Article written by Rumaanah Bilal, volunteer at Oxfam Online Batley
To begin these DIY doily shirts, collect everything you may need. I created two different shirts but there are limitless designs that you could create! Start off by ironing the shirts to get rid of any creases. I have picked these navy and white tops to work onto. The white one has a hole so I created a design to cover this up. This is a great way to bring new life to a shirt you’d otherwise end up recycling.
What you’ll need:
- Plain T-shirt (Use ones you already have or check your local Oxfam or Oxfam’s Online Shop)
- Dollies (Again if you don’t have any you want to chop up it’s worth checking your local Oxfam or Online)
- Needle and Threads (mixed colours)
Start cutting into the areas of the doilies you like the best. I picked out doilies with floral designs as this is something I really love, but you could easily use the lacy parts as well – customise to your heart’s content to make this piece a unique beauty!
After getting your desired pieces start to place them on the shirts in different ways to see which layout looks the best. I came up with a lot of ideas and they all seemed to be really interesting and wonderful. Here are some of the designs I tried out:
As soon as you have arranged your designs, pin the pieces down and carefully start to hand stitch the separate parts to the shirt. I noticed the edges of the blue doily was quite frayed so I had to fix that by stitching it down tightly, but still making sure I maintained the shape. I cut out around some hexagons from a different doily and I placed them in a row down the sleeves, this way it covered up the hole and also made it quite stylish. In contrast to the white shirt having quite a bit going on, I kept the navy shirt really minimal by only putting a white trim around the neckline.
This technique would also look great along the hem or armholes of your chosen garment, and would be a good way to cover up any wear and tear!
Here are my final designs for both tops. I like how they turned out and would love to do more like this. I like the contrast between both tops. Both are very simple and can be easily styled with a pair of jeans. I love that you can save a lot and create something stylish, whilst saving clothing that would otherwise end up in recycling, instead of paying £20+ for a high street piece.
If you try out my embroidered t-shirt DIY please share the pictures: @OxfamFashion #foundinoxfam I can’t wait to see what everyone makes!