Thursday, November 3, 2011

20 Minute Cinch Tee: a tutorial


So I was looking through the clearance rack at Target the other day, hoping to find some cheap tees to dress up with reverse applique. I was frustrated to find that nearly all of their clearance rack tees were at least 3 sizes too big. I like to buy my shirts to be a little big, but not that big. So I had a thought. Why not just cinch in the waist so that I could have a cute tunic to wear with leggings (my new obsession)?


And yes, it actually worked! And stayed true to my vision. Don't you love when things work out like you  plan? Plus it only took 20 minutes with very minimal supplies. What more could I ask for in a project? Quite awesome.


Materials:


Oversized Tee

1/2 Wide Elastic

Matching Thread

Tutorial:

Measure elastic around the smallest part of your waist. Add about 1 inch and cut. 


Sew the ends together. 


Turn your tee inside out. Try it on and mark your waist line with a fabric pen or just a pin. This is where you should you sew the elastic to the shirt. 

Pull the tee through your elastic hoop.


Pin elastic to the shirt at both seams. 




This is where it gets a little tricky. The idea is to pull the elastic to the same width of the shirt and pin around. Remember to just go through one layer of the tee, not both. It would be really helpful to have an extra set of hands to help with this step. If you don't, no worries, just make do as best as you can. It really doesn't have to be perfect. 


Now sew all the way around using a zig zag stitch. Pull the elastic so that the tee and elastic sit flat together. You'll need to have a hand in front pulling (as shown in the picture below) and a hand behind the presser foot holding onto the tee/elastic. 

Don't fret about getting this absolutely perfect. The gathered effect is really forgiving to any mistakes you might make. 


And that's it! 



Pair with some leggings and boots for a cute, fall look! 










You can even add a little belt for extra cuteness (:




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70 comments

Unknown said...

fantastic!! i was just telling my parents yesterday that I desperately want a sewing machine bc of the awesome things you make on here and all the things I see on pinterest! thanks so much :)

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Allie said...

I love it. Such a great idea. I ended up doing this with my halloween costume actually b/c the top I had drafted up ended up being a little big. It turned out way cuter than it would have been otherwise. I love this idea for everyday wear though!! And you look super cute.

Alyssa said...

looooove this tutorial. i will be stealing it & giving a waist to too-large shirts for maternity shirts! plus i have loads of extra elastic lying around from the cloth diapers i'm whipping up. ahhh, thank you for the inspiration!! :]

laurenbonez said...

Excellent idea! So glad i found your blog :)

Rachel // Maybe Matilda said...

So cute, Katy! I love leggings, too, but I never know what to wear with them . . . I always feel like my booty is jiggling all over the place ;-) This shirt looks perfect for leggings!

Sarah said...

This tutorial looks great! I don't know how many times I've seen a cute top only to get it off the rack and find that I would be swimming in it if I tried wearing it. I can't wait to try this.

Sarah
(http://myclarinetwearssunglasses.blogspot.com)

The Desselles said...

Guess I'm heading to Target for some over-sized Tee's! Great idea, and so adorably simple. Thanks!

I think I'm going to make some for my daughters as well! (3 1/2 and 1 1/2 - how cute would that be?!)

loverstreet said...

What type of stitch did you use? It looks different than the standard ones I use.
Thanks for sharing--this is such a great idea!

Yvette @ AquaSeventy6 said...

Awesome! Great idea! I was just at Target today...I wish I would have seen this before!

Hannah from FlyChicks said...

ca-ute, girl!

Allyson McGuire said...

I've just been thinking about how I need a tunic! I'm definitely doing this this weekend.

Thanks for sharing!
Allyson
http://cupcakescandycanes.blogspot.com

Katy said...

Thanks so much ladies!

Loverstreet,

I used a zig zag stitch. Thanks for reminding me to add that info to the post!

Rebecca @ My Girlish Whims said...

This is adorable! Going on my "when I learn to sew" pin board. I will break my sewing machine after I move back home, I will!!! :)

Kansas Princess Jan said...

I think this is a great way to put a twist on a t-shirt. Thank you for sharing. :-)

tousled day said...

Love it!!! Those easy projects are my weakness. The best thing is that it turned out great. I would so wear that.

kmer said...

Wow, you're a sewing genius!! :) This is too cute!

Kimberly said...

Sooo cute!! I love your creativity!

Anonymous said...

