Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Easy Peasy ~ Ruched T-shirt Shrug


Our Blog has moved!  

Please visit us 


I don't know what the weather is like in your neck of the woods but it's already blazing hot here in Georgia and after running around all day in a cropped sweater over my strapless dress, I decided I needed a better alternative. (If only I was that girl who felt comfortable running around half dressed...I am not.) A thin, short sleeved t-shirt sounded so much more appealing.  All day as I walked around sweating to death I dreamed of how I could revamp a nice, cool, thin, lightweight t-shirt into something fabulous for these miserable southern summer months.  This is what I came up with.  :)
(ps..these adorable jersey maxi dresses are only $12 at my Walmart)

Here is the shirt I decided to use.  It already had these 3 little rosettes on it.  I thought about removing them but, in the end loved the way they looked and left them on.

Fold your shirt in half.  Make sure it's nice and smooth.

Cut your shirt the desired length.  I cut mine 15" long.  You may want yours shorter or longer depending on your height.

Open up your shirt and cut, only the TOP layer, straight up the middle

My shirt kind of flared out and I didn't like it so I made it a bit more narrow.  It was originally measuring 18" across the bottom and I wanted it to be 12" so I took 3" off of each side.  I measured 3" in and made a little mark with my disappearing ink pen.

I used my yard stick to draw a straight line from my little mark, up to the end of the sleeve on each side.

I placed a few straight pins along the line to hold the two sides in place and sewed a new seam along the line using an overlock stitch on my sewing machine.  A serger would work great too.

Then I used my pinking shears to cut the excess fabric off from each side.

You know how when you call your mother in law and ask for a recipe and she gives you a list of ingredients along with the instructions of "oh, that's nothing, just a little of this and a little of that"  well...
This next part I just kind of eye balled.  (sorry) I know how annoying that is.  lol
I trimmed off the sharp corners at the top and bottom of each side then rounded off the middle with the sides touching about 1" below the armpit line. If you have a shrug you like you can always use it for a reference for this part if my (a little of this, little of that) instructions aren't doing it for you.  

Next I cut the bottom excess of my shirt into 1" strips using my rotary cutter.

This is what they looked like when I opened them up.

Then I ran a long loose basting stitch straight up the center of each one.

Here's a super easy trick to get your strips to ruffle.  If you lightly hold your thread and let it run through your fingers as you sew it will cause your fabric to ruffle as you sew.  You can control how much it ruffles by how loosely you hold the thread.  Genius!

Next just place the ruched strips along the edges of your shrug and pin in place.

 Last sew a straight stitch directly over the basting stitch and that is it.  If you love the look of the rosettes, try adding some of our ITH Breathtaking Blossoms.  They would be so pretty with this project.
Either way it's so easy and what's even better is it's SO much more comfortable for the hot summer months!

Now I'm off to go get all the maxi dresses in every color from Walmart.  lol



  1. This is awesome! Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Too stinkin cute! Thanks so much!

  3. Thanks for sharing this great idea!


  4. That is beautiful!! Thank you for sharing your brilliant idea.

  5. Question. Did you sew the ruffled edges all together before sewing them onto the shirt?

  6. I am in Georgia, too, and a cute little shrug would be sooo nice! I have always wondered how hard it would be to make one from a t-shirt! You made it look so simple...guess I need to get out my sewing machine!

  7. I love this! I have made similar shrugs but I love the all the ruffles! I found this on Pinterest and have featured you on my Pinterest Picks Post. I would love for you to stop by and grab a feature button from my blog. If for any reason you would like me to remove this feature, please let me know. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Thank you so much for posting this!!! You saved me!!!!

  9. This is absolutely precious. I think I'll make some in different colors too!

  10. Great shrug idea and tutorial! It looks wonderful. I made a similar shrug rom a T shirt,with a lettuce hem, but it's too loose under the sleeves down to hem (same area as yours). I left in on my dress form until I could decide how to make it fit better. I'm still pretty new to sewing clothing. Now I will cut away excess, under the arms to btm, as you did. I love your ruffled edges and your tip for running the thread thru your fingers to get those ruffles. Thank you for posting this tut. It's very helpful and inspiring.

  11. Love this tutorial!! Thanks so much for sharing! I gave you a shout out in my Earth Day post.

    Christine :)