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Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Inspired T-Shirt

I have been sewing a new project each week...I just can't stop!  Do I have problem?  Nah. Luckily my fabric stash has lasted me for quite some time thanks to great deals at
Last weekend, my mom stopped by to say hi and I couldnt wait to show her my latest accomplishment, a long sleeved tshirt with a beautiful ruffled neck edge.  
I was inspired to create this when one of my co-workers was wearing a short sleeved fitted tshirt with a similar application. I had to check it out, she was probably wondering why I was staring at her chest..yikes!  Super easy, it is simply strips of fabric stitched down the center from one shoulder seam to the next. For this one, I attached 4 strips that were about 1 1/2" wide.

I will take you through the process here and then follow with the shirt I am making.

What you will need:
  1. Your favorite t-shirt or pattern...and make it finishing the neck band as usual.
  2. Strips of the same or even different fabric. I used the same rayon jersey used for my t-shirt.  I am even thinking about using a contrasting color, but I like the jersey since it doesn't ravel and actually looks even better after it is washed and dried.
  3. Thread; matching or contrast -- your choice!
  4. Stretch needles.

Making your shirt:
  1. Make your t-shirt  (skip this step if you are using your favorite shirt)
  2. Cut your strips; you choose the width. 1 1/2" seems to work well, but wider will create a more flowing effect. I have cut both on the crosswise and lengthwise grain which will depend on how your chosen fabric behaves.  There really is no wrong way to do this.
  3. Begin pinning your first strip starting at the right shoulder seam about 3/8" from the neckband seam. I have attached this strip with the right side facing so when the edge rolls it does so to the front.  Either way you decide will be perfect.
  4. Sew right down the center of the strip using a stretch stitch (the lightening bolt on my machine) or a narrow  long zig-zag and back tack at the beginning and end.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each strip that you want to add.  My co-worker's shirt had 9 strips, but I think they were much narrower.  That is the beauty of this project....CREATIVE WONDER resulting in your own expression of beauty!

More to come in a bit... I have to go cut out my t-shirt! I chose this really pretty delicate cotton/spandex jersey that I purchased (end of bolt) for my stash. 

Gingher scissors are so fast!  already done cutting.

My basic long sleeve t-shirt is finished. The neck band is in. I chose to leave the sleeve and hemline raw to compliment the inspirational ruffles.
I had already cut my strips when I cut the pattern.  You can see one of them above.  Since I cut them on the cross grain (remember, you can cut them on either grainline), the edges roll toward the backside of the fabric.  This is where you begin pinning your fabric strip at the right shoulder seam with the center of the strip about 3/8" from the neckband seam.  

A secondary benefit of this application is that the seam allowance remains flat with wear. Always a good thing!

I need to point out that I always place a large head pin perpendicular to the strip I am attaching directly on the shoulder seam line to make sure my stitching begins and ends right at that point for a more finished look.  
The yellow pin head is at the left shoulder seam

All pinned and ready to sew

See the yellow pin head to mark the shoulder seam at the right side.

This is at the left shoulder seam 

The first strip is on

Left shoulder pinning the second strip...almost there

A finished Inspired T-Shirt
After all your strips are attached, VOILA!  You have a beautiful fresh inspired t-shirt. I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and that you will post comments and photos of your "inspired t-shirt". 


  1. Jumped over from craftsy. I love this! Very cute.

  2. Thanks! I hope you are inspired to create something similar :)

  3. I love the first one you made....and I love wearing it -- super cute and very comfy.


    1. <3 you know you have bragging rights! I am so glad you like it and proud that you liked it so much you will wear it.

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  5. Wow! I can't believe you made that - you are so talented :)

  6. Lovely creation, Geni!
    I'm following you with G+ and I'm an intermediate sewist me too! I'd really be pleased if you visit my brand new sewing/serging blog and, if you like what you see, follow me too :)
    Tx a lot,
    C U soon
    MammaNene from