Great tutorial. Will definately be trying this.
Thanks!

sdBev said...

Just darling! Thanks for sharing

Katrine said...

Cute idea!

Unknown said...

You are truly the cutest girl ever! I love all your great ideas, and someday I will actually try some of them too! lol Thanks for being an inspiration to me!

Anonymous said...

You always come up with the simplest & cutest ideas! Love this! :)

Eva said...

I love what you did with this shirt. :)

mackenzie said...

Where do you get all your other fantastic plain tees for your reverse applique projects?

Junky Vagabond said...

Awesome! I found this through Pinterest and love this idea and it's easy - bonus!

JoJo said...

I used this idea for a dress for my 4 year old daughter. Adult sized tee, elastic in the waist and neck hole waa-laa, a new dress for my girl. I found putting the tee over the ironing board helped stretch it out well to pin the elastic.

amberlenee said...

Did you have a problem with the neck line falling too low, or arm holes being much larger than needed because it was oversize? I have a large midsection but a normal chest and sometimes have a problem with neck lines and arm holes with my regular size. If I go up a few sizes that will probably worsen, any suggestions on how to combat that with this project?
I just found your blog yesterday and can not get enough of your ideas! You are truly an inspiration!!

Katy said...

Amberlenee-

The sleeves are a bit big but the neckline is fine. I'd say go for a tee that's only two sizes larger to avoid those issues.

And thanks so much. So glad you like it (:

Iz Originals said...

love the idea! where are your boots from?! so cute too!

JoAnna of re-U creating new spaces said...

This is so stinking cute! I tried your glue/dye t-shirt tonight but I bought the wrong glue (clear gel) so I just rinsed it and I will try again tomorrow with the blue glue. I love your blog!

kelly elizabeth said...

i absolutely love this. i already have so many old t-shirts that are huge and dont fit me right. i think i might give this a try one day. thanks for posting it!!

check out my new blog, theres not much to it but i would love for you to look at it and maybe leave some comments or input. thanks sv!!

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fraufertig said...

How cool is that!!! Defenetly have to try this out! ...and thanks for linking my thread and pin art!

greetings from fraufertig

Rachael said...

I've been glued to your blog for the last hour and have pinned tons of sewing and DIY ideas. Thanks for the inspiration! I really loathe working with elastic (I think this stems from one of my first ever apparel sewing projects) and wonder if it would be easy to use scrap fabric on the inside of the shirt to sew a channel that the elastic can be thread through. I might try that as well as your method : )

Katy said...

Hey Rachael,

Thanks! I'm so glad you've found things you want to try out! I think sewing a channel would work perfectly and may even give you a cleaner result. Great idea!

Rachel L K said...

This is so incredible! It looks really professional. Great job.

David Bondeson said...

OH MY GOOOOOOODNESSSSS! I just stumbled onto your blog and I LOVE your tutorials! And you are SO cute! :)

Unknown said...

Woah, this is awesome!!! I have sooo many shirts from before I lost weight, not to mention steals from the hubby LOL. I am a thrift store junkie, and now I can buy those shirts I like but are huge. I have a leggings/jeggings addicition myself!

Kim said...

Can't wait to do this...Sooooo cute!

Emilley and Kate said...

Love this tutorial! Such a good idea! I just turned an over-sized tunic from last winter into a maternity tunic by using this tutorial =) So much more flattering now! Will be perfect as the weather gets cooler over the next few weeks. Am going to link to this tutorial on our blog =)
www.sewingaftersupper.blogspot.com.au
Thanks!

Unknown said...

I really need to do this with basically all my shirts because im petite and my shirts are always so long. im a beginner sewer and im a little confused on how you stitched on the elastic. did you pull the elastic tight as you sewed? or did you just lay it flat and sew while it was relaxed. Thanks for the tutorial! Christine.artfulcreations@gmail.com

Helen @ Blue Eyed Beauty Blog said...

Very cute! I love how creative this is! I found your blog via Pinterest.

Helen
Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

Helen @ Blue Eyed Beauty Blog said...

Very cute! I love how creative this is! I found your blog via Pinterest.

Helen
Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

Unknown said...

This is so easy! I feel like I could actually do this one. It would make for an awesome, comfy fit. Thank you :)

Unknown said...

Really cool idea and looking awesome in that boots! you can easily find a great collection of colorful tee shirts of your desired choice!

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