Introduction: Bow Back T-shirt

have a slightly over sized t-shirt, that you want to make a little more girl . well then this is a great project for you, a simple sewing project to bring a little flare to a basic t-shirt.

i absolutely love the way this turned out. i hope you enjoy!


Step 1: Materials

-sewing machine

-two t-shirts ( mine were a size up from what i usually wear, they were both the same size)

- fabric scissors


-knit sewing machine needle --

-straight pins

-seam ripper

- measuring tape

-straight edge

-something washable to mark on fabric

Step 2: Remove the Collar

on the shirt that you want to be the front and body of the shirt cut the collar off the shirt as close to the seam as you can . you don't want to cut into the collar because it will be reattached later.

Step 3: Back Panel Width

Decide how wide you want the back panel to be. This will also determine the width of the bows.

For my shirt this was 10.5 inches, my shirt was a size medium. From point where the neck line intersects the shoulder seam was about and 1.5 inches to where my back panel ended on both sides

Step 4: Mark the Back Panel

On the main shirt:

Fold the shirt in half so that the sleeves and shoulder seams line up, also the side seams if the shirt has them.

at the collar and bottom hem mark the center point.

unfold the shirt so that the back is facing up, use the center marks to mark the total width of the panel that you plan to remove from the back. the width of my panel was 10.5 inches, so i marked 5.25inches from each side of the center mark, at both the neck line of the shirt and the hem.

use your straight edge to connect your side marks on both sides.

Step 5: Remove the Back Panel

cut straight up the lines that you marked on the back of the shirt, from the hem to the neck line.

when you reach the shoulder seams cut on the back side of the shoulder seams close to the shoulder seams

Step 6: Cut the Bows

take the piece of fabric that you just removed from the back of the shirt and use your straight edge to square up the collar end.

use a seam ripper or small pair of scissors to remove the hem of the shirt from this panel. so that you get the most usable fabric to make the bows.

measure the length of the panel,and divide it by the number of bows that you want. for my shirt the length of the panel was 27.5 inches, i wanted 5 bows so i cut the panel in to 5 pieces, every 5.5 inches.

mark the panel into even sections and cut.

if you have a cat, now is a really good time for it to jump up on your work surface and play or nap.

Step 7: Hem the Bows

fold the long edges of the bow pieces under to the back side, about 0.25-.05 inches pin and hem. repeat with all bow pieces

for all of the sewing i had the sewing machine on a narrow, long zig-zag. So that when the fabric stretches the stitches move with it instead of breaking.

Step 8: Make the Bows

once the bows materiel is hemmed, fold the material in half both directions and mark the center with a pin and unfold.

with the wrong side of the fabric facing up, fold the long edge of the material. fold the edge of the fabric from the edge to the center and back to the edge that that half is now in thirds. repeat the same thing on the other side. pin in the center and sew all the way across.

repeat with all of the remaining bow material.

Step 9: The Donor Shirt

cut the collar of the donor shirt in the same manner that you did with the main shirt.

fold the shirt in half so that the the shoulder seams, arm holes, and side seams are aligned. mark the center back at the neck line and the hem. unfold the shirt so that it is flat with the back facing up. mark the width of the panel at the hem and neck line, connect the marks with a straight edge, like before.

cut up the lines that you have marked, like before , when you get to the shoulder seams cut on the front side of the shoulder seam, instead of the back side of the shoulder seam as you did before.

Step 10: Bow Placement

connect the center points that you have marked, measure the length of the panel from the hem to the center of the neck line. divide the length of the panel in half and mark it.

take one bow, and place its center in the center of the panel, pin it down.

take four more pins, stretch the bow so that the corners of the bow line up with side of the panel. pin them down. take the next bow lay it down next the bow that you already have pined down. line up the corners next to the corner of the bow is already pinned down. pin the corners next to the one that is already pinned down, flatten the bow to its full height. pin the other two corners down.

at the bottom i pinned the the last bow down next to the hem, not on top so that if my hems did not line up i could re-hem the shirt, or remove the hem of the shirt, with out messing up the bow.

repeat this with all of the remaining bows.

Step 11: Reconstruct the Shirt

with the bow side of the panel up pin the outside of the shirt down to the, so that right sides are together.

align the shoulder seams pin, work your way done the shirt pining so that the edges are aligned, if your shirts are the same length the hems of the shirt will line up. if not the shirt can be re-hemmed later.

sew from the shoulder seam down to the hem.with a 1/2 to 3/4 inch seam allowance.

repeat the same steps on the other side. take your scissors and trim off the extra seam allowance, after making sure that the seams are good, you will want to leave 1/8 to 1/4 on the outside of the seam.

Step 12: Reatach the Shoulders

with the shirt inside out pin the shoulders together, and sew

Step 13: The Collar

take the collar you removed earlier, either collar will work if both shirts had the same type of neckline. remove all of the stitching from it, and any of the fabric that was still attached from the shirt.

Step 14: Reattach the Collar

if the neck line of the shirt is uneven take your scissors and trim so that it is even.

take four pins and quarter the collar with them . the simplest way i have found to do this is to fold the collar in half and put a pin in both creases, then fold the collar so that the two pins line up, put a pin in the crease.

do the same with the shirt, putting a pin in each of the shoulder seams, and one in the center of the neckline in the front and back.

line up on of the pins in both the collar and the shirt right sides together. if the collar has a seam in it line this seam up with the center of the back of the neckline. stretch the collar so that the next pin lines up with the one in the neckline of the shirt. pin in between the sets pins. repeat this process all the way around the neck line, pinning frequently.

sew around the neck line on the wrong side of the collar stretching the collar out as you sew, so that the shirt is not bunched up underneath.collar

Step 15: Hem the Shirt (if Needed)

if the panel you put in the back of the shirt id to long or to short, hem the shirt so that it is the same length all the way around.

Congratulations your done.

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