Coachella-Inspired Rock & Roll T-shirt Makeover

by Kira @ Her New Leaf on May 16, 2012

A few weeks ago, the Coachella Music Festival was here in California. Afterwards, I loved looking at photos of Coachella-goer fashion – they look so effortless and rock & roll! I have been meaning to post some new t-shirt makeovers and Coachella fashion is the perfect inspiration!


This tutorial uses the same technique that was seen in my braided neck t-shirt makeover from a few months ago (fun fact, that is my most popular post ever and has been viewed almost twenty thousand times!). This is a great example of how you can take one idea or technique and create an entirely new project. The end result is a complicated, lace-like look, but the process is super quick and simple.

Cut off the neck and the bottom hem of your shirt – shape the neckline wider or lower if you want. Then start cutting slits across the back of your shirt, about 1 – 1 1/2 inches apart. Here’s a diagram of where to make your cuts – there’s no need to be precise! I decided to make my V point toward the right side but you can do it straight down if you want.

Once you’re done cutting, grab the sides of your shirt to stretch the strips out.

Now it’s time to weave! This is one of those projects that is hard to describe and photograph but I promise it’s easy to do. Grab your second fabric strip and weave it up and under the first strip, then pull it down.

Then take the third strip, weave it under and through the loop (created by the second strip) and pull that one down. Keep going until you get to the bottom, then secure the last loop with a safety pin, or sew a few stitches, if you’re an overachiever : ) (I only did a few strips here to demonstrate.)

Now rock your shirt like you’re at Coachella!

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Alanna May 16, 2012 at 7:14 am

Really cute style ! In college, I was on a dance team and we use to be creative with our outfits and had shirts something similar. Great job!

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joanne May 16, 2012 at 7:35 am

wow, that is so cool!!! you are too clever!
too bad my back is old and flabby!!!! hahahahaha

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jessica lynn May 16, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Ditto what Joanne said about the flabby back, but I LOVE this! I think it would rock to wear to a Zumba class (I can just wear a tank under it)! Now I need to get my hands on an old t-shirt. To the thrift store I go!

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Chymecindy May 16, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Aww thats cute. I would like to try that too…

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Frankie May 17, 2012 at 5:19 am

Another awesome tutorial! I wish I had more t-shirts. Perhaps I’ll have to grab some the next time I’m out. The bush that’s behind you is my favorite type of bush. There were tons on the Amalfi coast (of Italy) and I fell in love with them there. Is it in your backyard? Any idea what it’s called?

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Kira @ Her New Leaf May 17, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Hi Frank! They’re called bougainvillea, they’re everywhere here! Mine needs some major trim-age. My favorite color bougainvillea is a pale orangey color, have you seen those?

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Erika May 20, 2012 at 6:46 pm

I love that I found your site again, you have great posts! And I also am glad I learned what kind of bush that is you are standing in front of. My reclusive neighbor has one and I always wanted to know what kind it was!

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Aislynn May 18, 2012 at 8:17 am

Hey there,

Love the tutorial, stumbled upon it quite by accident, but with a great result. Personally I’m not comfy with an open back, but it looks great on you, and it’s nice and easy (and not too expensive) to play around with and try to get “just right” for your body. I’ll be adding this as a DIY to my own blog at some point, maybe, when I get it right ;) Thanks again!

Anyway, I’m enjoying the blog all over, it really is lovely :)

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Kira @ Her New Leaf May 18, 2012 at 3:31 pm

I definitely won’t be wearing it grocery shopping or anything, I’m thinking it will make a cute top over a bathing suit at the beach!

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Monsterscircus May 20, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Very cool DIY, love your blog, such an inspiration! Have a nice Day!

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Morganvsmorgan May 29, 2012 at 12:36 am

This is cool, i love posts on doing up t shirts. I always find mens shirts with great prints and buy them with no use for them! haha

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Adrienn May 30, 2012 at 5:26 am

Wow! I’m about to give birth but I think I could rock this look at the playground! What do you think? :)

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Cristina June 16, 2012 at 4:38 pm

great idea! I love cutting up old t-shirts to reuse them, and will definitely be trying this tecnique. I was thinking you could make another row of loops by starting at the top again and weaving the strings between the last braid-ish part to make another V :)

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Rachel June 22, 2012 at 6:57 pm

That is too cool, I totally want to try that sometime as maybe a short coverup.

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kat March 21, 2013 at 10:16 am

Just did it to a shirt I found with a big hole in the back. Awesome! I should also thank the dog in the house that put it there, for I may have never come across this.

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