Lettuce Make A Spring Shrug TrashNTees Tutorial

I'm told it is Spring. Though I've seen the sun a few times- I'm still not yet completely convinced until its time to cut my grass. I worked up this quick and easy tutorial which will help you transform your humbum regular old long sleeve tshirt into a fun and fancy shrug/cardigan perfect to wear over a sundress for a day at the races or pair it up w/ a tank and jeans for a trip to the park. Go ahead and grab something to cut with and something to cut- and we'll get started!

I started with this medium weighted long sleeve shirt from Coldwater Creek. It was comfortable but I didn't like the length in the tummy area. (Remember I had two babies!?) I'm a firm believer in the fact that I should be able to raise my hands up above my head and not show any stretch marks.
 1) Hack off the bottom of the shirt. It looks like I took off about 4 or 5 inches here... Remember theres no right or wrong way to the design, so feel free to make variations along the way.

2) Crop your sleeves to preferred length.
 3) It looks tricky but I promise you its not. Fold you shirt so that its creased in the center front (and back) Tip: line up the seams! Feel free to use pins and chalk here- I tend to create on the go so I just went at it w/ the cutters.  Chalkers: From the bottom you want to draw a semi circle on the font center. Heres how it looked after I cut mine:
Your shirt should look something like this after you've made your last cut. 
*I went back and cur the remaining bit of neckline, which could've been taken care of in step #3  

Head over to your dandy sewing machine and lay down some thread.You'll finish all of the edges with this lettuce edge. You do not need a high dollar machine, additional foot, or mad skills to pull this off. Creating a lettuce ruffle is simple! Set your machine to the narrowest zig zag setting, and feel free to experiment with width. Each machine setting will probably be different, so dont jump the gun. Practice on scrap before you go for it. (Trust me!)

To create the "lettuce" look to the edge you need to stretch your fabric.  You have to use fabric that stretches. (Paat! tshirts stretch!) If your fabric doesn't have a good amount of stretch to it, forget about a lettuce edge. It isn't going to work.

Now, you need to stretch from both sides of the fabric. When I say both sides, I mean in front of the presser foot as well as behind. That means you need to use BOTH hands, no drinking coffee while sewing ruffles.You want to stretch the fabric as much as you possibly can while sewing and gently guiding the fabric through your machine.

Finished up and still have time clean. Yay. (or not)
Thanks for reading along, be sure to let me know if you have any questions or if you've tried this tutorial I'd love to know how it turned out. I hope you'll take some time to check out my other tutorials, as well as tutorials featured here as part of the Recycle, Reduce, Reuse, RECREATE Earth Day Event 2011.


  1. This is on my "list" once I unpack!!!
    Super great, Thanks for sharing

  2. Get unpacking girl! Happy Housewarming <3

  3. WoW...I love how pretty the "lettuce" looks. Great tut...thanks.

  4. How fun! I tried it myself - blogged about it & your tutorial :)
    It turned out pretty well, just needs some neckline work.

  5. Awesome tutorial. Now if I only had a sewing machine!


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