Green Tee Hack: Side Lace-Up!

You know what I LOVE about a great staple pattern? The ability of hack it of course! The Green Tee by Greenstyle Creations is a great example: solid drafting (no sleeves cut on the fold! Can I get a hallelujah?!), perennial style and clear instructions.

In fact, I love the Green Tee so much, I’m creating a series on Green Tee Hacks! It was hard to decide which one to do first (see my Pinterest board here), but I was won over by this J. Crew top I saw in my google search, and decided to get hacking!

If you’re new to the phenomenon that is the Green Tee, you can get it for FREE by joining the Greenstyle Creations Facebook Group (check the pinned post at the top for the exclusive code). The Green Tee works well in a variety of fabrics: brushed poly, rayon spandex, cotton lycra, french terry, etc. You can see the other Green Tee’s I’ve made HERE.

For this version, I used a distressed jaquard knit from The Fab Clique. This unique knit comes in a variety of colorways, and is really easy to work with. Its a double knit, which means it has two layers fused together, and only the top layer is distressed, so despite the holes, I’m actually quite well covered.

In preparation for my hack, I cut a size larger than I normally wear, both to accommodate the looser look in my inspiration photo as well as the more structured nature of the fabric. I also used a simple turned hem for the neckline, and a rolled cuff for the sleeves- both were fast and suited the casual/edgy vibe of the top well!

Want to create your own side lace up green tee?

You’ll need a few supplies:

The first thing I did was mark on the pattern piece where I wanted my lacing to start. In the J. Crew example, the lacing goes all the way to the armpit, but I wanted a slightly more modest cut, so I marked a point on my pattern a few inches below my bust. For me, that ended up being about 9.5″ up from the bottom.

Cut out your pattern pieces according to the instructions, but add on 1/2″ to the sides of the front and back to account for the “placket” you are going to create.

Cut and fuse your strips of interfacing to both sides of the front and back. You want this to be wide enough to accommodate your grommets- I used 7mm grommets and 1.5″ strips of interfacing. Make sure to cut your interfacing so it goes about an inch higher than the point you marked for your lacing start point. 

Hem the top NOW, and then sew together per pattern instructions (sewing the shoulders and sleeves).

When you get to the sides, stop sewing about an inch BEFORE your marking. You can serge if you prefer, stopping an inch or two above your mark and finishing to the mark with a sewing machine. You can also  finish the edges first with the serger, then sew them at the increased seam allowance of 7/8″.  If you don’t have a serger, don’t worry- knit edges won’t fray, so just use the bigger seam allowance and press open. (remember, your arm is sewn with the normal seam allowance, its only the sides of the tee that needed the bigger seam allowance so adjust as you sew!)

Closer view of stopping at the mark:

Pressed open below the mark:

Using your sewing machine or coverstitch, sew up, over and down the edge of the pressed open seam, making sure you have enough room to install your grommets. I find this easier and more accurate with a sewing machine.

Starting about 1″ above the hem, begin marking where you want your grommets to go with the ruler/seam gauage. I found that a distance of 1″ was perfect. Install your grommets, then lace up your sides!

Hem (or roll up and tack, as I did) your sleeves and finish your neckline (with the bands in the pattern or a turned under hem), and enjoy your new cool top!

You know what goes perfectly with your new hacked green tee? The Brassie Joggers, Taylor Shorts or Moxi Shorts! Don’t forget all Greenstyle patterns are on sale for 20% off through 7/5 with the code “Freedom20”! See my Brassie Joggers Sewalong HERE, and the Moxi Shorts video tutorial HERE. See all the Greenstyle Patterns HERE!

I’d love to see this hack in the wild! Share your hack Greenstyle Creations Facebook Group and on the Sewing With Sarah Facebook Page! Don’t forget to sign up for blog email updates HERE, “Like” my page on Facebook, and follow me on Instagram for more hacks, sneaks and posts!

Do you have any ideas for a GreenTee Hack? Suggest them below!

Note: this post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase something using one of these links a small percentage goes toward funding my hacking addiction! Thank you!


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  1. Valeria Curatolo on July 3, 2017 at 12:24 am

    Beautiful T shirt! I love how simple pattern became interesting with a personal touch!

    • Sarah on July 3, 2017 at 9:55 am

      That’s the fun of hacking! Thank you!

  2. Karen on July 3, 2017 at 4:40 am

    Love your hacks as usual you’ve done it beautifully. Love the fabric!!

    • Sarah on July 3, 2017 at 9:55 am

      Thank you! The fabric is really fun!

  3. Ruth S. on July 3, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    I love your hack better than your inspiration! Great job!

    • Sarah on July 6, 2017 at 7:27 am

      Thank you!

  4. […] and serger for construction. I chose the free Green tee by Greenstyle Creations (made before here and here), and sized up for a slightly more relaxed […]

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