There are a lot of fabulous ideas out there for t-shirt decoration at the moment, but I was looking to make something a little different.
Start by making a pattern for the 'tunic' front on your t-shirt. Fold the tshirt in half lengthwise. Decide on the shape that you want the tunic front to be. Using a piece of tracing paper (I use baking paper!) trace around the neckline of the t-shirt to ensure an accurate neck shape. The top of your tunic front should start at the shoulder seams. Other than that - the design is up to you!
Now you need to get some scissors. In order to create the centre opening, cut down the cutting line you drew. Don't cut through any of the stitching lines. Make two tiny diagonal cuts at the bottom out towards your seams to ensure that the facing lays flat when you turn it through . Trim back the neckline (only where you've sewn!), so it's not too bulky. Pull the tunic facing through to the right side of the t-shirt so it look like this...
I somehow forgot to take a photo of the next step. It's not essential, but it makes life a lot easier! Using strips of hemming tape, adhere the wrong side of tunic piece to the front of the t-shirt. Make sure that all of the raw edges are tucked under neatly! You'll probably want to use pins as well, but the hemming tape makes everything super secure.
Using a zig- zag stitch attach the tunic facing to the tshirt. Starting at one side of the neckline sew around the whole outer edge of the tunic facing. It's a bit fiddly, but definitely well worth the effort!
OK, so that's the tricky bit done. Now all you have to do is make and attach the button tabs to the sleeves. This is what they look like, remember?
Iron the sleeves so that you create a crisp centre fold along the top of them.
Decide where you want the buttons to be on the sleeves and make a small mark Roll up the sleeves to this point. Measure the distance between this mark and the bottom of the folded sleeve.
My measurement was 7cm so my tab piece was 17cm. (7 x 2 +3 = 17)
You also need to decide on the width of the tab pieces. Once you have decided on the finished width multiply it by 4. So, if you want your tab to be 1.5cm wide, your fabric strip needs to be 6cm wide. (1.5 x 4 =6) That's the maths out of the way!
Cut two strips the same size and head over to the ironing board.
Iron the strip in half lengthwise to create a crisp centre fold.
Next, iron the two outer edges to the centre fold that you just created.
Next, measure the size of your buttons and make appropriate size button holes on one end of each tab.
You need to attach the tabs to the inside of the sleeves. Make sure the button holes are facing down towards the wrist of the t-shirt. Attach the tabs using a zig zag stitch just below the point you marked for the placement of the button. You made this mark on the outside of the sleeve, so you'll need to transfer it to the inside. Make sure your thread matches the colour of the t-shirt as you'll see the stitching on the outside! I reinforced this seam by reversing over it a number of times.
Sew the buttons on the outside of the tshirt - if you attach them over the stitches where you attached the tabs to the inside of the tshirt, they'll be in the right place.
Hurray - you're done!