Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tutorial / Sunkissed Tunic

A couple month ago, I found this boys t-shirt at Target in the kids section. I think it was $ 3.49. For some reason I could not take my eyes off of this shirt, and decided to take it home...

I will share how I made the shirt into a girl`s tunic. The shirt was size M (and that is for an 8 - 10 year old) and my daughter just turned 6 and she is slightly small for her age. If you want to make a bigger sized tunic, you obviously need a bigger t-shirt. I hope this will give you a general idea for the sizing.

{you will need}

a t-shirt
matching thread
buttons (I used 4 small buttons, but you can do 3 bigger size buttons too.)
Lace type elastic

{How to}

1. First, cut rib knit around the neck and both sleeves off.

2. Cut open both sleeves at the seam and lay it flat. Out of one of the sleeves cut out two pockets. I made a template for the pocket out of a cereal box. Draw 4 1/2" X 5" square, when you cut, cut off the bottom corners to round it. Lay it on the sleeve, and add 1/4" seam and cut.

3. Look at the picture closely... from the tip of the shoulder to the marked point, it is 5". Draw a natural curve for the arm hole. From the marked point, draw a straight line to the bottom of the t-shirt. This will create an A-line on the sides.

4. Fold 1/4" seam towards the wrong side of the shirt and sew elastic on. With mine, I cut 2 - 8" elastic for the sleeves.

5. Sew elastic around the neck too. For the neck line I cut 17" elastic, but it is best to measure your child's head to decided on how long you will need.

6. To make the pocket, hand sew around the edge of the pocket with big stitches. Lay the template onto the fabric and pull the thread to gather the fabric. Press with iron. You will have nice curve for the bottom of the pocket.

7. Sew the sides of the shirt. Use your favorite method to treat the seams.

8. Pin the pockets on the shirt and sew. To decide on where to sew them it is best to let your child wear the tunic. That way it is easier to see where it is most convenient for her.

9. Cut up several 1" wide strips from the other sleeve to make ruffles for the front.

10. First, fold both ends and pin the 1" X 4 1/4" strip in the center of the shirt and sew.

11. To make ruffles use the largest stitch on your sewing machine and sew one edge of the strip and pull the thread. Use the pictures as a guide.

12.Pin them on both sides of the middle part and sew them on. As you can see, I used zigzag stitch to sew them on.

13. Add another layer to it using the same steps. I cut the bottom corners of the ruffles to create a more interesting look.

14. Sew buttons on. This was the fun but difficult part for me! I had several choices of buttons and I finally narrowed them down to these...

You want to see the final product?

Rachel had such a fun time taking pictures (believe me it's not like that always, I do not force her to do it, but when she is in the mood, it is so fun!)

Since I make the tunic a little late in the season, I will share one of the outfits planned for the fall.

I took these pictures on different days, but again, she was on a roll! She loved her brother's hand me down hat, maybe that made her feel like she is a "Model". :)

She was laughing, and air guitaring...

For some reasons, "walking"...

Cool dude?

...then my favorites. She absolutely loves her new tunic, she already wore it several times. Yea!

The summer is ending, now is the perfect time to find cheap t-shirts at the sales rack. Enjoy!


  1. I LOVE this! Is it weird I want to make one for myself??? ;-)

  2. Uber cuteness!
    Like Jill, I want to make some for myself. I'll be in my husband's closet if you need me!

  3. I must say, this is one of my favorite re-purposing posts I've seen!

  4. She is so cute! What fun pictures! LOVE the tunic too, obviously. :)

  5. Thank you, I do it for my daughter.

  6. c'est une très bonne idée, ta fille est un vrai mannequin !

  7. Oh, my little girl and my big girls will all love this. Very Clever! Thanks!

  8. Brawo!
    Super Tutorial i cudna metamorfoza bluzki

  9. The tunic is awesome! Could your daughter be any cuter???!!! She just stole the show this post :) And the one of her "walking" is hilarious!

  10. Fabulous - tunic and model- thanks for sharing!

  11. So very cute. I want one in adult size.

  12. Wow that top is beautiful and so is your daughter! I think I could make that! Please check out my new blog about budgeting for Christmas:

  13. Great tutorial, thank you! I love the top! Now I've got to hunt for some lace elastic :)

  14. Brilliant! I'm wondering why you were exploring the boys section!!! I'm never over there...maybe I should! Those tees are cute. I would wear it! I want to try this asap! It is adorable and sooo comfy because it is a teeshirt material! Thanks for the great tutorial!

  15. Wow! It's adorable!
    Great tute too Sachiko!

  16. Meagan-

    I know, I don't write about them often, but I have two boys that are almost 11 and 9. I love checking boy section too!

  17. Darling! I'm featuring this at

  18. You have such great ideas for changing up everyday clothes and making them absolutely lovely! And your daughter is pretty adorable, too! :-)

  19. So cute. What a great idea. I don't have any little ones so I am going to try out the adult version. Now... where to buy and men's t-shirt that doesn't look like a balloon.

  20. this is so seriously cute! And I love the photo shoot! Your daughter looks seriously cool :)

  21. i love that stripey shirt. it looks great. wish i had one for me!

  22. this is adorable ! thanks for sharing :)

  23. That is fantastic, and your little girl is just so cute.
    I am with Jill I want to make one for myself.

  24. Girl, you have some serious skills. Never in a million years would I have come up with this idea, much less the ability to follow through and produce something half as cute.

    Thank you for the tutorial!

  25. So cute!!! Great tunic for school days! I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:


  26. LOVE it! ;^) Adorable. . . and your daughter ~~ just WAY over the top, especially with the "walk"!!! ;^) TOO too cute! ;^) SO fun ~~ thank you for sharing! ;^D

  27. Soo cute! I also want to make one for me, since I don't have any little girls. =D

  28. This looks great! ...and such a talented model as well! This summer I tried two t-shirt remakes and was pleased with my first attempts. It's given me a whole new way of looking at the clothing in my favorite thrift shop!

  29. I am totally going to make myself a grownup version!

  30. Hehehe, she makes an adorable model! Great tunic, I want one for myself too!

  31. i am sitting with a tee in my lap (just off the drying line) that must be 4 sizes too big for my little lady. I know just what to do with it now! It was a thrift find with all the store lables attached and my daughter went gaga for the sequin star on front. I was not allowed to leave without it. Hope I can track down some lace-elastic at my LFS.

  32. Acck! Sachiko this is SO adorable. You are amazing.

  33. I love it! I actually have 2 shirts that I could do this with. Both green and 1 is too big for my daughter and the others is too big for me. Now to choose - who gets one or do we both?! Thanks for sharing with us.

  34. oh my goodness I LOVE THIS! Thank you for sharing! I have a few shirts from Old Navy I got for a few bucks each to make something with....I think I'll do this! Thanks again!
    Your little girl is precious too!

  35. I absolutely love this! I can't wait to make one for my daughter. And as others have said - maybe one for myself too. :)

  36. I love this tunic top and I AM going to make one for myself! I bought a great men's t-shirt a while back thinking I'd use it for I know what!
    Great idea, great construction,fantastic design!


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