Embellished Tee with Fabric Strips


I have been on a thrifty hunt to add to my maternity wardrobe.
Remember how it all began with the flower embellished tee, found here?
Well, more simple tees were purchased and and more simple embellished tees have been making an appearance on this ‘ol pregnant self of mine.
Yay for simple comfy knits.
This next shirt, is embellished with fabric strips.
That’s it.
Many little strips of fabric, sewn right next to the other, with turned up knit edges.
Nice and basic but more fun to look at than a plain tee.
Note: Whenever I embellish with knits and leave the edges raw, I always hang dry the clothing.  (I actually hang dry all of my shirts because I’m tall and don’t want them to shrink up.) But after washing knits like this shirt and the other shirts I have done (like the one here), I pat the flower/ruffle/knit strips/etc. flat so that they dry more in the shape I’d like them…….and then hang them to dry.  Placing them in the dryer may distort/scrunch up their shape, making you very unhappy! :)
Would you like to make your own? 


Note: You will not need a ton of extra fabric to create the strips of the front, so you could just purchase one long-sleeved shirt and turn it into a half-sleeve shirt and use the extra fabric from the sleeves for the strips on the front…………….OR, you can save the major pieces of the shirt for a future project.  And yes, the rest of the shirt will be used for something for my little girl.  I know, not a big surprise!!! ;)
For this shirt, I started with 2 knit shirts in the same color, both purchased at Target on sale.  Because I’m pregnant, I purchased a bigger size so that my belly could fill out the extra room.
Then I cut long narrow strips (about 1/2 – 3/4 inch wide) out of the second shirt and centered them along the front of the first shirt.  I rearranged them until they looked good to me.  No set rule as to how I did this……I just varied the length randomly.
Also, knit tends to curl at the edges after being cut (if yours isn’t, just pull the strip at each end and let go, it will most likely curl a bit for you).  I placed each strip with the curl of the edges facing up, to add more dimension to the front of the shirt.
Then I pinned each strip in place, at the top and bottom.  (Make sure to pin your strips pretty close together, because the edges roll and you don’t want to see too much background shirt between each strip.)
Then I carefully sewed along the center of each strip, making sure to avoid sewing down the edge of the strip next to it.  Also, increase your stitch length just a bit (if necessary) so that your machine isn’t pulling your knit as you go, creating a stretched out mess on the front of your shirt.
Trim the ends of each strip if needed and that’s it.
A newly textured shirt.
Much more fun to wear.
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Filed under Clothing, Re-purposing, Sewing, Women's Clothing


25 Responses to “Embellished Tee with Fabric Strips”
  1. 1
    Harmony says:

    I love this idea! And not just for pregnancy shirts. For regular shirts too! … I'm also tall (5'11") and have a VERY hard time finding shirts that are long enough in length in the body and the sleeves. I'm thinking this would be a great idea to use to lengthen sleeves and body with a contrasting color and using the same contrasting color to do the embellishments on the front.

  2. 2
    inday_adin says:

    The strips of fabric added interest to a once plain shirt. :) Awesome!

    Adin B

  3. 3
    Emreen says:

    This is gorgeous… What lovely ideas u have …!!

  4. 4
    Jeanna says:

    This is great. You do such awesome stuff. Makes me want to sew,sew,sew all day long. If only the kids would let me.


  5. 5
    CriCri says:

    From a simple t-shirt a fantastic T-shirt! SUPER

  6. 6
    Sammy says:

    very clever idea. Thanks for sharing.


    -Samya :-)

  7. 7
    Lynette @ My Craft Discovery says:

    love it. It would look great layered, or plain! I will have to try this one too, but the flowery one before this is on my list next (after all the christmas gifts of course). :)

  8. 8
    Cadiedid says:

    I love it! It's simple and looks really great. I still remember how easily you get tired of maternity wear.

  9. 9
    Mindy says:

    Great idea! When I was pregnant I had bought XL t-shirts as well from Target. They worked out great since I didnt get very big. I'll keep this in mind when we get pregnant with #3.

  10. 10
    allison @ itstoilegood.blogspot.com says:


  11. 11
    Milka says:

    Vrednice, na mom blogu čeka te nagradica, hajde da se igramo:)

  12. 12
    Brooke says:

    I just got online to comment on the Silhouette to enter the contest, however, the blog reports that it has reached the maximum number of comments! :( I have been waiting to comment to save up as many ideas as I could. I have also noted that there are folks who entered the contest more than one time! :( Guess I'll save all my great ideas for another chance . . .

  13. 13
    Caley says:

    I think I can actually do this one! Thanks for sharing! Oh, your Silhouette giveaway looks like it's a bit hit! Good luck with cyber monday tomorrow!

  14. 14
    Erin and Joe says:

    Ashley, you reached your max comments for the Sihouette giveaway, but I would love to create some vinyl art for my walls. (I also love all your creations!)

  15. 15
    Martha anne says:

    Very cute and such a great idea to be thrifty when buying maternity stuff!

  16. 16
    Ms. Misc. says:

    Every time I try to sew tee shirt knit material it gets goofy. My sewing machine stretches the material as it goes thru and it creates a wavey edge on the material. How can I avoid that?

  17. 17
    Ashley says:

    Sometimes I have that problem….and making my stitch length longer usually helps. That will help skip over some of the bulk. Also, some people have good luck with using a ball point needle. I have never used one, so I can't recommend one or not, but it may be worth a try.


  18. 18
    Steph says:

    My knit didn't curl even after I pulled it…what gives?

  19. 19
    jhw says:

    I love this idea. I made a tshirt quilt for a girl. Only used the prints or pictures on each shirt but I kept the rest of the shirts. Now I am going to use your idea using coordinating multicolors on a white shirt. Might even put colored buttons at the bottom of the strips. I'll just play with your idea as my base.

  20. 20
    crafty1 says:

    I just found you through another site. This is a great shirt. And as Harmony said, not just for maternity tops. I love the ruffles people are doing, but this is such a nice change from that. I'm definitely going to try it. I was thinking it would be cute using different colors for the strips. Fun!! thanks. Wendy, kittygritty.etsy.com

  21. 21
    Jenn says:

    I've been dying to use this old sewing machine I have for more than just sewing straight pieces of fabric together. I stumbled across your site when searching for an easy article of clothing to sew. Your stuff is practical and easy that any beginner (like me) can make and feel proud to wear! Thank you for this idea!

  22. 22

    So cute shirt! thanks for sharing.

  23. 23
    DIYy+ says:

    When I saw this post I just love it and make myself one but I just made it more lika myself, more like my “taste”, this is how it turn off http://diyymas.wordpress.com/diy/upclyced-camiseta/