A new life for band & film T-shirts

I think many of the ladies will recognise this problem I’ve had for years, and which I’ve finally solved. Band T-shirts, all fandom T-shirts really, never seem to come in nice models. They either only come in the most basic men’s model or they do fit tightly but still have an impossible neckline that covers as much skin as it possibly can. Which is a pity, since we like to show our love for music, film and TV on our chest just as much as the guys, of course. 🙂

After rediscovering some rather nice, but long-abandoned T-shirts in my closet, I came up with a solution. It’s so simple I am certain thousands of others have discovered it before me, but why not invent the wheel one more time? 😉 What I do, is I cut out the print on the badly-fitting T-shirt and then use a sewing machine to stitch it onto a nicely fitting basic T-shirt that I bought specifically for that purpose.

Still sounds a bit daunting in the sewing department? Fear not, it is the easiest thing. I personally absolutely loathe sewing and my sewing skills are practically non-existent, so if I can do it, you can do it! Here are the steps:

  • Buy a nice, basic T-shirt
  • Cut out the print on the badly-fitting T-shirt. Make sure you think about this for a bit, so you cut it out in the best shape possible. Use textile scissors to do this.
  • Arrange the print on the new T-shirt until you’re happy with the placement.
  • Use pins to attach the print to the T-shirt. It’s useful to put a magazine or newspaper inside the T-shirt, so you don’t accidentally put the pins through 3 layers instead of 2.
  • Now you can either roughly sew the print to the T-shirt by hand (as in the first T-shirt below) or go straight to the sewing machine. My mum (who does know how to sew) told me to do the first, but for my second T-shirt I tried the second and that worked fine too. For the first T-shirt, however, I decided to keep the rough sewing even after I machine-sewed it, simply because I like the way it looks.
  • Sew the print onto the T-shirt with a sewing machine. If you got a stretch T-shirt, make sure to use the right needle.

That’s all! Here is my first creation, a T-shirt with the band Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit. As you can see, I didn’t cut out the print in a single piece, but separated the image from the band name. I quite like the effect. You can also see the rough hand-sewing, which I kept. The basic T-shirt is dark blue and cost me 10 euros.


My next project was one of my old Star Wars T-shirts. I am guessing I bought it around 1998-1999, when I was 10 or 11 years old. I used it as a gym T-shirt back then. I got an adult size back in those days, because I was already about 5’9″ tall. Now I am 6’1″, but the T-shirt was still way too big! (oh, the 90’s). My favourite Star Wars character is, and has always been, Han Solo. So I decided to bring him back into the world. This T-shirt is light blue and the same model as the one above. I got it on sale for 5 euros:


So, I think I found the perfect solution, because these T-shirts are:

  • Geeky
  • Feminine
  • Bringing back to life discarded clothes (up-cycling!)
  • Simply quite nice

My next project: an old Ben Kenobi T-shirt, also from the late 90’s!

So, what do you reckon? Any advice? Have you found your own way of reusing discarded fandom T-shirts? Let me know!

4 responses to “A new life for band & film T-shirts

  1. Cool idea! I have had this same rant! I’m so sick of finding awesome t-shirts that only come in guy shirts. I want babydoll cut or some kind of womans cut that flatters our bodies and fits well! I’ve complained to Hot Topic and other t-shirt places and told them gals/woman like geeky t-shirts too! I’ve even asked Eddie McClintock (Pete on Warehouse 13) that he needs to sell womans t-shirts. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem like people are listening. 😦 Makes me want to start my own t-shirt shop for women and men! If I could only win the Lottery! LOL

    • Good to hear I’m not the only one fussing about this! And you definitely get bonus points for all the effort you’ve put in trying to fix this issue. I’ve looked into it and it really wouldn’t be difficult at all. For the manufacturor it’s just matter of paying 1-2 dollars extra for a better T-shirt and then print on that one instead of a lousy one. I would start selling awesome tees on Etsy right now if that wouldn’t get me into copyright trouble.

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