Wednesday, May 1, 2013

No-Sew T-Shirt Bow Sleeves


I'm very excited to share this t-shirt project with you guys today! I came up with the idea a whole month ago while I was still on the ship and I didn't have time to execute it until now.

Now is a funny time, however, because it's snowing like crazy here (in May!).

I started this project yesterday, and while I was working on it, I came up with a fun idea to take pictures of it outside in the sunshine.  I wanted to let the glue dry overnight before I took those pictures, though, and man was I surprised when I woke up to a winter (spring?) wonderland this morning!  I took some pictures outside anyway, just for fun.


All you need to make these bow sleeves are a t-shirt, a pair of scissors, some machine washable glue (I used E6000), measuring tape, and about 10 minutes of your time.

Here are the directions:


1.  Cut a 2.5 inch slit from the top of the shoulder down toward the armpit on both the front and the back of the sleeve, making sure that you are cutting on the outside of the seam.  (This means your total slit length will be 5 inches.)  Once you've done that, there's a possibility that the shoulder seam might hang outside the shirt, like it is in the picture.  To avoid this, I cut the unsightly seam off of the shirt in the area where it was visible.  If yours doesn't hang out, there's no need to cut it off.  Repeat this process on the other sleeve as well.

2.  Carefully cut off the very bottom of the shirt, below the seam stitching.  Save this strip of fabric for step 3.  You'll be using it to make the center of the bow.


3. The strip of fabric from step 2 will be folded in half.  Unfold it and cut out two 2.5 inch strips.

4.  Use your fingers to pinch the center of one of the sleeves.

5.  Wrap one of the strips from step 3 around the sleeve where you pinched it.  Put a dab of glue on the end of the strip, where the star is in the picture.

6.  Fold the other end of the strip over the glue so that the strip becomes a circular band around the sleeve.  Pinch it tightly between your fingers to make sure that the glue is secure.  Repeat steps 3 through 6 on the other sleeve.  Let the glue dry before trying on your new creation!


I love my new shirt and I hope you like yours as well.  I can't wait for the weather to warm up again so I can wear it without the vest...

Happy cutting!
xoxo
Laura

24 comments:

  1. such a clever idea!!!
    thank you for sharing, xxxx Ale

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  2. THIS is why you are on my reading list... a great idea, can't wait to try it! :) xx

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  3. How cute is this! Looking forward to trying! ~Stephanie

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  4. This is cute! I love the cut out! :)

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  5. Love this! Really cute, and can't believe how easy it is to make

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  6. I totally need to do this, what a cute idea!

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  7. This is so cute! It looks nicer than regular cut out shoulder tees which I find to have cut outs that are too big.

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  8. I think I must try this. But doesn't the fabric fray?

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    1. Nope, that's the beauty of t-shirt fabric. It likes to roll sometimes but it never frays. =)

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  9. Very nice! I'll have to try this soon.

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  10. Ooh, cool! I need to find some shirts to try this on.
    Question though, did you notice any stretching at the parts you cut?

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    1. Hi Ella, luckily my shirt hasn't stretched anywhere and I've washed and worn it several times since I made it. I think it helps that the cuts I made on the shoulders aren't very long. xoxo

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  11. Great idea!
    Is this glue suitable for fabric?
    Even if I wash the shirt?

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    1. Yes, that's why I love E-6000 glue so much. I've machine washed and dried my shirt several times since making it and the glue is holding up perfectly.

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  12. Hi Laura! This is the 1st time I've been to your site. I LOVE this bow tie sleeve tee shirt, but have a few questions....either the heat has fried my brain or I'm just losing it! ;-) You basically are using the front or back hem for the tabs for the sleeves, right? If so, once you cut the fabric, can't you see that the fabric's been cut either from the front of back of the shirt? And doesn't the fabric start to roll, from where it's been cut? Instead of using the fabric glue, could you use the iron on fabric tape? Thanks for your time, help, & patience- I truly appreciate it! I look forward to your response! Thanks, Laura!! -Julie

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    1. Hi Julie, those are good questions. =) Yes, you are using the bottom hem to make the tabs for the sleeves, but the fabric won't roll up because you are cutting below the stitches and keeping those stitches intact will keep the bottom of the shirt from rolling up. Also, you can use those stitches as a guide to help you cut in the straightest line possible so no one will notice that the shirt has been cut there. You can definitely use iron-on fabric tape instead of glue; I just prefer to use E-6000 glue because it holds a bit better than the fabric tape does.

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  13. This is awesome !!! Thank you for sharing this !! Hugs Heather

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  14. I love this! I cannot believe it never occurred to me to do this. It's cute and perfect and I have a new project :)

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  15. I am so making this! Great idea!
    www.twocraziesoneblog.tk

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  16. Such a quick and simple adjustment that give the shirt a great look. Thanks for sharing.

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  17. I used this idea for a tee shirt this morning. I received lots of compliments on it. Thank you for sharing!!!

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