Striped t-shirt refashion to lace up shirt

I mentioned in my post about the #NoSpendber challenge I’m currently undertaking that I discovered I had 8 striped shirts. In this blog post I’m going to share how I refashioned one of my striped shirts to become a lace up shirt.

So not only did I discover I had 8 striped shirts, but 7 out of the 8 shirts were some variation of navy blue and white, all crew neck, some long sleeved and some short. Obviously I have a bit of an obsession with navy blue and white striped shirts, but did I really need 8 of them?

After deciding to send two of the striped shirts to my cousin in the Philippines, I then went about using another one of them to refashion it into a lace up top. Refashioning is an excellent way to give new life to old clothes without having to buy anything new. Go #NoSpendber!

Materials I used:

  • 1 striped shirt
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape (optional)
  • Pins
  • A sewing machine (or can sew by hand if you’re diligent)
  • Thread
  • Grommets OR eyelets (I had the latter)
  • Grommet tool and hammer OR eyelet pliers (I had the latter)
  • Optional awl if using eyelets and eyelet pliers
  • Ribbon, shoelace, or other thick string to lace the shirt

Somehow I deleted the photo I took of me wearing the shirt in its original form, so here’s an old Instagram picture of it (albeit under a blazer).

First, I cut the neckline lining as I didn’t care much for the contrast ribbed neck.


I then had to find the center of the shirt which would become the gap across which the laces would cross. This was a lot harder than I expected as the shirt didn’t seem to fold in half neatly to get that clean midway mark. In the end I measured the shirt across on two places – at the halfway point just under the neckline and then straight down from there to where I wanted the gap to finish. Mark these points with pins.


diy_lace_up_shirt_5(NB: It’s probably worth noting that one of the first steps should be marking where you want the gap to finish – I just eyeballed it and it kind of ended up being a little lower than I had thought!)

Cut from one pin straight down to the other.


From here you could just go straight to hemming the raw edges, OR you could do an optional step and make the gap a bit more of a V-neck by cutting one triangle piece on one side – the size of the piece will depend on how big you want the V to be. Use the triangle piece you cut out as a template for the other side.


Pin down the raw edges and sew. The beauty of jersey or knit fabrics like this is that you only need to fold down once as the fabric doesn’t fray.


diy_lace_up_shirt_9Just don’t look closely at the dodgy sewing on the right hand side.

Decide where on the new neckline you want your grommets or eyelets to be. This of course depends on how detailed you want the lace up detailed to be. The great thing about striped shirts is that you can be countthe same number of stripes on each side and the grommets/eyelets should be more or less even on both sides.

If you have a grommet tool and hammer, go ahead and put those grommets in. I only had an eyelet plier with some of the supplied eyelets so used an awl to punch holes around the neckline and then secure the eyelets with the plier.


Feed through whatever you’re using to lace up the shirt – probably not your husband’s dirty old white shoelace which is what I had lying around for the photos (but what a great way to repurpose right! Maybe give it a wash first?)


For the outfit photos I decided to borrow a black shoelace from a pair of my lace up flat shoes to see if black worked better against the stripes. I think I prefer the black, but what do you think?



So you can see that the V is a little deeper than I had expected, which I don’t mind so much, but ensuring I have the correct bra on for this top will help (because as you know Vogue has deemed cleavage as unfashionable).


The great thing about this top is because I took off the original tag, I can reverse it so if the deep V neck is a bit risque I can turn it around and have some interesting back detail instead.



Wearing: lace up top refashion; Forever 21 high waisted ankle crop jeans – perfect for petites! (similar, made in the USA; similar, made in Australia); Novo lace up shoes from last year (similar, in black)

Below are some shoppable options if DIY isn’t your thing (but if you can repurpose one of your shirts that would be amazing – and it takes less than an hour to do!).

What do you think of this refashion/DIY? Would you do it to one of your beloved striped shirts? If you do this refashion yourself, please let me know but popping a comment in the comments box below or tagging me on Instagram – I’d LOVE to see what you made!

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