DIY: Banana Republic Braided Neck Tee Shirt

by Kira @ Her New Leaf on July 21, 2011

You still have until tomorrow, July 22 to enter my first blogiversary giveaway! Get your entries in!

Have you guys heard of Pinterest? Pinterest is a virtual “pinboard” that allows you to visually bookmark images from all over the internet. You can sort your images onto separate pinboards to share them with friends and other pinners. It’s really fun and has been a great way for me to organize photos for fashion and home inspiration, as well as links to all the fabulous DIY tutorials I find and want to file away for a rainy day. If you wanna check out Pinterest, you can view my boards.

A few weeks ago I came across this image on Pinterest:

“Banana Republic Braided Top DIY”

Image: via Danielle on Pinterest

I love adding new projects to my DIY pinboard so I followed the link, which led me to a blog post entitled “Banana Republic Braided Top DIY… but Fail.” Whoever pinned the photo left out the fail part – this was no tutorial, it was a FAIL-torial! So, feeling a little cocky about my t-shirt remaking skills, I quickly re-pinned the photo with the caption “I bet I could figure out how to recreate this!” What can I say, I’m kind of a jerk sometimes.

Since this was the only photo I had of the shirt, I went to the Banana Republic site to try to find the top for sale. No dice, it must’ve been a few years old. So I turned on my expert Google skills (seriously, you ever need help Googling something, ask me) and found another pic on another blog.


It was another tutorial, but again, not ideal. It involved a lot of sewing and I am lazy, so I again bet that I could find a better way. Now I’m gonna show you how to do it!

Step 1: Find a shirt you’ve clearly never worn, made obvious by the fact that the tag is still attached. Make sure it’s really wrinkly. Bonus points if it has dog hair on it.

Step 2: Cut vertical slits all around the neck. Mine were about 2 inches long and a little less than an inch apart, but they don’t need to be perfect. You should make the first slit about half as long as the rest, since the weaving technique will cause it to open up into a hole. It’s okay if you don’t, though, you can just sew it up like I did.

Here’s a few pics to show you the scale of the slits I made. They definitely weren’t perfect, but they don’t have to be!

Step 3: Here comes the technical part. Take loop #2 and push it under loop #1, then pull it through in the direction of the remaining loops. It’s not hard, but if you do it wrong, just smooth your shirt out and start over.

Step 4: Continue by pushing loop #3 through loop #2 and so on. If you ever made a potholder out of loops when you were a kid, this is the exact same thing. You did it when you were a six-year-old at summer camp, you can do it now!

Step 5: Keep going and you’ll see your braid start to form. If you don’t, undo it and start over, no big deal, I’m not judging.

When you get to the end, you’ll need to sew a few stitches to attach the last loop to the shoulder of the shirt. I also had to put a few stitches at the beginning of my braid where the hole opened up, but I told you about that already, so yours should turn out even better than mine!

At this point, you could add a second row of slits and do a second braid like on the Banana Republic shirt, but my shirt had already become pretty low-cut so I didn’t. If you want a two-braid shirt, I recommend you start with a higher-cut shirt. Or if you don’t have a problem sharing your boobies with the world, go for it, girl! Like I said, I’m not here to judge!

Step 6: Wait til your boyfriend gets home from work and pose like a doofus in the yard. Make sure your shirt is still wrinkly.

Order the boyfriend to take close-ups.

Get mad at the boyfriend for taking boob shots.

That’s how you can make your very own Banana Republic-ish shirt! Let me know if you use my tutorial, I’d love to see how your shirt turns out!

Can’t get enough crafts? Visit the Project Gallery for more!

{ 240 comments… read them below or add one }

spot August 20, 2014 at 6:23 pm



LB August 27, 2014 at 1:21 pm

A brilliant tutorial thank you. I have to wear a boxy tshirt for a hen night, I now feel an adaptation coming on :-) x


Holly September 17, 2014 at 9:36 am

I’ve been looking for ideas on how to make some pretty t shirts that my daughter can wear for maternity tops. I’m going to give this a try.


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Lisa Jennings September 13, 2014 at 7:52 pm

I have been trying to figure out how this is done for so long. Thank you so much for posting this! I am going to make a bunch. :)


Laurennn September 15, 2014 at 8:35 pm

The shirt looks so pretty! Unfortunately I do not have any suitable shirts… yet. I loved your humor. I will most certainly try this in the future. Thanks so much! :)


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Christine October 2, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Awesome video. Thank you so much for sharing. Please keep posting ….I am a lazy sewer too! Good to know I’m not alone.


Kate Hallberg k October 10, 2014 at 7:45 am

I did this a couple years ago but had forgotten how as well as how easy it is. I picked up a t-shirt, apparently to modify everything. I cut off the turtleneck collar, took out the multiple rows of elastic thread- the waist length as too short and sleeve elastic. I added a row of dangly pom poms and woven trim to make the now bell sleeves longer. The new collar may have coordinating threads worked in. I’ll open the seams up several inches at the bottom hem, shorten the front & may leave the back longer. Possibly I’ll put a row of trim on the lower back hem to accentuate the uneven length.

All this because I’m waiting in a hotel, waiting for our new house to be ready (once we find it available to rent.


Leisa October 24, 2014 at 10:05 am

Thanks! This is going to be great for my pre-teen, not so girly girl. She can look like we at least tried. You are awesome. Thanks for sharing.


Erin November 25, 2014 at 7:46 pm

Love it! Easy and looks great. I have cheap t shirts I’ve hacked into nursing shirts and it needed something to beautify. This is petfect! Wondering if I can get bonus points for cat hair? Thanks for the tute!


Amy November 26, 2014 at 5:30 pm

I just turned to my boyfriend and said “this is the best tutorial” before reading aloud steps 1 and 6 to him. Excellent tutorial, love your humor!


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Karen Manasco December 9, 2014 at 10:38 am

Such a cute idea! I would imagine the braid would be much thicker depending on the weight of the shirt. I’ll have to try this with both a light and heavy weight T. Thank you!


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celia garcia February 20, 2015 at 1:14 am

Hi I am trying this now with a round neck shirt with less than an inch space between the slits but they were too bunched up. I will try again with smaller spaces between the slits. Hopefully, they will turn up okay..


Ashley Wohlgemuth March 11, 2015 at 8:47 am

I just stumbled on your tutorial via pinterest. Love your blog! Thanks


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