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Maddy’s Quick and Dirty T-Shirt to Peasant Blouse Tutorial

  Do you have drawers full of T-shirts that you don’t wear? I do. I don’t wear them much because A) I have scads of them (don’t even ask how many fuchsia pink T-shirts I own), and B) they’re sort of boxy and not terribly attractive. Added to that, my figure is the Apple type (you know, skinny stick legs and BIG tummy, double-no, make that triple-chins) so I don’t like to wear things that are too closely fitting with round a neckline that comes up to my throat. And plain boxy T-shirts are … well, plain and boxy. No style. Plus, I am just barely over 5 feet tall, so most T-shirts come down to mid-thigh on me. Sure, they make great sleep shirts, but I want to get more use out of them than that.

T-shirts are great though, because they are so comfy to wear, and wash easily. I could donate them, but some, like my RAGT T-shirts, have happy memories attached to them that I want to be reminded of. I don’t want to get rid of my T-shirts. I want to use them!

Tshirt Do you ever see something on Pinterest or somewhere and say, “Hey, ITshirt to peasant top can do that!”  Well, I do, and I can, and I did. I took a plain white T-shirt, cut off the edges, ironed on some floral appliques, added a casing for a gathered neckline, finished the raw edges, and Ta-DA! My new summer blouse.  Here is how I made this:


Maddy’s Easy Peasant Blouse


  • T-shirt in a size that is a little loose

  • Any appliques, trims, or other decoration you like. I found this floral applique on clearance for $1.97.Tshirt trim

  • Approx. 1 yard 1/8-1/4 inch wide elastic, or 1.5 yards narrow ribbon to gather the neck.

  • Sewing machine or serger

  • Iron (if needed to iron on transfers or appliques)

  • Scissors

  • Thread


  1. Wash and dry your Tshirt. If you are using an Iron On applique or transfer, don’t use fabric

    Excuse my poor drawing skills!

    Cutting lines. Excuse my poor drawing skills!


  2. Cut off the bottom of the shirt so it is 2” longer than you want it to be. When the neck is gathered, the bottom of the shirt will rise a bit. Keep the actual hem because that is what you will use to create the neckline casing.

  3. Mark a circle around the neck and cut. I measured 2 inches from the neck ribbing as a guide.

  4. Cut a slit across the top of the sleeve to create a flutter sleeve. (This is optional. You can just have a plain sleeve with a ruffled edge) Cut off arm ribbing.

  5. Add any trim you like now. Red and Blue ribbon in rows around the hem would be fun for 4th of July. Maybe a scatter of those iron on rhinestones? How abut a strip of lace down the center front? Or no trim to make it even easier and cheaper.

  6. Take the bottom hem that you cut off in step 2 and trim close to the stitching. On the wrong side of T-shirt, make a casingTshirt2 by stitching down the hem an inch or so away from the cut neck edge. Leave an opening to thread the elastic thru. Do not put the elastic in now. NOTE: if you want to use ribbon to gather the neck instead of elastic, you can stitch the hem on the right side of the shirt. The ribbon can be tied in a bow.

  7. Create the lettuce edge to the bottom, the neckline and the sleeves. If you have a serger, you can use that to do a beautiful lettuce rolled hem. If not, a regular sewing machine works fine. Set your sewing machine up with a zigzag stitch. Stitch length should be like for a button hole, so .3 or 4, and width should be a 5 or 6. Be sure to hold your fabric very taut while you do this. If you don’t know how to do this curly edge, there are several YouTube tutorials like This One

  8. Thread elastic (or ribbon) through neck casing. Fasten off.



These directions are pretty barebones, so it you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll try to help you out.

Imagine how many fun things you could do with all your T-shirts! How about a tied dyed T-shirt? What if you added some lace at the hem instead of doing the lettuce edge? Wouldn’t this be adorable for a little girl too?

Peasant blouse black

Another one! Black T-shirt with lace down the center.

I hope I’ve given you some good ideas for making some cheap summerPeasant blouses tops, but I have got to stop now. I have a book to write! I won’t be doing regular Tuesday Teasers for Brave Hearts, but stay tuned. I want to drop you a few tidbits here and there. Dusty is turning out to be a more complex hero than I thought he’d be. And Isa has depths beyond just a somewhat embittered woman wounded in war. I can’t wait to introduce you to them.


Happy Reading!

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