How to Make a Bridal T-shirtcomments (6) May 5th, 2009
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
- A few scraps of white fabrics
- 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.
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!
Now separate the front and back, and refold them along the centers as shown. Draw a new neckline and cut it away as well.
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.
Trim on the line and sew this seam as you did the sides. Now you have a nice, sleeveless tunic shape to play with!
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.
Be sure to keep them small and at least 1/2 inch from the edges (and each other) or the fabric will tear.
4. Appliqué the neckline: Next, cut some bigger leaves out of your various scraps, and pin them onto the shirt as you like.
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!
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.
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.