I knew I wanted to make her a cute little ruffled tank, but couldn't decide on a strap. Ruffles? Ribbons? Some kind of trim? And then I realized, I didn't have to decide! I could do it all!
First, you'll need:
a shirt that is about two sizes larger than your child wears
another shirt in the same color - size doesn't really matter
a tank top or shirt that fits well to use as a template
Grosgrain Ribbon (or bias tape) to match the shirt
Lay out your shirt and find a shirt that has the right fit to use for a template. Using a tank top would probably be easier, but if you use a short sleeved shirt, just fold the arms in.
Measure the width across the top of the shirt piece. Cut two ribbon pieces this size. Really, you should probably use bias tape, but I didn't have any and I knew that ribbon would work for a baby shirt, anyway.
Then, measure the arm curves and cut four lengths of ribbon that length.
Fold the ends of the ribbons over and sew them to the back - this will prevent fraying and give a finished look.
Do this with all four armhole curves.
Then do this same technique of sandwiching the shirt between the folded ribbon for the tops of both pieces of the shirt. Now all of your edges except the side seams are finished.
Set your sewing machine to the longest stitch length and sew two rows of straight stitches on one edge of each strip. Pull the bobbin threads to ruffle the strips.
On the front piece of your shirt, pin a ruffle on across the bottom.
Sew it on, right across the gathering stitch.
Pin the next ruffle on so it just barely overlaps and sew. Continue doing this all up the shirt. When you get to the top ruffle, pin it so the top of the ruffle is flush with the bottom of the ribbon.
And this piece of shirt is all ruffly now!
Put the two shirt pieces right sides together and pin the sides.
Sew up the sides using a straight stitch. There will be some excess fabric, including ruffles. Just cut them off.
Next, choose your straps. You can use trim, lace, ribbon, knit ruffles, whatever you'd like. Just measure the length of the shoulder straps from an existing tank and cut your trim about an inch longer. Fold each end over to the back (so that it is finished looking from the front) and hand sew the back side of the snaps - I used the side with the little posts - to the ends.
Then you just pick your straps and snap them on! You can use eyelet trim...
Then you can use some ruffled chiffon trim with VELCRO on the ends as a halter style top.
(And here's her model-y pose.)
I just love dressing her in cute little girly ruffles. And this little top will take about 1/2 an hour to make. Easy!