OK, so first of all let me apologise for the timing of this post- I realise that October is a bit of a funny time to be thinking about making, cropped, tasseled, summery vest tops. At this time of year your mind is probably on what winter coat to buy and being very thankful that you are unlikely to feel inclined to expose your midriff for sometime (which equals= cake, pizza, wine, fun!) but I had this post prepared a while ago and never got around to posting it. I could have saved it until next spring but I'm not going to, because tasseling t shirts is so easy and fun, and if you do it now you'll be all set for your beach holidays and festivals next summer. Plus, I think they look great layered over other tops. And of course, this post will be here, ready and waiting for you when spring and summer comes around and you decide that you need an amazing tassled top in your summer wardrobe. So, enjoy!
Tasseled t shirts are one of the easiest things to make, and since pretty much everyone is going to have some old t shirts knocking about their wardrobe, it's something you don't need to buy any materials for so will cost you nothing. The great thing about t shirt material is that it does not fray so you can leave the edges raw, so you don't need a needle and thread or a sewing machine. All you need is a pair of scissors.
On the top above I have turned it into a vest by cutting off the arm holes and collar. I have gone for low cut arm holes as this style has been our most popular at festivals, as they look great worn over bikini tops, but you could cut them higher, just following the line of the sleeve seam, or leave the sleeves on, it's totally up to you. The same goes with the collar. All you need to do is make sure they are symmetrical, and the easiest way to do this is to fold the t shirt in half along the vertical and cut both sleeves at the same time, as shown here on a different top-
Next up, the fun part! Cutting the tassels in. First of all you need to cut the hem off the t shirt, which is very straightforward, you just lie the t shirt flat and trim just above the stitching on the hem-
Next, you need to start cutting in the tassels by cutting straight up from the hem to the point at which you want the tassels to finish. You can cut the front and the back at the same time by lying the top flat and picking up the front and back with the scissors at the same time, this will mean that the front and back are balanced. If there is a print on your t shirt, you will want to have that face up to ensure you don't cut into it. To ensure that the tassels run straight and the top doesn't end up wonky, you can draw a line where you want the tassels to end with tailor's chalk or place a ruler/something straight at that point. Or, if you want a more mismtached look, you can cut the tassels to different points to create an interesting effect.
Cut the tassels approximately a centimetre apart, like this-
Once you get to the end of the t shirt, you're done! Just pop it in the washing machine on a normal cycle, and when it comes out the tassels will have curled up and look great. They will also have most likely got quite tangled in the wash, so while the top is still wet you need to untangle the strands and then hang the top out to dry. It is much easier than trying to untangle it once it is dry.
And that's it, you're ready to go! It really is one of the simplest rework projects you can do. You can get really creative with it too, you can tassel the sleeves as well as the hem, have short or long tassels, plait the tassels or tie little beads on the end of the strands, so you can create lots of different effects. Pick out an old t shirt (or look for one in a charity shop) and have fun!