Monday, May 13, 2013

WE Make: Flutter Tee

Shannon and I shared this shirt several weeks ago on Me Sew Crazy. We had such a great time collaborating on a project together, that we decided to make it an ongoing series called "We Make!" The series has no real schedule, rather it will just be posts here and there with projects that both Shannon and I have worked on together. 

There's something really fun and challenging about working with another creative person to finish a project! Between the two of us, Shannon and I have a variety of strengths and tastes. This shirt was a great way to combine a love of mine (sewing) with one of Shannon's (art.) And what a great outcome! Every time I wear this shirt, I think about how cool it is that I'm wearing a piece of Shannon's art :)

This shirt is really comfy and flowy and can be made with or without decoration - go nuts!

What you will need:
2 yards knit fabric (interlock is best for this project, but you could use jersey as long as it's not too thin)
Rotary cutter and mat
Iron and ironing board
Sewing machine and basic sewing supplies (ballpoint needle is highly recommended for this project since you'll be sewing with knits.)
Chisel tip paint brush
Jacquard Textile Color in black (or in any color you choose)

1. First, take a longer shirt that fits you well (not snugly) and tuck the sleeves inside of the shirt. Place it on the edge of your tracing paper. I like to use freezer paper but any large tracing paper or wrapping paper work well too.

2. Add 1/2 inches for seam allowance, and trace around the neck and armhole of your shirt. Stop tracing just below the armhole.

3. Draw a straight line 1/2 inch below the bottom of your shirt and extend it roughly 4 inches beyond the edge of your shirt.

4. Starting at the armhole, draw a slightly curved line away from your shirt as shown in the picture above. Stop a little below halfway down your shirt, then draw a line down to meet the line you drew at the bottom.

5. Here is what your pattern should look like so far!

6. Now to create the curve in the front, draw a curve from the bottom to the side of your pattern as shown in the picture above.

7. First, make sure your fabric stretches sideways when you pull it. Then, with your fabric folded right sides together, place your pattern on top of your fabric and cut on the fold. This is the back of your shirt. Repeat this same process for the front of your shirt, but cut the neckline lower. Also cut a piece of fabric 22 inches long and 1 inch wide on the bias for your neck binding.

8. You should now have 3 pieces of fabric: a front piece, a back piece, and binding for the neck.

9. Place your front piece and your back piece right sides together and match up the shoulders. Sew one of the shoulders together and open back up.

10. Fold your binding in half, wrong sides together, and iron.

11. With the right side of your shirt facing up, match the raw edge of your binding to the raw edge of the neckline and pin all the way around the neckline. Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, sew along the neckline to attach. Press.

12. Place your shirt right sides together again and sew the other shoulder closed. Now hem your armholes by folding the raw edge 1/4 inch, ironing, then folding another 1/4 inch and ironing again. Pin and sew. Repeat for other armhole.

13. Right sides together, pin from each armhole to the corner of the shirt only as shown above. Sew each side closed where pinned.

14. Turn inside out and press (because I totally did, cough cough :)
And now this gets passed onto Shannon!
So, this is where I come in.. adding a little flair to this shirt (which I love and have demanded that Jen make me one, too!)
15. I clipped the shirt to a drawing board to keep the fabric taut while I painted.

16.  I used Jacquard Textile Color in black and a chisel tip paint brush to paint a geometric design.  Make sure to put a piece of paper inside the shirt under where you are painting to prevent any paint from seeping through to the back.  Once the paint dries, you iron the backside of it to heatset the paint ont he fabric. 

Check out our Link Party Page to see where we link up each week!


  1. I love the flutter shape, but I love the design you painted even more! this is very inspiring :)

  2. This is one of my favs :) LOVE!

  3. You make it look so's amazing ! love everything about it..xo

  4. This is gorgeous! I love the shape of the t-shirt, as well as the graphic. Fabulous.

  5. Hi :) may I ask a few questions? Does the paint chip, fade, or crack after a certain number of washes? What would you say is the best quality paint for this job? Also, since the shirt needs to be stretched to paint, do you wash it to shrink it back? I'm learning how to do this and I'm so stoked, but such a beginner! Thanks for your posts and help! Much, much appreciated.

    1. Hi Manuela! I would use a fabric paint for this kind of project, however we did use acrylic paint this time and haven't had a problem with cracking (but it does happen, so I wouldn't recommend it.) I like Tulip matte fabric paint. You don't need to stretch it much while you paint, just enough so that you are able to paint it without smudging/wrinkling. Have fun! -Jen

  6. Quick question… (and I LOVE this pattern and idea, BTW!), It looks like you left the bottom hem unfinished… would it work to do the same type of treatment to the open sides and bottom? And do you think this would work with tshirt material? Thanks!

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