Introduction: The Lazy Girl's Gathered Top
I started making these tops about five years ago, as a way to recycle the T-Shirts that my husband had grown tired of. More recently, my Mother has developed a weird habit of buying holiday shirts for my sister and I that are so large they could double up as tablecloths - this is my way of making them actually wearable.
Even though there is a small amount of machine sewing involved, the entire project is really easy and only takes about an hour to complete. Here’s what you will need:
One Large T-Shirt
Let’s get started!
Step 1: The First Cut...
Begin by snipping off the sleeves, just inside the seam. We won’t need these pieces for the rest of the project, but the sleeves on my shirt were so huge, I managed to turn one into a headscarf…
Step 2: Under the Collar...
Smooth the shirt out and draw a straight line across the top, under the collar. Pin the shirt together to stop it from slipping out of place, and cut straight along the chalk line.
Step 3: Straight Edge...
Create a single-fold hem to finish the raw edge where the sleeves use to be. (You can actually leave these raw, if you’re in a hurry, as the jersey won’t fray or unravel.) Pin in place and sew. As we won’t need this area to stretch along with the fabric, a straight stitch is perfectly fine.
Step 4: Love Triangle...
Fold the front flap of the shirt in half lengthwise, and mark the centre point. Decide how long you want the ‘keyhole’ to be and place another mark at that length - directly under the centre point. Decide how wide you want the ‘keyhole’ to be (I think mine was about 2 and a half inches) and mark these points either side of the first mark. Cut out the resulting triangle. As stitching causes the fabric to stiffen, we’re going to leave these edges as they are to ensure that they drape properly.
Step 5: It's a Draw(string)...
Let’s turn our attention to the bottom of the shirt. Trim off the hem and discard/keep for another project.
Pin the shirt together to keep it steady and carefully cut off a strip, about 2 inches thick. Then, again carefully, cut that strip into two. You should end up with two loops. Turn each loop into a strip by cutting through the short side. Then gently tug each strip so that it stretches and curls. These are your two drawstrings.
Step 6: Change the Channel...
Back to sewing! Creating the channels just requires a straight stitch. Fold a 'hem' down on the top-back of the shirt, large enough for the drawstring to pass through unhindered. Pin in place and sew.
Repeat the sewing process with the front piece: sewing from the edge of the open triangle to the edge of the shirt on both sides.
Step 7: Almost There...
Create a slit on one side of the bottom of the shirt - this will be where the drawstring enters and exits. Fold the edge under, ensuring there is enough space for the string, pin and sew.
All that is left to do now is to add the drawstring. Starting at the bottom of the shirt, attach a pin to one end of the string and start threading it the newly sewn channel. Once it’s completely through, tie off each end.
Step 8: Now, That's Something I Can Wear...
Repeat the process at the top, starting at the back. Once you reach the front, crunch the material up around the string and tie a knot to keep it in place. Leave a gap about the same width as the triangle and tie another knot. Continue to guide the string to the other side.
Tie off each end and it’s ready to wear! Easy as pie :-)