutting the sleeves and the collar of the t-shirt to make a new neckline such as the one usually found on a tank top, then cut a triangle hole in the front of the shirt where the lace will be.

      Afterward, sew the lace in the pattern you desire, making sure to keep the v-shape cut in the center of the shirt as straight as possible.

      3. Neckline Blade Cut

      This method of cutting t-shirts is popular among younger people that still want to keep parts of their shoulder seam intact, as it merely makes the cut a bit lower than it originally was.

      This can only be done on shirts with a high collar, as it won’t look as good on a v-neck or a crop top.

      Neckline blade cut is as popular and as comfortable as v-necks

      The process is extremely simple: all you need is a sharp pair of tailoring scissors to cut out a part of the t-shirt neckline to above the collarbone.

      Most of the time you won’t even need a sewing machine to clean up the edges, and you will be left with a beautifully looking DIY t-shirt that will give your look extra character.

      4. Front Tie T-Shirt Cut

      Cutting a front-tie t-shirt is relatively simple, and the result is very visually appealing, making it a popular choice among young, fit women who wish to express themselves through clothing.

      You begin the process by turning your old t-shirt into a tank top by cutting off the sleeves at the base, but don’t cut too much.

      After that, you will also have to cut the collar if the t-shirt has one, as this type of t-shirt is meant to be worn without it.

      The following step consists of cutting out the bottom hem of the shirt and making a v shape hole on the front side. Leave the back side the same as if it would be in a regular tank top.

      Afterwards, cut the middle of the t-shirt around the belly button to create the strips that will later be tied to each other in order to get that unique look.

      5. Dolman Tee

      A dolman tee is a women’s t-shirt style that can be easily created by taking a men’s shirt and repurposing it.

      The first step in the creation of a dolman’s tee is to remove the entirety of the t-shirt neckline, as if you were creating a simple off shoulder t-shirt.

      Then, you make the t-shirt a bit narrower by cutting off parts of the sleeves and the sides of it, before using a sewing machine to sew together the now loose ends of the cut off parts.

      The end result of this DIY technique will be a very visually appealing and form fitting dolman t-shirt that will also reveal your shoulder blades, making it a great choice of clothing in the summertime.

      6. Muscle T-Shirt Cutting

      A favourite piece of gym clothing for both men and women. A muscle t-shirt is meant to allow your body plenty of space to breathe and for sweat to evaporate during intense exercise.

      This idea can be made from your old t-shirts using nothing more than a pair of scissors for modifications, making it a great way to give a new purpose to an old piece of clothing.

      Cut off the collar of your original t-shirt and make the front neckline deeper than usual. This allows air to flow freely.

      Do the same for each sleeve. Use a measuring tape and markers to cut holes in place of your sleeves that will be several inches in width. This will enlarge the armhole and fully expose your shoulders and armpits. The idea is to allow greater freedom of movement when exercising.

      7. Crop Top T-Shirt

      Any large and baggy t-shirt with a collar can be converted into a crop top quite easily, making it possible to wear the same old shirt even after the cold season ends.

      You do this by measuring the new hem at the bottom of the shirt. Make sure to put the shirt on a flat surface such as a table and use a measuring table and a marker to ensure that you cut your old tee evenly.

      Afterwards, make the cut just above the marks, and repair the hem using a sewing machine if you believe that there is a reason to do so.

      Finally, you may shorten the sleeves to make the shirt even lighter, but that isn’t a necessity.

      8. Cut Out Tee

      Most of the cut out t-shirts that you see people wearing are mass produced, but that doesn’t mean you cannot cut a t-shirt this way.

      To make a good cut out tee, you are going to need some chalk or a good pen, a pair of scissors, and a scalpel.

      Unique triangles on t-shirts that are not found in any shop

      Begin by marking the exact parts of the t-shirt that you intend to remove, making sure to measure them properly before cutting.

      Cut straight through the marks but remember to leave enough fabric to keep the t-shirt together. The best-looking cuts are triangle and square-shaped ones.

      9. Fringe Tee

      Some people like to have a lot of fringes on their clothing. Thankfully, this is one of the easiest DIY t-shirt designs to make and a great choice for beginners.

      Start by removing the hem at the bottom of the shirt, and simply measure the length of the fringes you want to make.

      For maximum visual appeal, make the fringes thin and numerous, but remember that the fabric can only take so much cutting before it begins to look damaged, so keep everything in moderation.

      Once you are done cutting, you can immediately wear your new, stylish shirt.

      Tips and tricks for making the best of use of t-shirt cutting techniques

      • Measure each cut several times, and use a dark colored pen or chalk to mark the lines you’ll cut.
      • If you need to cut in a straight line, rest your t-shirt on a flat surface and use weights to keep it in place while cutting.
      • Some t-shirt cutting techniques are easier than others: practice before attempting to do more complicated designs by yourself.
      • Having a sewing machine is a bonus, but it isn’t necessary for some techniques.
      • Monochromatic t-shirts are better for this type of cutting. There is no design to cut through when repurposing the shirt.


      T-shirts are possibly the most universally worn piece of clothing in modern times, and they come in dozens of styles, depending on your age and where you live.

      Some of these styles can be very pricey, making learning how to cut them by yourself a good way to save or even make money. That being said, you should always learn a tried and proven technique before you attempt to cut t-shirts of your own.

      Find Your Answer Here To Commonly Ask Questions

      What are the different types of t-shirt cuts?

      There are dozens of ways to cut a t-shirt, some of them simpler than others. The most common t-shirt cutting technique is the straight cut, which involves cutting the t-shirt in a straight line across the chest and waist. This technique is used in approximately 75% of t-shirt cutting projects.

      How do you cut a t-shirt for beginners?

      If you are new at cutting t-shirts, stick to simple techniques, and avoid the ones requiring a sewing machine to complete. Pieces such as fringe shirts and muscle shirts are a good first choice for beginners.

      How do you cut a T-shirt into a cool design?

      Take your time before you begin a planned cut. Measure everything several times to make sure the shirt is of an appropriate length and make as clean cuts as possible.

      Remember you can only do this once per shirt, so be careful not to cut something you didn’t mean to. Finally, enjoy what you are doing, as every DIY t-shirt is unique and cool in its own way, even if something turns out differently than intended.