How to Turn a T-Shirt into a Bolero Jacket! [Tutorial]

Turn a T-Shirt into a Bolero Jacket - Sewing it Together

Sewing It Together, Almost Done!

Spring has sprung and now’s the perfect time to update your little girl’s wardrobe with a few spring additions. We’re about to show you a really fun way to do some of her closet recycling-by hand!  This craft does require a sewing machine and some patience, but once you see how simple it is, you won’t be able to stop making them!

Here’s what you will need to complete this project. We used our Short Sleeve Toddler T-Shirt by Rabbit Skins in a size 7. If you have a larger or smaller t-shirt you may need to adjust the amount of ruffle. But it’s always better to have more than not enough!

  • T-Shirt (a basic tee is fine)
  • 2 yards of large ruffling
  • 1 yard of small ruffling
  • Scissors
  • Iron

Wash and dry your t-shirt before starting any sewing. Since you are sewing ruffling to the sleeves and bottom, you want to make sure that the shirt-is pre-shrunk. Otherwise, once you sew and wash, you could end up with some unwanted bunching.

Step 1: Fold the t-shirt in half and press a good crease into the front. This will help you in step two. Decide how short you want your jacket and cut straight across the bottom, taking off the length that you do not want.

Turn a T-Shirt into a Bolero Jacket. Step One - Fold T-Shirt in Half

Step One - Fold Your T-Shirt in Half

Step 2:  As you follow the crease line, unfold the shirt.  Then cut the front of the shirt (not the back) up the middle.

Step 3: Round off the front inside corners of the t-shirt to make the front of the jacket curved.

Turn a T-Shirt into a Bolero Jacket.   Cut the Front of the Shirt Up the Middle

Step Two, Step Three - Cut the Front of the Shirt Up the Middle

Step 4: This is probably the most difficult part of the project. You need to fold in the edges of the cut parts of the shirt and make a 1/2″ seam allowance. Press the fold down with the iron as you go and it will keep it in place long enough to pin the large ruffle.

Step 5: Turn the shirt inside out and pin the ruffling to the inside of both sleeve openings, leaving the frilly part hanging out of the sleeve. A good guide is the hem stitching on the sleeve. This will help you keep your ruffling straight. Now starting at the top of the collar, pin the large ruffling all the way around the t-shirt.

Turn a T-Shirt into a Bolero Jacket. Pinning the Ruffles onto the T-Shirt

Step Five - Pinning the Ruffles onto the T-Shirt

Step 6: SEW! Now you can stitch all the ruffling on, taking out the pins as you go.

Turning a T-Shirt into a Bolero Jacket - The Finished Product

Step Six - The Finished Product

You have finished your very first bolero jacket. You can add a cute button on the front for detail or leave it plain. This is such a great craft because your only limitation is the color combinations you choose. You can keep it traditional with pastels and coordinating colors, or make it hip and funky with bright and bold colors.

We’d love to see you try this out. If you do, send us your pictures! We’d like to know what you think about this craft. Share your thoughts below. Thanks and happy crafting!

2 Comments

Filed under crafts, Crafts/Projects, t-shirt craft, t-shirts

2 responses to “How to Turn a T-Shirt into a Bolero Jacket! [Tutorial]

  1. This is right up my alley! Thanks for sharing
    Beth

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