Wednesday, July 14, 2010

"Aphrodite" - Greek Goddess Shirt Tutorial!

Ok, I have to warn you. I'm kind of on a grecian kick. I've always loved it when fashion infuses the 'ancient greek' look, but this summer the one-shoulder trend has taken off and really inspired me. Also, I scored a ton of poly-mesh fabric at the store for $2.50 a yard, and it lends itself perfectly to this type of thing.

So, you have some major tutorials to look forward to... I've already made several things - one of which will be an awesome giveaway - and have tutorials almost ready to go. However, I will be waiting to post them for a couple weeks, because I'll be seeing my photographer briefly and am hoping to squeeze in a photo shoot :)

What you need:
A square of knit (stretchy) fabric
- an extra strip of fabric - about 1 inch by 6 inches
- 2 shank buttons (optional, but definitely more fun with)

First, some measurements. Measure your shoulders, and add 10 inches (or more!! This will give you longer flowy sleeve things). That will be the width of your fabric square Then measure from your shoulders to the desired length of your shirt. Add a couple inches to that, and that will be the length of your fabric square.

Step 1: Put a two pins in the top (the width side) of your fabric, about where you think your shoulders wil go. Try it on, putting your head in between the two pins, and adjust as needed.

It's hard to see the pins in these pictures, I know. But basically, you should be able to put it on like this:

Step 2: Stitch your fabric together where the pins are - about an inch of a seam.
Then, put it back on and pin it down the sides to your body. You probably don't want it super tight or super loose - somewhere in between is good. You want to make sure you pin beginning beneath the armpit where it will be comfortable for the shirt to be sewn together.

Step 3: Then, take it off and lay it down. Here's the the tricky part .Trim about an inch away from the pins along your shirt, until you get to the topmost pin. At this point, look carefully at the picture below. You want to cut at an angel (about 45 degrees, if that helps) back away from the armpit to the edge of the fabric.

I know the picture is bad, so here's a little drawing that might help clarify (but is equally bad). The gold line is the fabric, the red is the pins (yours will probably not be a straight line though and will probably be more curved), and the black is the line to cut on.

Step 4: Turn your shirt right side out. Now, it's time to add the buttons. Grab a little sliver scrap of fabric - preferably the one you're using, and it has to be a stretchy knit or something. Thread it through the button hole (this is why you need shank buttons).

Step 5: Tie the fabric around the shoulder seams you made, bunching them up. If this doesn't make sense, look at the finished pictures below and it should be more clear.

Step 6: Now, there are two ways to do this next part. One involves sewing, one doesn't... i'd recommend the sewing method, but either way works.

Try your shirt on and decide how low you want the neckline to be. Take it off and fold it in half (only the front part, let the back part just hang out) with the shoulder buttons lining up. Put a pin along the fold (the middle) about an inch below where you decided you want your neckline to hit.

Method 1: Very carefully make a little slit in the fabric there. Make sure it's small! Then, thread your extra strip of fabric through the hole (through the front of the fabric). One end should wind up on the inside of the shirt. Take the other end and look it around the neckline, pulling the neckline down. Then tie the two ends together tightly (they should both be on the inside of the shirt now). If your fabric stretches too much you might be able to see the whole - either put fray check on it or stitch it closed.

Method 2: Pin the extra strip to the front of your fabric about an inch lower than you want your shirt to go. Have the long end going down towards the bottom of your shirt, and the short end facing the neckline of your shirt.

It should look like this: (note, I did the first method first, then decided i wanted a lower neckline so I redid it like this)

Then my camera died, so I don't have any pictures of this next part. But you pretty much just do the same thing, take the long end, pull it up over the neckline, and into the inside of the shirt. Then, making sure your thread is the same color as the shirt, pull it tight and sew it down on the inside of the shirt, right near where it's sewed to the front on the other side. Does this make sense? If not, post a comment and I'll clarify! Looking a the pictures below should make it make more sense as well.

I also added a belt - it's the one I made for my Cabo dress out of an old T-shirt, and is super comfy because it stretches. For the tutorial, check here; I think it's linked from that post.


  1. That is SO beautiful! Great job! I am going to try that right away.


  2. Wow! I love this! You are so talented.

  3. This Greek shirt is just like a toga costume. The toga costume is one of my favorite costumes, I am surfing to learn the way of making a toga costume. This blog teaches so easy way to make a Greek goddess t-shirt design. Thanks for it. Please share a proper tutorial for making toga costume too.

  4. You know in several countries, the tradition of the toga party has become popular in recent decades, generally at colleges and universities, perhaps best illustrated in (if not inspired by) the film Animal House.

  5. its very lovely for a woman runs her imagination to make something new with old cheap t-shirts.

  6. why she won't to show her face?? I'd like to see her "full" ;)

  7. Love your instructions! Who needs a pattern! She tells you how to measure and cut! Very nice!Thanks! ★

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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