Friday, May 6, 2011

Mommy and Me Shirt Tutorial

I was asked to make a tutorial on how I made our "Mommy and Me" matching shirts.

For this tutorial I just made the "mini" shirt for Grayson, but I'll tell you how to make it grown-up sized at the end. First, gather your materials. I made both tops out of 1 yard of fabric, but you may want 1 1/2 just to be safe.

Measure your "mini" around their chest, right under their armpits then add 10 inches (add more if you want it more fluffy and gathered at the top). Measure from their chest to where you want the shirt to stop. I made this one tunic length, so it's 12" long. Divide the chest measurement (X+10) in half, and this will be the width of your rectangles.

You will need two of these rectangles to make the body of the shirt. Using a shirt you already have to measure against, or measuring your Mini, cut two straps 3 inches wide, by the length you need the straps to be. Mine were 3"x8". Take the chest measurement and cut a piece of 1/4" elastic one inch longer than this measurement. This will be to gather the top. You will also need matching thread and  sewing machine.

My fabric was from an old shirt I had, so my bottom edge is already hemmed. You will do this in a later step...I just didn't want you to think you missed something!
Start with the straps:
You can iron the folds if you would like to give you clean lines, but I like to eyeball it. Fold one long side of your strap to the middle of the fabric, wrong sides together.

Fold the other side of your fabric in to the middle, meeting the first fold.

Fold the length of the fabric, encasing the two fabric ends in the middle, sort of like a hotdog bun. Pin in place. Do this for both straps.

Lay your body fabric pieces, right sides together, and pin along the sides, leaving the top and bottom unpinned. If they aren't completely even, you can just trim them to even them up. the sewing machine!

Sew down the length of your straps about 1/8" in, down both sides to seal them and make them lay nice and flat.

Sew down the sides, using a 1/4" seam allowance. Make sure you backstitch to hold the stitches in place.

This is where you can do your hem. Or if you're unsure of the length, wait to try it on your Mini, and then hem the bottom to your desired length. You can do any kind of hem you like. I folded my fabric in 1/4", then folded it again to made a nice edge, then sewed all the way around.

Now for the casing for our elastic.

Like your hem, fold the top of your fabric, wrong sides together, about 1/2" down.
Fold down again, hiding the raw edges, and pin in place. Do this around the entire top of the shirt.

Sew around the bottom edge of your casing. Make sure you leave about 1" open and unsewn for you to feed your elastic into the top.

Grab a safety pin and your elastic. Stick the pin through the elastic end. This will help you pull it through the fabric.

Feed the elastic through the casing. Make sure you don't let go of the other end of the elastic or you'll have to start over!

Once the elastic is pulled all the way through, make sure it is not twisted inside the casing. Overlap the ends 1" and sew back and forth across the elastic to hold it together.
(This is a bad picture, I had just pulled the elastic through. When you overlap your elastic, lay one end over the other, completing a ring like a belt so it's smooth in the casing.)

Sew your casing shut, being careful not to catch the elastic in your stitches.

Measure on your Mini, or estimate where you would like the straps to be. Pin them in place on the front of the shirt first.

I sewed mine on on top and below the elastic to give good hold.
Repeat on the back with the straps. Make sure you try the shirt on your Mini before cutting any length off the may need it!

And voila!! A quick and easy top for your favorite Mini-Me to wear!!

She wouldn't stay still this morning for a photo her backside will have to do for now! It looks like she's about to get into something!

To make the Mommy version of this top....all you change are the measurements!! Measure around your chest and add 15" minimum. Add more if you like a more flowing top. Measure the length to where you would like for your top to hit. I like mine to sit below my hips, so mine is 20". Don't forget when you're measuring to take into consideration your casing, hem, and seam allowances. Add this to your measurements before cutting or it will be too small!

Happy Sewing!!

If you make this top I would love to see pictures! You can e-mail them to me and I'll post them for everyone to see! You can just send the tops if you don't want your face seen...but Mommy and Me pics are the best!


  1. Great tutorial! I love the picture of you and your 'mini'. So cute!


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