Sewing wardrobe staples: upcycled tees for boys

I know some say that sewing everyday clothes is ‘boring’, especially for boys…but personally I love knowing that so many of the staples in my Big Boy’s wardrobe are handmade by me.

I was at the shopping centre just the other day letting him have a play on one of those coin operated rides (“oh NO! Mummy has no coins!”) I was chatting to another mum who commented on the jacket he was wearing (Spring Showers Rain Jacket).  Hurrah!  Proud moment – “oh, yes I made that”.  Then I realised he was also wearing the latest pair of skinny jeans I made.  And under the jacket, one of his raglan tees.  Happy days!

Today I’m sharing a few upcycled tees I’ve made recently. I drafted my own pattern to make them and yes, I now have a new level of admiration for pattern designers!!

Sewing upcycled tees for boys | sewoutnumbered

I’ve been playing around trying out a few different designs for basic tees and plan to make a few more in the coming months.

This first one is a size three and a bit on the tight side.

Sewing upcycled tees for boys | sewoutnumbered

I did a simple horizontal colour block and used up the fabric from two tees that I’d made previous tees from – budget friendly!

Sewing upcycled tees for boys | sewoutnumbered

For the next one, I graded the pattern up to a size 4.  The fabric from this tee was a little bit worn so not the best quality but I just loved the orange colour and the stars!

Sewing upcycled tees for boys | sewoutnumbered

I only had enough fabric for one star sleeve, so it’s a mix and match sort of shirt.  I think it looks unique and kinda cool – how about you?

Sewing upcycled tees for boys | sewoutnumbered

(excuse the dirt on his sleeve!)

I attached a simple faux placket at the front which I think smartens it up a bit.

Sewing upcycled tees for boys | sewoutnumbered

Finally I made this one for my friend’s little boy out of his late uncle’s tee.  I reused the tshirt design for the front and added an exposed zipper placket at the back.

Sewing upcycled tees for boys | sewoutnumbered

I’m not 100% happy with how the zipper looks…In hindsight I should have made it go right up through the collar band so it doesn’t sit open.  Also, I think the zipper is a bit scratchy on the inside so I’m going to add some fabric to the back of the zip before I give it to him.

Sewing upcycled tees for boys | sewoutnumbered

Does anyone else love sewing simple staples as much as me??

For more boys sewing inspiration, don’t forget to follow my Sewing: Little boys clothes Pinterest board.

Happy sewing!


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  • These are so cool! I love the one with the stars.

    • Natalie @sewoutnumbered

      Thanks Lydia! I love the bright orange in that one. So many boys clothes are the usual blue, grey, green etc.

  • Jonie Brooks

    I love making cool upcycled t-shirts for my son. I love that he has unique one of a kind shirts.
    I love the orange one too. Sooooo cute!

    • Natalie @sewoutnumbered

      Thanks Jonie! I agree! And the best bit is when they choose to wear the ones you’ve made them over any others 🙂

  • Pam@Threading My Way

    They all look great, but I love the orange one with the asymmetrical fabric. Looks totally like you designed it that way. The faux placket really finishes it off.

    • Natalie @sewoutnumbered

      Thanks Pam!! I’ll definitely be adding more faux plackets to tees from now on 😉

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