Women’s Corsage Shirt


I’ve been drooling over the Jcrew line this fall. And I have seen others make this corsage tee, so I thought I’d try my hand at it.


I zoomed in really close to this picture (in the lavender shown below) and you can see the shapes that they used to cut out the pieces. More on that later.


I bought and used about a yard of knit fabric, which I bought for about $5 at Joann’s. Compare that to the $35 shirt at Jcrew….what a deal.



And along with showing you the corsage tee, I’m also going to explain in more detail how to construct a new shirt from one of your favorite knit shirts. (someone had a question about attaching the sleeve to the shirt after this tutorial…..so there are more pictures this time.)


First, fold your favorite shirt in half and carefully trace out the front of your shirt with the scoop neck and the back of the shirt. Always trace both the front and the back of the shirt on the fold and then cut them out on the fold. It will keep your shirt symmetrical. (and always add more to your pattern piece for a seam allowance or add some as you’re cutting….whichever you’re most comfortable with.)


Do the same with the sleeve…..carefully following the curve of sleeve that attaches to the shirt.
(Here is my back piece and my sleeve piece.)


Then cut out all of your pieces: a front piece, back pieve, and 2 sleeves. All on the fold.


After opening up your pieces, they will look like this. The shirt front.


And the sleeve. Just to give you an idea.


Then sew your front piece and your back piece together (with right sides together) along the sides and at the shoulders. (I used a zig-zag stitch for everything on the shirt, except around the collar, to give more stretch after it is sewn.)


And sew along the long side of the sleeve piece, opposite the fold.


Now, place a pin at the folded side of the sleeve opening, opposite the side of the seam.


And then attach the sleeve to the main part of the shirt, lining up the pin with the shoulder seam of the shirt (making sure to pin them with the right sides of the fabric together)…..


…….and then pin the seam of the sleeve together with the side seam of the main shirt. (Keep the right sides together.)


Then pin all the way around the sleeve, making sure that it fits evenly before sewing. (Keep in mind that the sleeve and the shirt are right side out and you have turned the edges just enough to pin the sleeve and the shirt together with right sides together.)

Sew carefully together.


Then cut a strip a fabric about 3/4 of an inch thick….long enough to go all the way around the collar.


Start at the back and fold it over the raw edge of the neckline and sew it in place. I sew from the outside of the shirt, so that I can see what I’m doing as I go around….making sure that it looks nice as I go.



Hem under the sleeves and the bottom edge of the shirt, using a zig-zag stitch.



This is where you can jump in if you already had a shirt for which you’d just like to make the corsage look.



By looking at the corsage section of the jcrew Tshirt here (if you zoom in really close to the lavendar shirt), you can see that it is made up of heart shapes. Cut plenty of little hearts (I used about 12) from your scraps, not worrying about the exact shape or precision of each one. Most of mine were approximately 3 inches tall and 4 inches wide…..sometimes smaller or bigger.


Then I attached the hearts sidewise, placing a needle where I will later make a seam to attach it.


Folded over it will look like this.


Then I added another heart…….pinning it again where the seam will go and where it will then fold over. (It’s okay to overlap edges of the hearts.)


Then folded down, they will look like this.


Now, scatter your little hearts, folding them this way and that way, not really following any order. And you don’t have to fold them exactly in half each time. Play around with them to get deisred look. Also, make sure to place your pin in the direction that you’d like your seam to go and right where you’d like the seam to be. So that when the hearts all flop over, it’s just how you’d like it.


See all of the pins under there?


Now, slide your shirt under the sewing machine. Starting at the top again, start sewing about an inch seam right where your pin is/was, making sure to backstitch a couple of times to secure the heart in place. (Make sure that your shirt underneath isn’t bunching up as you’re doing this. Keep it nice and flat as you go.)


Go from one heart to another, taking out your pins one at a time as you go. Then trim your threads and you’re done.


Flop the little edges back over and you’re set.





Put on your new little creation.





Completely satisfying.



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Filed under Clothing, Sewing, Women's Clothing


50 Responses to “Women’s Corsage Shirt”
  1. 1
    Mommy, M.D. says:

    Very cute! I love it. Have you washed it yet? I'm curious if the pieces will still lay so perfectly flat, or curl up at the edges.

  2. 2
    Heidi says:

    That is awesome! Thank you! I am a basic sewer and have had problems with my thread missing stitches when sewing knits like this. Is there some trick I need to learn about thread tension?

    • 2.1
      Rose Swartz says:

      If you skip on over to http://www.sewmammasew.com they have some excellent tutorials for beginning sewers, including a tutorial all about the types of threads, needles and tension for sewing different fabrics! Was a life saver for me when I started sewing! Hope this helps!


