Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gathered Tunic Shirt

Talk about a super easy frugal, repurposed tunic! You've got to try making yourself one of these.

I started this project because I had this tank top with two stains on it.
No idea how they got there.
I love the color, so I wasn't ready to say 'bye-bye' to the shirt itself.

I got this shirt below practically free from a church rummage sale. It's brand new; it has 'sample' written on the inside in permanent marker.

The shirt was too small for me to wear (I am really tall, and it's a size small!) but it was perfect for my project.

Not sure how to obtain more sample clothing. Ideas? What do stores do with their samples?

I cut off the blue shirt below the bust as I wanted to create a tunic with an empire waist.
I have another shirt with the same type of style, so I measured it and found it was 12" from the shoulder to the waist.

I added an extra 3/4'' for seam allowance to the length before cutting.

I took the second shirt and cut it right underneath the armpits. I wanted the waist of the tunic to be as long as possible.
The yellow shirt had a greater diameter than the blue one. I gathered the front and back of the yellow shirt until it met up with the blue shirt's diameter.
Gathering just the front and back (not the sides) gives a more slimming effect.

I pinned the tunic pieces into place with right sides together.

After sewing the seam, I turned the shirt right sides out and removed the basting stitches I had used for gathering the front and back.

Press the seam with a steam iron.
I could have stopped right there, but I couldn't resist adding some sort of an embellishment to the upper part of the shirt.

I decided to add a little ruffle. I just gathered a strip of the solid yellow fabric with my sewing machine...

...pinned it into place...and then sewed it down. Then I removed the basting stitches I had used for gathering the ruffle.
All done! I can't model it yet because I'm still nine months pregnant. I'm looking forward to wearing it this summer after the baby arrives!
You could easily make this a maternity style shirt, too. You'd need to start with a shirt larger than a size small for the bottom half and probably do some heavier gathering than I used for this one (you might have to gather the sides!) Alternatively, you could probably pleat the front and leave plenty of room for a pregnant tummy.


  1. cute! I'm tall too and I think they make everything to short for my body.
    Love the yellow and blue together.

    Jeanna @

  2. this is very cute. makes me wish I wouldn't have gotten rid of all the tanks I had that were too short.

  3. the yellow and blue look great together! Nice work! :)

  4. Too cute! Thanks for sharing your fantastic idea!

  5. that is awesome! I would love it if you would link up to my Tuesday Confessional link party going on now: I hope to see you soon!


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