This is another one of those projects that I saw on the Urban Outfitters website (here), and immediately thought to myself, “Damn, I could make that!” Last week I was looking forward to making it, but just couldn’t fit it in my schedule until today. Sometimes when I can’t immediately make something that’s on my mind I get a bit obsessed until I get a chance to try it out, and that’s what happened with this top. Maybe because of all of the mental planning, it turned out exactly as I’d hoped. I think it’s really cute, and it hits two of the big trends for spring/summer: stripes and open backs/cutouts. If you have a striped tee you want to spice up it won’t cost you anything, otherwise I recommend that you hunt for a suitable specimen at your local thrift store. Mine was only $4.50, plus about an hour of cutting and sewing, but you can probably do it faster if you’re not taking pictures of the process.
1. Grab your shirt and flip it over to the back. Starting at the edges of the collar, draw a long scoop shape about 6 inches wide and 17 inches long. My markings are kind of hard to see, sorry!
2. Cut the shirt collar completely off and discard it.
3. Find the center of the back of the shirt. Fold the back half of the shirt lengthwise, insides together, so that your scoop shape is folded in half symmetrically. Make sure that you keep the front half of the shirt separate. Pin in place.
4. Carefully cut out your scoop, then hem the edges of the collar and the cut-out section.
5. Take the piece you cut out of the back and cut it in half lengthwise, then widthwise, leaving you with four pieces that measure about 6 inches by 3 inches each.
6. Hem the edges of three of the four pieces you just cut. Take the last unhemmed piece and cut it into four smaller pieces as you did with the large back piece. Hem the edges of three of these smaller pieces.
7. Wrap the smallest hemmed pieces around the middle of your larger hemmed pieces to make three bows. Pin in place and sew the back of the center loop closed by hand, tacking it to the center of the larger bow piece.
8. With your shirt inside-out, pin the bows at the edges of the back cut-out, about 2 inches apart. Sew in place.
9. Try on your new shirt!
I can’t wait to wear mine out, although I’m not sure what to do about the bra situation unless I wear my strapless stick-on bra.
Looking for more tutorials and DIY projects? Check out my DIY Projects page!
My name is Rachel and I live in wonderful Portland, OR. Transient Expression is about fashion, style, and DIY. I love to share craft projects, cute outfits, recipes, and inspiration for living a handmade life.