Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday: Fringe Heart Shirt

I was shopping around with my mom and sister in law, when we found this cute little shirt:

We thought it was so fun, we decided to make our own (cheaper- seeing as it was $20+) versions of them.

I opted for an asymmetrical hem with the back being longer, so that's what I'll show in this tutorial. You can also draw a shirt tail hem (like the original) by cutting a large, wide, U shape out of the front and back of the shirt-- and follow this tutorial for the rest.

an over-sized or loose shirt
a sewing machine

Step One:

Match up the side seams of your shirt and lay it out flat. Draw a curved line that is higher in the front and lower in the back with chalk. Draw a parallel line 1-3 inches below that (the strip between the lines will be used to make the heart, so if you want the fringe to be longer, make the strip wider)

I'm pretty tall, so I made the back come down as far as possible, with a crop in the front. You can also make this into a full cropped top by simply cutting as high as you want the shirt to hit- you can get some extreme fringe that way!

Step Two:

Cut along each of your chalk lines.

Make sure that where your line starts, and ends are at 90 degree angles to the fold otherwise you will get little triangles instead of curves.

You will end up with something that looks along the lines of this.

You can save the hem piece to add embellishments - I'm just braiding mine into a head band. Fold the strip you cut out in half width-wise (if your strip was 3" it will now be 1 1/2") and set aside.

Step Three:

Trace a heart onto your shirt. If you aren't confident with your free-handing capabilities, create a template out of newspaper, or print one out.
I opted for a larger heart so the top created a sweetheart effect above my bust. Also, if you are starting with a V-neck make sure the two points of your heart line up with the neck line, otherwise your shirt will be obviously skewed looking. 
(You can draw a line down center front with chalk to help you with this.)

Step Four:

Now that you have your shirt prepped, take your strip of fabric and begin cutting fringe into it. if you want the looped look, like the original shirt; snip along the folded edge of the curve to about 1/4" away from the raw edge. If you want a more western feeling fringe- don't fold the strip in half and simply snip from one side up to about 1/4 " away from the other edge. You can then tug on the fringe to make them curl, or leave them flat.

(This works best if you also get hubby's foot in the background as you take pictures while you are sprawled across the floor, surrounded by fabric)

Step Five:

Cut your fringe where the side seams are and pin each piece onto each side of the heart. You want to get rid of the bulky seams and if you try to do this in one piece you will more than likely get a more rounded, rather than pointed, dip and bottom of the heart.

Step Six:

Using a wide zigzag stitch (so to still allow stretch and also catch all of edges of the fringe strip) carefully sew around the inside of the heart (you can also have the fringe on the inside and sew on the outside as in the original shirt) 
Make sure you are not stretching the shirt too much as you sew, otherwise you will get big waves in the fabric. If your machine has a needle down position, I'd suggest using it to navigate the curves and corners more easily.

And wallah! Your very own (under $5) fringed heart shirt


  1. Hello! I got your comment for blog swapping. If you could get a button sized 185x100 to me that would be great!

    Ldc designs