Monday, November 7, 2011

Tutorial: Braided Shirt


Well, I know this blog is called "Bags you can make", but I must admit, I also make other stuff :D  So today I'm showing you the braided shirt I made a couple of years ago. Since it's one of those rare times that I didn't use a pattern, I decided to make a tutorial for you, so that you can make one yourself!

Starting with the photos of the finished garment:


Attention: I'm not the professional (have that in mind) and I am not perfect at explaining, but if you have any questions - just leave them in the comments!

You will need:
Jersey fabric (more than 1 meter)
Elastic band (about 66 cm length, 1 cm width)

Let's start!

Step one: Pattern making and cutting

My size is M, so the given measurements are for the size M, but it can be easily changed!

Picture above: Left detail - front detail, right detail - back detail.
Transfer and enlarge (to the given measurements) details you see in the picture above to paper. If you want to customize the size, follow these steps:
To get line AD - measure your bust, minus 2 cm, and divide in two. Example: 90 cm - 2 cm =88cm/2=44cm.
To get line FE - measure you hips, divide in two and add a couple of centimeters (the more you add the looser it will be in the bottom).

Picture above: arranging details on the fabric.
You will need 1 front piece, 1 back piece, 3 straps for the braid (5cm width and about 1,5 meter length (might be longer or shorter -depends on how you gonna braid)), 2 straps for the armpit seam covering (3 cm width, 44 cm length), 1 strap for the elastic band (90 cm length, 3 cm width). Cut the details.

Step 2: sides and bottom

Take front and back details, put them so that the wrong sides are outside. Pin sides, make a seam and zig-zag it.

Zig-zag the bottom and upper parts, but don't zig-zag the B-B1 and C-C1 (armpits) lines.

Step 3: cover the B-B1 and C-C1 lines

Left photo - wrong side, right photo - right side
Take a 44 cm strap, fold it, and cover the line B-B1, so that there are not raw edged visible.

Do the same with another strap and line C-C1.

Step 4: Braiding

Take one 1,5 meter strap, fold it (wrong side facing up) and sew the long edge (This way you have a 1,5 meter length and 1,5 cm width strap). Turn in inside-out.

Repeat with 2 other straps.

Take all 3 straps, secure one end with a safety pin and braid the usual braid (like you braid hair). The finished braid should be 102 cm length.

Step 5: attaching braid

Mark the middle of the braid and mark the middle of the front detail line B-C, put the middle of the braid on the middle of line B-C. Attach the braid by hand along the line B-C as shown in the picture:

Left photo - wrong side, right photo - right side

Attach the braid ends by hand to the back detail line B1-C1. Cover the raw edges:

Left photo - wrong side, right photo - right side

Step 6: Attaching the elastic band

Turn the shirt inside out, measure 16 cm as shown, and mark the line that the elastic band is going to be attached.

Take the remaining strap, fold it, put it on the red line, pin it to the shirt (raw long edges should be inside), sew the long edges, but do not sew the ends. Put the elastic band threw the ends, sew the band ends together.

Turn the shirt inside out and you are done! 

Good luck :)


  1. This looks so comfy! Love the braid detail as well, very sweet, always been a favourite detail of mine.

  2. Lovely and a really great tutorial, too! Thank you very much, also for your nice comment on my blog. Funny thing: I am actually making a bag at the moment, so you making clothes is perfectly ok ;-)

  3. Juliet - it's sooo comfy! But I only wear it when I want to dress up a little bit - that braid sure gives "dressy" effect!

    KATJA - I'll be waiting for the bag photos on your blog! Knowing your style it will be very very interesting to see!

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