I wanted to create something to enter into ThreadBanger's New Year's sewing machine contest. I had to create a video tutorial of something and they'd pick a winner by February 12th to win a sewing machine.
Unfortunately my camera is broken so I had to take pictures. If I can figure out how to turn them into a video collage or something, I will, but at the moment I'm content with posting the tutorial here because I'm very proud of it.
It took me weeks of agonizing over how to pull this off and make a pattern, and I finally just sat down today and started drafting. It took 2 hours to complete all the cutting, sewing, measuring, and modeling, but I spent all day writing out the tutorial and messing around with options.
I'm sure anyone else is thinking, "Oh, that's so easy. How could you NOT see how to make it?" And I totally agree, but it's a tricky, tricky project if you don't realize it HAS to wrap across the front. I ran into so many problems, but I present to you the working tutorial.
Begin by taking your shirt (I chose a long sleeved shirt) and cutting off the sleeves just outside the seams. Set the sleeves aside, making sure you remember which sleeve is which.
Then cut up both the left and right sides, completely removing the seams.
If your shirt has a hemmed bottom, cut it off.
Now go to the top of the shirt and completely cut off the shoulder seams and collar.
Lay out both body pieces.
Take your measuring tape and measure the diagonal distance across one cup of your bra. I'm a B, and I used 8 inches as my measurement.
On the front body piece, use your chalk or marker to mark this measurement.
Continue making marks along the entire front length until you run out of fabric, typically around the armpits. I fit two 8 inch rectangles on my shirt with a half inch in between.
Click on the image to enlarge for specific instruction.
Take the measuring tape and pin it to your current shirt, two-three inches below the highest point of your shoulder. Cross the tape over your left breast, under the right one, around your back, under the left, and across the right until you reach the equivalent two-three inches below the right shoulder. This is the measurement you'll need for the wrap. Add on 2 to 3 inches for hemming and seams, unless you're using a stretchy material.
Using the number you found, measure the length of a marked rectangle you made. Multiply that number by however many rectangles you managed to fit on the shirt. I needed more fabric and used the back piece. If you do, MAKE SURE you cut ONLY UP TO THE ARMPITS! You need the back for a later step.
Cut out all the rectangles and begin pinning them all together.
Put on your left sleeve.
Very carefully pin the end of one of your pinned lengths to the left sleeve, beginning from the armpit and going along the front as far as it will go, which should be just about where you previously pinned your measuring tape.
Put on your right sleeve. Follow the instructions from Step 9 using the fabric instead of the measuring tape. Make sure it comes within 3 inches of the right sleeve.
Unpin from the sleeve and set aside. Gather your two sleeves and hem all the way around. Don't be alarmed if it scallops.
Next, hem the last short side of the pinned lengths. Sew all the short sides of the wrap pieces together. If you wish to hem all the unfinished edges, now is the time to do so.
Now pin the short hemmed end to the same place on the left sleeve as before. Sew them together.
Put on your left and right sleeves, and follow the wrapping instructions from Step 9. Trim any excess fabric you have. Don't be alarmed if you have a gap of about 3 inches. Just pull the wrap a little tighter.
Hem the short edge of the wrap. Now pin the short end from armpit to below the shoulder, along the front. Sew together.
You're almost done!!
Measure two 2&1/2" by 1" rectangles on the front body scraps.
Fold into a line by thirds, and sew all the way down. Leave all edges unfinished.
Take one piece and fold short end to short end, forming a loop.
Take your sleeve and fold at the armpit so both sides are even. Across from where the top of the wrap starts is where you should pin the loop (on the back).
Sew down one loop. Repeat Step 24 on the right sleeve and sew.
Now find your remaining back piece. Measure 3 inches from the bottom and mark across the entire width of the piece.
Fold edges toward the center, then fold in half and pin. Tuck in the holes at each end and sew.
Grab one of your buttons and a needle and thread. Cut about three feet of thread and fold it in half. Cut. Fold it in half again. Cut. Thread the needle, knot the end, and sew the button to the end of your strip, making a cross.
Repeat with the same side of the fabric, on the opposite end. You should now have a strap with 2 buttons.
Slide the loop on your left sleeve around one of the buttons, and put on the left sleeve.
Follow the wrapping instructions in Step 9, and slide on your right sleeve. Reach back, grab your button strap, and attach it to the loop on your right sleeve.
Then wear with your favorite bare-shouldered top, 'cause you're done!!