    • 2.2
      Jan says:

      When you sew, whether knits or woven fabrics, it helps if you have laundered the fabric first. The finishes sometimes make trouble. You need a ball point needle for knit fabric. Be certain it is not bent. A bent needle will skip stitches on any fabric. Good Luck!

  3. 3
    Rachel Leigh says:

    I love your tutorials. I check your blog everyday! Love your blog!

  4. 4
    Ashley says:

    Mommy M.D……I have a red one that I made and have washed several times. And no it hasn't frayed or curled….but I guess it always depends on your type of fabric. Knit should hold up pretty well though. But even if it did curl a little bit…..it would just make it look fuller and still cute.

    And Heidi, hmmmmm……I'm not sure why your machine is skipping stitches. I guess it could be the tension. I would definitely play with all of your settings on some scrap fabric, just to see what happens. Good luck!


    • 4.1
      sjwnana says:

      you must have a needle for KNIT or you wlll have skipped stitches… always.
      sorry but that is how it goes..

      • 4.1.1
        DPN says:

        Great project! As for skipping stitches, 2 things can cause this in knits..Use a ballpoint needle (stretch) to start, and also be sure to prewash your fabric. Knits do not shrink, but they are often created with chemicals that hide between the fibers and cause skipped stitches even when using the correct needle.

      • 4.1.2
        lindaloo says:

        No, I disagree, you won’t always have skipped stitches. It depends upon the machine you have, the tension in the upper and lower threads and the other most common cause is the needle. Try putting in a “stretch needle”. They are made to sew on lightweight knits better than the universal needles. There are also silicone tipped needles that work well too.

        When you are sewing, don’t go too fast either. When we get frustrated, we tend to sew faster. Please don’t do that, it will just make things worse. Take your time and get the correct needle and chances are you will be able to sew on your knit fabrics.

        I sincerely hope this helps some of you who read this.

  5. 5
    Cupkateer says:

    Fun shirt!

    Thanks for the update on tie patterns. I was going to email you about them. My little guy needs new ties, and now's the season to stock up (christmas time) but I didn't want to spend $12 per tie if your pattern was going to be coming out soon.


  6. 6
    Rebekah says:

    i LOVE LOVE LOVE this! I can't wait to try it! Thanks!!!

  7. 7
    Lauren says:

    Beautiful! It makes me wish I knew how to sew, instead of just pretending like I do! I tried your shirt to dress refashion for my little girl…and learned I need more practice. At least I learned a few things!

    Thanks for all your ideas. I have tried several things and been successful, but clothes trick me every time!

  8. 8
    Emily B says:

    Love it. I'm inspired. Now I just have to get the darn sewing machine fixed…!!

  9. 9
    Crissy says:

    love it! and I love your new layout, very simple ans chic!

  10. 10
    katevet says:

    great! It's on my to-do list!

  11. 11
    Kim's Treasures says:

    Awesome! Great job! Thank you for sharing the secret!

  12. 12
    Su says:

    So very gorgeous!

  13. 13
    Cam and Jess says:

    so cute! I like yours better than the one from J Crew! I'm excited to try it :)

  14. 14
    kersten says:

    LOVE IT! You are amazing.

  15. 15
    Blackburns says:

    You are awesome! I can't wait to try this. I can't wait for your tie pattern to come out. I have 4 boys and I have a hard time finding cute ties for them. I love your new look. Thanks for always sharing with us.

  16. 16
    cannwin says:

    my mother in law used to say to me "You can't use an old shirt to make a pattern for a new one it doesn't work."

    and I'd say, "Why not?"

    She's never given me a good answer so I've just done my own thing and endured her comments about me 'breaking the rules'

    So I come here and spend my time gloating. I love your blog!

  17. 17
    Ashley says:

    Yay!! I'm glad you guys like it. Now hurry and go make one….it'll become you're new favorite.

    And cannwin, that cracks me right up. It sure works for me!! :)

  18. 18
    Crissie says:

    WOW! That is absolutely ADORABLE! I think I might be making them in black for me and my daughters to wear for the holidays with some cutie pie skirts. I actually think that I might use the rolled hem on my serger and stretch the hearts a little bit as I stitch it so that they end up lettuce curling. Hmmm – that wouldn't work on the inner curves on the heart shape though. Any suggestions on other shapes to use?

    Thanks so much for breaking it down into something that is easily understood.


  19. 19
    Scrappy Gifts says:

    so cute

  20. 20
    Kair says:

    You are so talented!!

  21. 21
    jodi says:

    This is so cute. Wow. Remember when I was asking you for ideas for t-shirts last spring? Ummm….this would have worked. I know how it is though. It's hard to be creative on demand. I'll have to give this a try now.

