DIY Zip Tee


I love sewing and wearing basics with a twist. For example, a t-shirt that has an extra detail like this Coats & Clark Fashion zipper sewn on the shoulder seam. You can wear it with the zipper open or closed.  Either way it adds a bit of edge to your average t-shirt and simple to do. You can add this to a t-shirt or make one. I wanted make a one using a soft, drapey rayon jersey from Stylish Fabric. They have just about every color so have your pick! Get the details below and make your own.


Cut out your pattern. For this pattern I drafted mine but you can use any pattern just make sure whatever zipper length you plan to use that the shoulder seam measures this length. For example I’m using a 7″ zipper so I made sure the shoulder seams measured this length plus 1/2″ for hem allowance on the sleeve.
The material I’m using is a light weight rayon jersey material so I’m adding a 2″ strip of interfacing to the shoulder edges. The heavy duty zipper will then sew nicely along the rayon jersey with waving. At this point you will also want to fold over the sleeve openings and hem the edge. I pressed 1/4″ and topstitched with a straight stitch.
Place the zipper right sides together along the shoulder edge and pin. Fold the top tape end towards the zipper so the top stop meets the finished edge of your arm opening.  The bottom tape end should hang over a bit since you will be sewing binding along the neckline.
Use the zipper foot and sew into place.

Add the back and place right sides together and repeat.
It should now look like this. Repeat for the other shoulder.
Cut a strip of fabric that measures the neckline -3″. The width of mine was 1.5″. Sew the strip ends together to create a loop. Fold and press the binding in half (right side up). Pin evenly around the neckline with the seam in the center back. As you sew you will need to pull the binding slightly to fit around the neckline opening. Sew with a slight zigzag stitch.

Once sewn, press up. I did serge the seam allowance.

Flip right side together and sew the side seams. Then fold over the bottom hem and sew up.

I have already made a couple versions and even a long sleeve one. Hope you give this fun one a try!

*In collaboration with Coats & Clark

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Laura's creativity and eye for design is what sets Trash to Couture apart from any other. Laura started sewing and designing her own clothing as a young girl. She even made her Prom and High School Dance dresses. Her sewing teacher created a class for her senior year so she could continue her advanced sewing curriculum. She'd finish the class projects so quickly she had to start bringing clothing from home to use for fabric. After college Laura ran a successful handmade, sustainable clothing brand specializing in custom bridal designs. After having 2 babies back to back she decided to take a break from running the company solo and focus on raising her boys. Realizing sewing and designing were something she missed dearly, she decided to start Trash to Couture. Trash to Couture was created in 2010 to inspire a less wasteful approach to the mass-produced fashion mainstream through DIY tutorials and repurposed fashions. Laura not only is the seamstress, she specializes in designing original content with craft brands. She contributes and designs content for many top craft brands and publications: BERNINA, Altered Couture, Sulky,, Burda Style, to name a few.

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