I call this the Moqui Tee Refashion. It’s not a true refashion, but it has some simple yet very useful alterations: Side-ruching and bringing in and up a neckline. I’m sure there’s probably a million side-ruching tutorials out there (I haven’t looked), but I think it’s worth adding or sharing the few little tricks that work for me.
I thrifted this shirt the other day with the idea of making a summer shirt that didn’t require a cami underneath. It’s getting hot round here. The original shape of the tee was kinda awkward–it was a-line, triangular (not enough to make it look like it was supposed to be that way), and probably looked pretty weird on a normal-shaped body (hence why I found it at the thrift store). It also had a plunging wide neckline, and long sleeves that had to be dealt with.
I began by ruching the sides: I measured about 3 inches up from the bottom edge and put a pin in, from this pin I measured 10 inches up and put another pin.
Then I pinned 5″ of 1/8″ elastic to my marked points. (so my elastic is half the length of side length marked.
Here’s where I experimented, and discovered something that might be useful to you. In the past when I’ve sewn elastic into the side seams, I’ve always used a zig zag stitch. It’s always annoyed me how much it curled and snaked. This time I ended up taking the zig zag out, and just using a straight basting stitch, and found that it snaked much less, and laid much flatter on my side. So stretch your elastic to the full length of the marked portion, and use a long straight stitch to sew it down to the seam allowance.
Now about that low/wide neckline that’s too low/wide for me. I figured out this little trick a few years ago, and it has served me well to make necklines more modest and with minimal effort or alteration. I snip the tiniest little hole on just the inside layer of the neck band. I then fish some thin cord-elastic through the neck band (which now acts as a little casing), until I reach the hole again. I pull it through and adjust until I’m happy with the fit, and then knot it off. I finish by pulling the knot into the casing so it can’t be seen. It would probably be a good idea to whip stitch the hole up, but I’ve never bothered and been none the worse. This small little alteration makes a big difference but is also very subtle. This shirt was really pretty low and wide before, and now it’s perfectly modest without a cami.
To really make this summer worthy I hacked the sleeves and hemmed them.
I’m really happy with the way it turned out, and was jazzed at how much better it was with these quicky alterations. This Moqui Tee will get lots of action for the next SEVEN weeks. Yes, that’s right. I have SEVEN WEEKS left. Can you EVEN IMAGINE THE WRATH OF THIS BELLY IN SEVEN WEEKS?!?! Yeah, me either. I’ve always gotten huge, and I should be used to people trying to convince me that they must have “missed one” in my ultrasound because there’s got to be twins in there. But I’m not. I don’t like feeling like I’m a spectacle every time I go out in public. I sometimes even just look in the mirror and marvel because it almost seems unnatural to me.
Don’t be fooled by my smile—I can’t FATHOM how my Mom did this NINE times.