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Re-purposing: Stained Tshirt into a Shrug



Oil and water don’t mix.

Either do oil and children.
I’m not sure what kind of greasy mess got on the front of my little girl’s rose-y colored shirt…..but it was something big.  And it ruined the shirt.  (Some colors hide grease stains well….but this shirt didn’t.  D a r n. )
So instead of throwing it away…….I turned it into a shrug.
Complete with a ruffled edge.
Perfect over a longer T-shirt.
And now I kind of wish I had one for me.  
(Time to look in my closet for stained shirts…)

Want to make your own?
I started with this cute little slightly puffed-sleeved shirt. 
(This was a dark drizzly day, awful for taking pictures, so you can’t even see the oil stains on the front.  I promise they’re there. Ha!)
I first cut off the bottom elastic and then cut the shirt bottom off, about 1.5 inches below the arm hole.  (You’ll have to decide if you want your shrug longer or shorter and cut the shirt accordingly.)
Then I cut off the neck seam and cut down the front of the shirt and rounded each side and corner to meet the bottom of the shirt. (Make sure to make each side even and symmetrical to the other side, so it looks balanced after the shirt is done.  If you need to cut one side and then fold it in half and line it up with the other side and then cut it, that may help…)
Then cut the bottom half of the shirt into strips.  How wide you make your strips depends on how long the shirt was originally.  But you’ll need to measure around the outer edge of your newly cut shrug and double the length to use as the measurement for your ruffle length.  For example, my shrug measured 45 inches around the entire outer edge (where the ruffles would go).  So I knew that I needed about a 90 inch long strip to make my ruffle.  You can use a little less or a little more….it just depends on how full you like the look of your ruffle. 
So I had enough fabric from the bottom of my shirt to piece together enough 2.5 inch wide strips, to make a 90 inch long strip.
Then I folded over one edge towards the inside, a 1/4 inch, then another 1/4 inch, and then sewed it in place.
Then I sewed the two ends of the long strip together with right sides together……making one continuous piece.  Then along the unsewn edge, I made a basting stitch a 1/4 inch away from the edge and left the ends long.
Then I gathered and evenly spread the fabric until it was the same length as the outer edge of the shrug.  And then I pinned the ruffle to the outer edge of the shrug, with right sides together.  (Need help with gathering?  Click here for more info.)
Then I sewed right along that outer edge, attaching the ruffle to the shrug, removing pins as I sewed.  I used a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Then I made another seam about 1/8 of an inch away from the edge……just to help keep the ruffle secured in place.
Then press the seam open, pressing that raw edge away from the outer edge of the ruffle and towards the inside of the shrug.
Then top-stitch all the way around the inside edge of that new seam, about an 1/8 of an inch away from the  seam.  (I actually increased the length of my stitch length, to help keep the knit from stretching as I was sewing.)  And as you’re sewing, make sure to catch the raw edges that are underneath, that you pressed over in that direction.
(**If you’d like, you can attach a ribbon to each inside seam, so that the shrug can be tied closed.  Just an option.)
And that’s it.
A new ruffly shrug. 
Perfect with a skirt. 
Darling with cropped pants or capri’s.
Nice and light for the summer.


Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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