Monday, March 14, 2011

DIY Fresh Fuchsia Cami - Anthropologie inspired

Do you ever feel like your loungy clothes are blah or frumpy?  How does that happen?   
I promise I buy cute p.j.’s – I just really really want to be super comfortable….so I guess I end up in baggy t-shirts and the same black yoga pants.  Not too cute.  SO for my trip to San Diego, I wanted something cute AND comfy to wear while lounging around the hotel room.  I found this cami on Anthropologie, and I liked the shape and detailing.  

 I had bought a basic T-shirt for $2.50 the other day and decided to turn that T into a cami.  The result was comfiness embellished with cuteness.  Wouldn’t you like to make one?  It could also be a lovely gift for a bridal shower.  

Here’s what you will need to make your own.
1 standard T-shirt in your size.
Scraps of fabric
Sewing machine/thread/scissors
Pins/water soluble pen/yard stick
1-2 yards of cute embellishment – I used tiny velvet rick-rack

Step 1:  Cut the T-shirt straight across from armpit to armpit.  Hold on to that top part – you will use it later.

Step 2:  Measure the front center of the cut top.  Make a mark.  Then make a mark 4” to the left and right of the center.  To make the first right tuck, fold the shirt at the right 4” mark all the way down to the hem. 

Press well.  Sew along that pressed fold at about ¼” all the way down. 

Open it up.

Make a mark with a pin about ½” to the right of the first tuck.  Fold it at that mark all the way down to the hem.  Press and repeat the stitching. 

Do this one more time.  You should have 3 tucks on the right side.  Now repeat this process starting with the left marking.  When you finish it should look like this:

Step 3:  Using a basting stitch, sew along the cute edge from the last tuck on the left side to the last tuck on the right side.  Gather this stitch slightly and tie off the ends.  Press it well.  

Step 4:  Find the center at the top of the back.  Measure 3” in each direction from the center.  Sew a basting stitch from mark to mark – gather, tie off the threads, and press.  Great!

Step 5:  Lay the top out flat, and cut a slit along both sides – stopping about 8” from the top. 

Now is the time to have your first fitting.  Try it on to make sure you haven’t gathered it too much or not enough.  When you slip it over your head, it should sit right under your chest and flow comfortably over your hips.

Step 6:  Make the bodice.  Lay out the top of the T you originally cut off.  Using a cami that fits you well, trace an outline of the top. 

Cut it out – just one layer – and when you get half way through, fold over what you have already cut onto the uncut portion and use it as the rest of your pattern.  That way both sides will be symmetrical. 

Set that piece aside.  Using another piece of the top of the T, cut out a strip 2 1/2”x the width of the shirt.   Lay this strip right sides together with the bodice front and stitch along the sideseam using a 3/8” seam. 

Step 7:  Slide it down over the tunic – so that the bodice and tunic are right sides together.  Pin well – making sure the bodice sideseams are lined up evenly with the side of the tunic. 

Sew around the top using a 3/8” seam.  Flip the bodice right side out and press well.  

Step 8:  Add the fabric panels on the side of the tunic.  Lay a scrap piece of fabric underneath the split on one side of the tunic.

Spread the split so that it is comfortably open – slide the fabric down so that it is about ½” longer than the bottom of the tunic.   Pin  the knit to the fabric. 

Topstitch along the edge of the knit - about ¼” from where it meets the fabric. Fold the bottom edge of the fabric under twice and press – making it even with the edge of the knit.  Top stitch to finish the edge.  Trim away any excess fabric on the inside of the tunic.  (I trimmed mine before I stitched it, but I think it would be easier to stitch it first)

 Repeat on the other side.

Step 9:  Cut two strips off the remaining original top of the T – 1”x the width of the T.

Stretch these strips so that they roll up – essentially creating two pieces of knit yarn.  These will be your spaghetti straps. 

Again use a tank that fits you well and measure the length of the straps and the placement.  Pin your straps in place. 

Very carefully slip it over your head so make sure the length and placement is correct.  If not, make adjustments.  Use a stationary zig-zag stitch to sew the straps onto the bodice.  

Step 10:  Add the embellishment!  You can be creative here – add whatever you like wherever you want it – I stitched the rick-rack along the top of the front bodice, and along the bottom edge of my fabric inserts.  You could of course put trim all the way around the top or bottom – I just didn’t have enough so I improvised ;)
Your sweet little cami is now finished!  Try it on to make sure it fits – and embrace the comfiness that equals the cuteness.
Happy Monday!


  1. This is so stinkin' cute Jessica!! The whole thing is great! I love the tucks and the inset in a different fabric. Great tutorial too!

  2. Beautiful! And the color is so gorgeously feminine!

  3. WOW that turned out great I thought the first picture was going to be your inspiration picture when I opened it! Good job!

  4. You are a genius. I'm totally inspired.

  5. This is SO fabulous!! I like yours better than the actual Anthro one. I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:


  6. I've been looking for a tutorial like this. I'm soo going to try to make one. I'm still a newbie so IF it turns out I'll send ya a pic. Thanks!

  7. This is excellent! Thanks so much for sharing. Did you use a ballpoint needle for sewing? I just read about using ballpoints for knits (I wonder if it's necessary), and now I have anxiety about using a regular needle.

  8. this is so incredible, I am in love! Will need to figure out how to make one for me at 26 weeks pregnant :), I want one too! Great job!!!

  9. It's adorable--very clever how you figured this out. Thank you so much for sharing the how-to.

  10. Awesome. Going to make one this week. Thanks!

  11. WOW you made that look really easy! I think it looks great.

  12. Heidi - I did not use a ball point needle, but I did use the "knit" setting on my machine (the icon looks like a little lightening bolt) - I think it really helped. Good luck!!

  13. Cute! Now my daughter wants me to make one for her :)

  14. Cute! Cute Cute! I love recycled clothes! We could use your knowledge in our brand new discussion group on LinkedIn. Experienced and new patternmakers are welcome! Please join us!

  15. So creative! And so much cuter than a plain ol' T! Great work!

  16. This looks like a super cute idea and easy enough too. Nice way to recycle clothes and make something I'd actually wear. (summer or to sleep in) Can't wait to get some made.

  17. Ursula fabric loving seamstressJune 9, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    I love this recyling of a t-shirt. Why you say? because I am a t-shirt wearing mom and woman (lifelong tomboy). I am looking forward to making a lot of these to where to college and everywhere in between. Thanks and keep up the good ideas.

  18. I just came by from another site i was on and i just LOVE this it's so stinkin cute... Great tutorial also very clear directions... Thanks a million!!!!!! Linda Lee

  19. I'm trying this right now!! That's what i live in... big t-shirts and sweats or workout pants. (at home) LOL! Thank you for sharing. Also adorable for little girls pjs. Using the leftover fabric from the bottoms to embellish the top. Cute!


Thanks so much for commenting! If you have a question, make sure your email is in your profile or leave it in a comment so I can answer you. Otherwise email me at jessica(at)sewhomegrown(dot)com - Have a lovely day!

You may also enjoy...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...