A few weeks ago, I was approached by Stefi from Just Chic to participate in a project that really sounded like fun: 5 different bloggers are each be given the same item to embellish or refashion to their hearts’ content, and then everyone posts their creations in a series called The Embellished Five. Fun!
This week’s item to liven up was a plain-Jane pink tee from Joann. With a bit of snipping and a bit of stitching, I transformed my tee into a fun little bolero. I used the fabric I trimmed away from the bottom of the tee to create the fun little ruffle detailing around the neck, and to finish the raw edges, I used lettuce stitching for added interest. Overall, this was a super simple project to put together!
step 1 / Fold your tee in half, as shown below. Use a washable ink marker to mark the overall shape of your bolero. As you can see, it took me a couple of tries until I was satisfied. 😉 With your tee still folded, trim along your sketched lines, and then unfold your tee.
step 2 / Measure 4 inches out from the top shoulder seam of your tee on your sleeve, and make a mark. Measure 1/2 inch from the bottom of this same seam, and make a mark on the lower portion of your sleeve. Connect these two marks with a line, as shown, and trim away the excess. Reserve this extra sleeve piece to use as a tracing template in the next step.
step 3 / Flip your tee over, so that the opposite sleeve is aligned in the same way your other sleeve was in the previous step.Using the extra portion of the sleeve your trimmed off as a template, trace a trimming line on this sleeve, and trim away the excess. Use a straight edge to draw a line down the middle front of your bolero. Cut down this line, making sure to cut only through the top layer of fabric. Now, go around the entire perimeter of your bolero with a lettuce stitch to finish the edges and give everything a fluttery, flirty look. You can find a great lettuce stitch how-to here.
step 4 / Take the excess fabric you cut away from the bottom of your tee in step one, and cut 3/4″ strips with your rotary cutter. Make a snip to open up these loops, and then ruffle each piece using the ruffling method I detail here. Now, arrange these ruffles in loops and swirls on the front of your bolero, stitching as you go.
Having grown up in a home brimming with sewing notions and paintbrushes, Amy has a deep love for all things creative. On any given day, you’ll find her knee-deep in her latest creative endeavor, with projects ranging from sewing and crafts to home decor and kid-friendly ideas. Amy believes that everyone, regardless of skill level or experience, possesses the ability to create something beautiful, and Positively Splendid was born of her passion for helping others harness their innate creative potential.
claudia b says
This is SOOOOO cute. I am totally going to make this!
J C W says
I so love this Tee shirt; I can’t wait to create several; i’m even going to make some with longer sleeves for the fall. Thank you for letting everyone in on the process.
Amy @ Positively Splendid says
You are so welcome! I am glad to hear you enjoyed this project.
Alayna Howard says
I love this! Too cute. I have so many shirts that I could do this to. Thank you for sharing. http://alaynahoward.blogspot.com
Beautiful!!! Love, love, love, the ruffled details!
[email protected] says
darling! I love the lettuce edge! I have an extra shirt in my stash. I might have to try this!
This is so adorable! You came up with such a nice idea!
[email protected] says
so so so cute! LOVE IT! I am featuring it at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com tomorrow!
I LOVE THIS!! Everyone did such a great job on their shirts. Yours jumped out to me in that you added nothing from another shirt or anything else to it. Everything you used came from the original shirt. Fascinating!!
It turned out so cute. I would have never guessed it started out as a t-shirt.
Sarah Masci says
Oh my gosh, I love this! I just broke out my brand new sewing machine last night (1st one) and took an hour just to thread the bobbin and needle! Needless to say, I will file this one away for a day when I am bit more skilled. Thanks for sharing, it is so adorable!
Just saw this over on justchic… It’s AMAZING!! I absolutely love it! Well done =) x
I just love all those ruffles! Great project!
Love it! Way to go! I love the ruffles!
Mary Lea says
What a cute, cute transformation! This totally rocks! I an hardly wait to go find a t-shirt to try this with!
Moms of all Trades says
I also love this , Proud to be your newest follower!!
Love this! Super cute transformation! I need a ruffler foot – I keep seeing all these super cute ruffled creations all over blogland. Thanks for sharing.
My House of L says
Jennifer Rodriguez says
I am soo doing this!
Love it, great tutorial!
Kim @ Cheap Chic Home says
This is super-duper cute! I really like the way you made ruffle flowers.
Brava! Applause, applause! You did so very well with your project!
Tea Jurković says
Such a great idea! I linked this tut on my blog, thank you so much for those great step by step instructions. Greetings from Croatia!
CREATIVE MIND says
super cute..totally awesome.thanks for the tutorial
I love this !!
Lacie ♥* says
OH MY GOODNESS. I am speechless! Ok, well not really, I ALWAYS have something to say, but this is AMAZING in every sense of the word. I could have a fit right now because I want to make this THIS instant. I’ll be purchasing a sewing machine ASAP. GREAT WORK! <3
Thanks for sharing with us!
This is positively amazing and I love it! I have scheduled a feature of it for this afternoon at Extreme Personal Measures.
Extreme Personal Measures
Teri Bueno says
Amy, amazing, I love it, I am going to make it, but I am making for my granddaughter I think it will be so cute and she will love it. Thank you for share.
The LadyBugs Garden says
I love it. So easy and cheap is better..
Aussie Em says
wow, what a fantastic idea! I had a really cute tee sitting in my cupboard, not getting much use because I don’t like the way the fabric clings to the tummy. It already came with a floral detail quite similar to the one you have sewn onto your t-shirt. All I did was cut the t-shirt all the way through the middle at the front, and I have a lazy cheat’s version of your gorgeous bolero! Thanks for the idea!
How wonderful this will I try it Thank you
This is so cool! I love the idea and it looks like it will be great finished up! I might play with the directions a bit, of course…thanks for sharing!
I love it! Thanks for sharing. This could turn out to be a lot of fun.
meijo's JOY says
The color, pattern, tutorial, photo… too pretty! Love it1
Cindy Nipper says
What about the back. Isn’t the back solid? If you cut it like described, the back wouldn’t be attached. Can you include a picture of the back? Thank you! It’s very cute! Especially the punch of bright color!
This is cool! I have a purple t shirt & a gold t shirt. I’m going to put the purple ruffles on the gold, and the gold ruffles on the purple. For Minnesota Vikings colors!! Thanks for the tutorial 🙂
Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
Anyways, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be
book-marking and checking back often!