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One Shoulder Top, and Tutorial

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I made a one-shoulder dress for my daughter a few weeks back.  It turned out cute, but I wasn’t 100% happy with the final result.  I wanted to try again at some point.

I was out shopping recently and came across the cutest knit one-shoulder top at Crazy 8 and bought it.  After I got home, I decided to try and use it for a pattern for another top for my daughter.  (*See the bottom of the post for tips to make your own One Shoulder Top pattern…)

Here is how I did it…

I found an old t-shirt in my recycle bin to use.  I traced the arm hole and neckline directly on to the t-shirt with a water soluble marker, leaving a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  I used my ruler to help get a straight edge for the sides of the shirt.

Next, I used my rotary cutter to cut the two shirt pieces from the fabric.  If you are using fabric make sure your two pieces are right sides together.

Then, right sides still together, sew the sides and shoulder seams together. I used my serger, but if you are using knit fabric, you can still use a regular sewing machine since you don’t have to worry about finishing the seams.

Instead of making a casing and using regular elastic for the neckline and arm hole, I got out my elastic thread to shirr it instead.  I absolutely love the effect shirring creates!  (For a tutorial on shirring, go here..)

Fold over the edges of the neck and arm hole about 3/8 of an inch and pin them in place.

Then, just shirr over the the folded material.  My t-shirt material was slightly thicker than a normal tee, so I needed about 3 rows of shirring, spaced 1/4 inch apart for the right amount of gathering.  I could probably done a fourth row for extra support and a tighter fit, but it looked like it would be a good fit, as is.

Here is a picture of the shirred seam.

After having my daughter try the shirt on and run around in it for a few minutes, I decided to add a strap on her other shoulder to avoid any accidental “wardrobe malfunctions”.  This was super easy.  Cut an 11 inch strip of fabric that is about 1.5 inches wide, and fold it right sides together and sew right down the edge.  I used my turning tool and turned it right side out to make a little spaghetti strap. (you could just use a saftey pin to turn the strap.)

I had her try the top on again to figure out where to place the strap.  I pinned it in place and stitched it on.  I put the shoulder strap stitches right on top of the shirring so it would blend in.

The shirt turned out really cute and fit her well.  It was kind of plain, so I decided to add an embellishment.

I did not get any photos on the process I used for the embellishment, but it was very easy.

I cut one inch strips of fabric as long as I could get them.  The pink and coral strips were from some scraps and and old t-shirt.  The green fabric was a woven, so I did a rolled edge on the strip so it wouldn’t fray in the wash.  If you are using a woven fabric and don’t have a serger, you will want to cut your strips about 2 inches wide and then fold the edges over 1/4 inch, press, fold another 1/4 inch and press again, then hem your pressed edges.  My other strips were knit, but I did the same rolled edge for continuity.

I then sewed the longest basting stitch my sewing machine has down the middle of the strips and pulled the bottom thread to create a little ruffle.  After that, I just played with the fabric strips until I was happy with the placement of the flowers.  Then, I pinned them to the fabric VERY securely.

For the green “stems” I was able to sew them on to the fabric with my machine, but I had to hand stitch the flowers on to the fabric.  I was able to put my stitches right into the rolled edge, so they couldn’t be seen, but you could use a matching thread as well and put the hand stitches anywhere.

She was very happy with top and it looked super cute with pink capri’s too.  I am going to go through my recycle bin to find a couple more cute t-shirts to use!

*I tried to make a pattern to upload and share, but I could not get it to print the same size as when I scanned it in.  Here are some tips to make your own one shoulder pattern:

I compared the shirt I bought to one of my daughters existing tops.  Everything was the same except where they removed the shoulder.

I found a sleeveless shirt so it would be easier to trace the arm hole.  I used freezer paper to trace my pattern. (but you could use wrapping paper, tissue, construction paper, or the brown paper that comes on rolls that painters use…)

I traced the shirt out, and included a 3/8 inch seam allowance on my pattern.

Then, using a pencil or light colored ink, (I used a sharpie so you could see all my marks) create a gentle curve from the inner edge of the left shoulder to the bottom of the right arm hole.

Using your pencil, raise the curve about 3/8 for the seam allowance.

Then raise the armpit corner another 3/4 inch on the shoulder-less side.  This will raise the edge of the shirt slightly higher to help avoid any “wardrobe malfunctions.”

Once you are pleased with your pattern, go ahead and go over the final markings with a dark marker and cut it out.

They are almost exactly the same

Good luck!

If you are inspired to create something based on this tutorial, I would love to see it!  I have created a new Flickr Group for you to share your creations.  Here is the link: Creations inspired by Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom.  (Please share, you might get featured!)

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  1. Sarah Lewin says:

    My 7 yr old has just told me she wants an off the shoulder top (One shoulder top) for holidays. I am soooooo pleased to see you have one here, after making and posting the boho summer dress I made last spring, I look forward to trying this. You always make it look so simple. A little nervous about the shirring but good to try new ideas. Thanks Jamie X

  2. I love the top! Great job with the embellishments. I'm terrible with sheared seams.
    Agy @ Green Issues
    ps. thank you for the lovely comment on my resort top 🙂

  3. Modern Mom Redefined ((Kelsi)) says:

    Wow! You do great work! I wish I knew how to sew!! Following back from ModernMomRedefined.blogspot.com I have a hop on Mondays that you should check out! It's called Memory Mondays and it's a blast from the past! =)
    Have a great weekend!!

  4. Especially love the flowers!! Adorable top.

  5. This shirt is adorable! I need to take a look through my t-shirt stash–my daughter would love it.

  6. It turned out really cute! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  7. Alicia @ littlesprinklesoffun says:

    This shirt is really cute! You did a great job!