Friday, July 8, 2011

The "Too Hot To Shop Shirt"

Need to boost your wardrobe, but really don't feel like loading up the kids and heading to the store?
Grab a box of popsicles for your little ones and whip this shirt up in under an hour.

It's basically a pillowcase dress turned into a shirt.
Before you turn your nose up at that - look at this shirt for sale at Anthropologie.
So I basically copied that, but when I finished I wasn't happy with the way it was hanging.  I added the band around the bottom, and made it fit snugly over my hips.  You could make it with or without that step.
Here's what you'll need to make your own:
1 yard of fabric
5" x 45" of contrasting fabric (or wide ribbon) for straps
4" x the circumference of your hips for the bottom band
sewing machine/thread
measuring tape

Step 1:  Cut two rectangles - the desired length x your bust measurement +10".  
My rectangles were 19" x 46".

Step 2:  Turn them right sides together and zig zag or serge the sideseams, 
stopping about 8" from the top (to provide armholes).

Step 3: Finish the armhole edges by folding the raw edge under 1/8" then under 1/8" again.  
Topstitch it in place.

Step 4:  Make the casing for the straps - fold the top under 1/4" then again 1 1/2".  Press it, then top stitch it in place.  If you are not adding the strip along the bottom, hem your top by pressing the bottom edge under 1/4" then another 1/4".  Top stitch in place.

Step 5:  If you are making the band around the bottom, you will need to take in the sideseam.  Measure your hip circumference - mine is 39" - flip it inside out and mark that measurement along the bottom of the shirt.  Sew from the armhole down to your mark - like this:

Step 6:  Make the straps - ribbon is the easy route here, but if you want to use fabric simply fold the strip right sides together length wise and stitch down the length then turn and press.

Use a large safety pin to feed it through the casing.  Stitch the ends together, then hide that seam in the casing.
I didn't want the straps sliding all around, so once I had the straps to the right length I stitched them in place.

Step 7:  If you are adding the band, sew it to the bottom of the shirt right sides together.
Press it, then hem the bottom.

I know it looks like a pillowcase dress hanging there - but especially with that band around the bottom - it doesn't look like that once you have it on.

Happy sewing and happy weekend!


  1. Love love love!!! And the Littles are at the farm for the weekend! Hmmmm, must go start cutting!

  2. Love the fabric! Looks great! Stopping by from {tatertots and jello}

  3. Absolutely love it, I think yours is nicer than Anthro's! The band at the bottom really finishes off the piece. Might try to make one of these--thanks for the tutorial! :)

  4. Very cute! Saw this on Craft Gossip and had to stop by & check it out. It's on the to-do list...just as soon as I can get my husband out of our office/my sewing room! ;)

  5. Thank you for sharing....I think I need to make one (if not a few) for myself. I am now on vacation for the rest of the summer and I need to create myself some "not work clothes"!!

  6. This is a lovely top! Great job. I like the addition of the band on the bottom.

  7. It doesn't look like a pillowcase at all! The bottom band is great! You are an inspiration.

  8. So glad I found you! My teenager wanted me to make her a top from bandanas but thought the pillowcase dress looked like something her little sisters would wear. The bottom band really finishes it and gives a more mature look! Thank you!

  9. Very cute. I really like the band on the bottom!

  10. We featured this as well! You can view it here


Thanks so much for commenting! If you have a question, make sure your email is in your profile or leave it in a comment so I can answer you. Otherwise email me at jessica(at)sewhomegrown(dot)com - Have a lovely day!

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