  22. 22
    Dreamyvinyl.com says:

    How do you keep the edges of the hearts from fraying in the wash?

  23. 23
    the mama monster says:

    for some reason i am so nervous to sew knits ( and i'm even a home ec major!). my granny and mother in law keep telling me that t-shirts are the easiest thing ever, you have convinced me to give it a try. i have some amazing thrifted knit dying to be made into a corsage shirt.

  24. 24
    Corky says:

    Know what I did? I had a blouse that I liked a lot, but it was way too long so I cut it off, hemmed it up and am making the the 'corsage' out of the cut off part!! Voila'! I will post a picture of it on my blog in a couple days when I get it finished. Thanks for the great tute! Check me out at PiecefulDays.SquareSpace.com

  25. 25
    Jennifer says:

    So cute! I've been wanting to embellish a plain tshirt but want to make a new one for it. Such a cute idea thanks for the tutorial!

  26. 26
    Michelle says:

    wow this is fabulous. Love your tutorial and the pics are fab … make it really easy to follow. Thanks so much for sharing :o)

  27. 27
    anhesty says:

    great job!!!! you have serious skills!

  28. 28
    evan-emily-lincoln says:

    Oh my goodness! So cute!

  29. 29
    The Hardy Things in Life says:

    Love the shirt, it is so cute! I think I might have to give it a try!! thanks Ashlee!! You are awesome!

  30. 30
    Ashley says:

    Dream vinyl…….I used knit and they don't fray. I made one in red that I have washed several times and it still looks great. (No fraying….but slightly fluffed, if that makes sense.) And I noticed that they don't treat all the edges on the shirts in the stores that have fringe or ruffles….as long as it's knit.

    And Corky….great idea! Then you don't have to make the shirt! Perfect.

  31. 31
    Audrey says:

    You go! I love how this turned out…I've been drooling over the J.Crew fall line too, even re-purposed one of my necklaces into something similar to what they're showing. It's so fun to see what you come up with!

  32. 32
    Two Little Bugs Handmade says:

    I did make this and I do love it! Thank you so much. My first knit project. And I am so proud!

  33. 33
    Suzannah Hamlin says:

    That is great, the hearts are so cute! I did a J.Crew copy on my blog the other day, too–http://adventuresindressmaking.blogspot.com/2009/11/jcrew-inspired-novelty-tee.html, check it out!, and I would like to do more… such a great quick and fun crafty project!

  34. 34
    C-re says:

    This is adorable. I love it! Have you ever considered turning your directions into printable PDFs so that we could print them easier? Just a thought! There's a program called cutePDF that's free to use. You wouldn't have to buy Adobe or anything like that.

    I'm going to get brave and try this soon. I'm a new sewer.

  35. 35
    Sarah says:

    I finally attempted the "corsage" part of this! I linked my blog post to you again, thanks for all of the inspiration! http://sunshinemamasite.blogspot.com/2009/12/2-ls-t-shirt-refashions.html

  36. 36
    Fabulously Dirty Martini's says:

    To add to the scarf addiction the corsage hearts would look great on a scarf attached to the bottom 4 inches! I might try it out and send you pictures if I do! Thanks for your great idea.

  37. 37
    Pam says:

    Love this shirt. Another idea would be to buy 2 cheap (Target or Old Navy?) shirts in the same color and cut one up for the hearts. You could use the rest of the cut up shirt for a dust cloth, if you were so inclined :-)

  38. 38
    Danielle says:

    I made this and used regular quilting cotton for the corsage part instead and it gives it a little more body.

    Here is what I did.
    I am super impressed that you made your own t-shirt!

  39. 39
    Jamie says:

    I am making a tshirt for myself and using your tutorial. I realized I didn't have any butcher paper…but have a TON of wrapping paper! It curls a bit but it's better that taping a bunch of small sheets together.

  40. 40
    Lynnea B says:

    love it…

  41. 41
    messabih salima says:

    oh !sublime! c’est vraiment mon gout.

  42. 42
    Emmalina says:

    definitely going to do this. could be even cheaper using 2 thrift store t-shirts in good shape. and the fabric’s already “broken-in”!

  43. 43
    Adina says:

    I know this is an old post, but only now am I finally getting around to this. I’m curious how it looks after a wash and dry. Do you need to iron the petals down so they don’t curl up? How can i make sure it won’r curl and puff? It is very pretty, but it is the type of thing that once you move and handle kids, and do day to day activities… it becomes not so nice looking after all? just curious how it holds up.

  44. 44

    Aw, this was a very good post. Taking the time and
    actual effort to generate a very good article… but what can I say… I
    put things off a whole lot and don’t seem to get nearly anything done.