How to Make a Bridal T-shirt

comments (6) May 5th, 2009     

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CalPatch cal patch, contributor
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You can make this lovely top fit for a bride.
Fold the shirt and draw a new armhole and side seam.
Cut away the excess.
You can make this lovely top fit for a bride.

You can make this lovely top fit for a bride.

Photo: Cal Patch

There are beach-y brides, barbecue brides, and even bowling-alley brides, and some of them don't want to spend their day in a floor-length tulle gown. Here's a sweet gift idea for the alterna-bride in your life, even if she wears it to her shower, rehearsal dinner, morning-after brunch, or honeymoon. She'll be thrilled to have something comfortable that still evokes the wedding look, and unlike the dress, she really will wear it again!

What you'll need:

  • One oversized T-shirt
  • Marking pen
  • Scissors
  • A few scraps of white fabrics
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine

While I usually advocate restyling old T's, in this case it's probably best to start with a fresh, new one, unless you are certain that the recipient would prefer old to new.

1. Reshape the T: Fold it in half along the center front and center back, matching the sleeves as shown. With your pen, sketch out a new, smaller armhole and side seam.

How to Make a Bridal T-shirt
Fold the shirt and draw a new armhole and side seam.

Use a T-shirt that fits well as a reference if you're not comfortable eyeballing it. Cut on the line and hold on to those scraps!

How to Make a Bridal T-shirt
Cut away the excess.

Now separate the front and back, and refold them along the centers as shown. Draw a new neckline and cut it away as well.

How to Make a Bridal T-shirt
Draw a new front and back neckline; I did a V-neck.

2. Sew the side seams with a stretch or tiny zigzag stitch: Although this is optional, I like to add a shaped center back seam to fit through the lower back. To do this, draw a line next to the center back fold, and curve it in slightly, then back out. The deepest part of the curve should be at the waist, about 16 inches down from the shoulder seam.

How to Make a Bridal T-shirt
Add a shaped back seam if you want to.

Trim on the line and sew this seam as you did the sides. Now you have a nice, sleeveless tunic shape to play with!

How to Make a Bridal T-shirt
Much more flattering and we haven't even begun to decorate!

3. Make the cut-outs: This is the beginning of the fun part. First, we're going to cut some leaf-shaped holes out of the neckline area to add texture and a lacy effect. Pinch small bits of T-shirt between your fingers, and snip a very small half-leaf (basically a V-shaped notch) so that when you release it, you have a whole leaf.

How to Make a Bridal T-shirt
Cut tiny half-leaves out of pinched folds of the shirt. Scatter these around the neck and shoulders.
How to Make a Bridal T-shirt
Here's how the leaf hole will look.

Be sure to keep them small and at least 1/2 inch from the edges (and each other) or the fabric will tear.

How to Make a Bridal T-shirt

4. Appliqué the neckline: Next, cut some bigger leaves out of your various scraps, and pin them onto the shirt as you like.

How to Make a Bridal T-shirt
These are the scraps I chose for the leaves and flower. The white scraps are the leftovers from reshaping the T-shirt.
How to Make a Bridal T-shirt
Cut an assortment of leaves to play with.
How to Make a Bridal T-shirt
Arrange the leaves and pin them to the shirt.

Stitch them down with a small zigzag, from end to end down the center of each leaf, backstitching at each end. On some of the leaves, I made a little tuck or two while sewing, which made them look just like piped frosting leaves on a cake!

How to Make a Bridal T-shirt
The striped leaf has a little tuck in it to add another dimension.
How to Make a Bridal T-shirt
This one has two tucks. Doesn't it look like frosting?

5. Make the corsage: Following my instructions here, make a fabric flower with the scraps. I stopped after step 3 and didn't cut into the circles, so the flower looks more like a peony. Tie it around one side of the neck with a scrap of T-shirt so it's removable.

How to Make a Bridal T-shirt
The corsage makes the top look especially festive!

That's it! You can layer up more leaves and flowers if you want, or add beads, sequins, or embroidery if that's your style. Make the project your own! It would be really fun to make these at a crafty bridal shower, too, and everyone will have a souvenir of the event.

posted in: top, bride, tshirt. wedding

Comments (6)

Geriannes writes: Very Creative
Posted: 12:58 pm on December 2nd
MissPat writes: Do you own an iron? I believe that I would have pressed the shirt before working on it or photographing it. The project looks fun but the wrinkles are very annoying.
Posted: 9:12 am on May 13th
multicrafty writes: It's beautiful! I would wear it on any occassion!
Posted: 8:34 am on May 18th
roxsan writes: This looks like a very cute, non-bridal project for me. I could see it in blues and greens...
Posted: 3:10 pm on May 9th
WendyQM writes: You are so creative! It is so pretty and delicate.
Posted: 12:53 pm on May 8th
theemptynest writes: LOVE IT!!!!
Posted: 7:15 am on May 6th
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