Hi! It's Merav from Baby Hobbes Design, writing because of the overwhelming love from last weeks' post about how I upgraded my daughter's camp t-shirt.
Since you asked for more details, I decided to write up a tutorial on how to turn an ordinary boxy kids' shirt into a curvy top with flutters. For this tutorial I am using a kid size Medium shirt along with the Tansy's Knit Pajamas dress pattern because I love the curved edges. If you don't already own it, get yourself a copy of Tansy's because this pattern is super duper versatile (top, short dress, long dress and shorts)! Otherwise, you can use any knit bodice pattern-just remember to extend it.
Knit needle (but you can get away with a regular one too)
Serger, if you want to finish the seams (I sew directly on the serger)
Before I start, don't look too closely at the white shirt; My daughter was wearing it daily for 2 weeks -- every time they walked over to the park after lunch at camp.
Step 1: Figure out the length of the shirt you want when finished. I am not planning on hemming the shirt; I like the way the knit curls up; but if you plan to, add that measurement to the bottom to cover your hem allowance.
Step 2: Draw your flutters. You may already have a template for flutters, but I decided to just create one. See picture above for details. I wanted the flutters to be 14 inch long (which should work with a child Small) and the highest part to be 3 inch. I drew it on the fold and then connected the end points for the curve. Again, it's knit so I am not adding a hem --but if you like to, don't forget to add the extra seam allowance.
Step 3: Fold your shirt in half and place your pattern pieces on top of the shirt as in the picture. Since we are keeping the original neck line (do not cut) make sure your pattern shoulder pieces start at the shirt actual shoulder and neck line. See how I laid it. Cut out your shirt.
Step 4: Now it's time to cut the sleeve binding out of the sleeves. See picture above. Place your sleeve flat as is and either cut:
1) In a complete circle the original sleeve hem like I did with the original green shirt. Or--
2) Cut off the hem and then cut 2 inches in the round for the sleeve band like in the white shirt. Between the stretch of the shirt and the sleeve band it should fit perfectly-with a little adjustment along the way.
Step 5: Take your shirt right sides together and sew the side seams of your shirt.
Step 6: Run a gathering stitch to your flutters. Gather them till they are about half the length of the original size. So in my case, 7 inches long.
Step 7: Turn your shirt inside out. Take one of the flutters and place a pin the middle. Then place the flutter inside the arm hole with right sides together and the straight edge (not curved edge) along the raw shoulder edge. Match the pin to the top of the shoulder seam. Continue pinning the flutters onto the shirt on both sides. Run a baste stitch to hold the flutters in place. Repeat with the other side.
Step 8: Take your sleeve binding and if not using the original hem, fold in half.
Just like you did with the flutters, place the binding right sides together inside the shoulder, sandwiching the flutter sleeves' raw edge along the raw edge of the shoulder.
Pin all the way around. You might have to adjust the stretch a bit. Note: for a cleaner look, I like to match the seams under the arm hole.
Step 9: Sew (or serge like me) and repeat with your other sleeve.
Turn your shirt right side out and you are done with your simple camp T-shirt transformation! Great job!
We would love to see your camper t-shirts! You can post in the CKC patterns group here and also stop by my own Baby Hobbes Design page here to say hi!
Baby Hobbes Design