The Ribbons, the Ribbons! Mary, quickly the Ribbons!

So I decided to start going to the gym.

Now, I used to be quite athletic, in high school (field hockey, indoor track) but I blew out my knee Senior year and so not at all since then.  But with my 24th birthday looming dangerously close, I decided that I should get back in shape, or at least in better shape.

Hence the gym.

Good News, I do feel a bit healthier and I have more energy.  Plus there is that sense of accomplishment you feel when you’ve completed a 7 mile (stationary) bike ride without dying.

On the other hand, my joints hurt like an old person. Oh Well.

This project, like so many of my projects, is not original, but it’s my take on another project.  You can see the original here.  In the original project, Katy from Sweet Verbena ( makes a similar top out of knit fabric she found at a fabric store.  So off I went to JoAnne’s trying to find something similar, but the selection was simply abysmal.  (Does anyone else think of Joey from Friends when they hear abysmal? “Everything else in this production of Our Town was simply terrible. Joey Tribbiani was abysmal.”)


So I had a thought.  Tee shirts are knit, and since they don’t have side seams, they would TOTALLY WORK for this project!!!!!!!  So a black tee-shirt and some pretty ribbon and I was set to go.  This will take you about 30 minutes, tops, and it’s super simple, even if sewing isn’t your forte.

Tee Shirt Bow Tie Top

Here’s What You’ll Need

Tee Shirt (use one your already have, or get one at A.C. Moore for $2.50 on sale!)

Wide Ribbon

Sewing Machine/Safety Pin/Needle & Thread



Seam ripper

Tailor’s Chalk (Optional)

Here’s What You Do:

Start by using the seam ripper to take the sleeves off.  Now you’ll have what looks like a muscle shirt.  Sexy. Draw a straight line across the top of the shirt from sleeve opening to sleeve opening, running right under the neckline of the shirt.  Use sharp scissors to cut through both layers, basically separating the shoulders from the body of the shirt.

Now fold the cut edge of the front and back over to create a casing for the ribbon.  Using a hot iron, press the fold to create a crease.

Machine stitch a single row of stitching to hold the flap down.  Because of the nature of tee shirts, it shouldn’t unravel, so there’s no worries about finishing the edge.

Attach a safety pin to the end of the ribbon and run it through the two casings.

Tie a bow above  one shoulder and try the top on.  This is where it would have been easier to have someone else there, but I didn’t, so I dealt with it.  Arrange and distribute the fabric along the ribbon to create the desired effect.  Once you’re happy with the placement of the ribbon, tack it down at each end of the casings with a few hand stitches to keep it in place.

Yes, I stand on a chair to get my overhead shots.  I was going to crop out my feet, but they add character, no?

That’s it!  Like I said, I was by myself, so I don’t have any pictures of me wearing it, but it looks pretty much just like the original.  Also, I used a slightly stiffer flocked ribbon, which was pretty difficult to tie.  I recommend a satin ribbon for the best results.

Happy Monday!

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