I am so excited about this little top. It is the perfect upgrade for when you want to make something fun, but don’t want to put a lot of time and money into something that will only be worn once or twice like birthdays and holidays. You use a store bought t-shirt and upcylce it to a cute boutique top. I just bought a pack of Hanes white t-shirts and now I have a few more to use for her and the little guy.
Simple T-Shirt To Cute Boutique Top
- Ribbon, ric rac, or some kind of decorative trim
- T-Shirt at least 2 sizes too big
- elastic thread for shirring
- all your sewing stuff
My little girl wears a size 4 and I had a size 6 T-shirt. I would have like it to be at least one size bigger for better shirring – but I had it so I used it. As a guide – normally when shirring you want the top to be twice the size as the chest measurement, so you don’t want to go too much over that.
You do use shirring for this tutorial, and if you haven’t done it yet don’t be scared! It is so simple. All you have to do is lightly wind the elastic thread on the bobbin and you’re set. There is a great shirring tutorial here that keeps it simple. If you have a drop in bobbin, here is a shirring tutorial for use with that.
The idea is to leave any side seams and bottom hemming in tact, then all you have to do is shirr the top. Hold the shirt up to the little one or use a shirt that fits well to determine the length. You will cut at an arch to form the front of the top, and trim the back in the next step. You can see that I took mine right up to the underarms of the shirt, and that is about as high as you can go.
Now we’ll cut the back. Just fold one side up like shown in the image.
Then cut it off like shown. This gives you a front and back to the top.
Now you are going to shirr all around the top. Here is a quick read on shirring, again don’t let it scare you! So so easy. Start with your presser foot right along the edge on the back. Then line the next row up with the edge of the presser foot again. I did three rows total.
You can see that my rows are fairly close together, and I didn’t mark any lines where I shirred – I just used the previous stitch as my guide.
Now cut the trim to length. I cut mine to be 12 inches long each to give plenty of room for tying.
To attach the trim, lay the shirt right side up with the back facing you. You will want to put the front ties a few inches in from the sides, and then the back trim an extra inch more. Just pin in place with enough room to sew.
Then just sew in place. I took a little fray check over the ends of my ric rac.
And there you have it. So simple and perfect for when you need a cute shirt for a special occasion but don’t want to spend a lot of time or money on it.
We used pipe cleaners and fabric paint for the fireworks shirts, super fun and easy.
If you have any questions leave them in the comments and I’ll answer them there.
Thanks so much for reading and sharing!