The Shirt Challenge: My Giant Bow Boob-Tube Tutorial

Hey everyone.

Hope your all as excited about the sewing bee as I am. A massive thank you to you all for the kind words and support, it has been great encouragement for me and I just wanna give you all massive hugs. On a downer, it was sad to see simon go this week, he was such a great character and its really encouraging to see a young man  interested in sewing; I say that like I’m miles older than him when I’m only a year older, but you know what I mean.

This week my favourite challenge was the 2 shirt challenge, and I am going to show you how to make the top I made with the big draping bow shoulder detail. This one:

IMG_2122

I have been eyeing one of my husband’s old(ish) shirts for a while now so as he isn’t around this has presented me with the perfect opportunity to pinch it, so I have done just that, and check this, it has a stripy pattern (O the joys of re-living sewing bee days).

You will need:IMG_2036

A large men’s shirt (preferably stolen from your spouse or partner, dads and brothers also count)

Fuse-able interfacing

Bias binding

Ribbon

Ruler

Pen/chalk/something to mark your fabric with

Scissors

Steam Iron

Sewing machine

Needle and tread.

Your measurements ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkywf2kGthg&feature=youtu.be )

The very first thing to do is iron the shirt so that it is easy to work with. Fold the back and front of the shirt in half so that the side seams meet in the middle and press. like this,

IMG_2039

 

bring the centre front fold (where the buttons are) over so that it meets with the centre back fold

IMG_2040

 

Place the 25″ mark on your tape at the bottom centre edge of the shirt, and mark the shirt a quarter of an inch above your “shoulder to upper bust” measurement. Mine “shoulder to upperbust measurement is 6.75″ so I have marked my shirt at 6.5”.  Then put a mark 1″ below that mark (so for mine the is a mark at 6.5″ and 7.5″; this mark is where the top will dip at the chest so you can make yours as low as you want but bear in mind that you want a button right at the top of the centre front or else it just won’t work)

IMG_2043

 

from the mark you just made for your “shoulder to upperbust” measure 4.5″ inwards and mark; as belowIMG_2047

 

Now place the 25″ mark on your tape at the bottom of the centre again and mark your “shoulder to waist ” measurement (mine is 16.5″),  and at 9″ mark on your shirt. These marks are your waist line and your bust line

IMG_2049 IMG_2048

 

 

Divide your waist and bust measurements into 4 and mark them along the waist and bust line accordingly, (add 3″ to the divided waist measurement and 2″ to the divided bust measurement before marking; so it will be “bust/4+2” and “waist/4+3”) This is sewing so at some point you will need to do some maths 😦 sorry guys)

IMG_2051 IMG_2053

 

 

Divide your hip measurement by 4 + 2″ and mark along the bottom of the shirt.

IMG_2054

 

Now use a ruler to join the tree marks you just made

IMG_2055

 

From the bustline mark, measure 2″ in towards the centre and mark

IMG_2057

 

Using a ruler or freehand if you like, draw lines that join all the marks along the top. It should look like this: Note the button right at the top.

IMG_2058 IMG_2060

 

Cut this out and separate the front and back of the top.

IMG_2061 IMG_2062

 

Take the back piece and fold down the top of it to create a straight edge, press and cut along the crease line, like this:

IMG_2063 IMG_2064

 

Now measure 4.5″ from the centre back in towards the side seams, mark and fold the top length ways on this mark as pictured below: press to create definite crease lines

IMG_2065 IMG_2066

Do he same with the front piece. These creases you just ironed in will create your dart lines.

Unfold the front and back pieces and invert the crease lines that are facing outwards, you do this because you will be drawing in your darts on the inside of the top.

Take your back piece, working on the dart lines, mark 1″ inwards along the waist line. from that mark measure 6″ up and down, slanting towards the fold. Use a ruler to join these marks. like this:

IMG_2078 IMG_2079 IMG_2080IMG_2081

 

Now take your front pieces and do the same, but on the top corners of the dart lines measure 1″ in from the fold and slant a line 3.5″ long down towards the fold:

IMG_2069 IMG_2070

 

Again use a ruler and join the marks so that it looks like this:

IMG_2082

 

now sew along the darts you have drawn for the front and back pieces, you will find that the front piece needs rounding off at the top of the dart, simply fold the front piece in half, take your scissors and round off the top like this:

IMG_2084 IMG_2085

Give the front and back darts a good press. Use some bias binding of your choice to finish off the top edges, lay the back and front pieces on top of each other, right sides facing, line up the side seams and pin to secure together.

Working from the centre, mark a quarter of your bust measurement along the bust line, do the same for the waist and hips:

IMG_2090 IMG_2091

 

Using a ruler Join these marks. It should look like this:

IMG_2093

 

Flip the shirt round and repeat. Sew along the lines you created in both side seams. Test your top for fit and make any necessary adjustments by letting out or taking in the side seams (always equal amounts on both sides).

Once you are happy with the fit attach a ribbon over one shoulder from the highest point of the front to the back (do this whilst wearing the top so that it fits over your shoulder perfectly

IMG_2119 IMG_2120

 

 

For the bow I decided to use another fabric because my husband would notice if 2 of his shirts went missing.

The size of the bow is completely up to you. It is made using 4 identical strips of fabric and 2 strips of fuseable interfacing.

fuse the interfacing to the fabric’s wrong side  for 2 of the pieces. Lay these pieces over the other 2 strips of fabric right sides facing. like this:

IMG_2110 then sew sown the longer side seams:IMG_2111

Turn the strips out and press, then finish off the top and bottom edge with some bias binding or by folding in 0.5″ and top stitching along the edge:

IMG_2112        IMG_2113

 

lay the strips of side by side, off centre. Pinch the middle of the strips to create the bow. You can either use a sewing machine to secure this or hand stitch:

IMG_2114 IMG_2115

 

Wrap a bit of the ribbon around the centre of the bow and secure with a couple of hand stitches

IMG_2117

 

Drape the bow on the ribbon over the shoulder and secure with a few discrete hand stitches, so that it holds the shape you want it to.

Have fun creating your own, oooh and try some contrasting fabrics and trimmings (for the Tamaras out there).

Please send me pictures of your own project and place your comments in the form below.

Have a lovely day and God bless xxxx

 

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