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How to Decorate Kids' Shirts


Tuxedo Junction Shirt
No formal event is needed for this tuxedo shirt.
No formal event is needed for this tuxedo shirt.
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Here's an original idea for a wearable craft: dress up a plain tuxedo shirt with colorful ribbons and decorative charms. Kids will love the casual elegance that makes this project a favorite. As you make this kids' shirt craft with your kids, remember that they may need help selecting and cutting the necessary ribbons.

What You'll Need:

  • Tuxedo shirt
  • 7-9 5/8-inch-wide buttons, or sized to fit button holes
  • 1-1/2 yards 3/8-inch-wide polka dot grosgrain ribbon (or 2x length of pleats + 4 inches)
  • 1-1/2 yards 3/8-inch-wide picot edge satin (or 2x length of pleats + 4 inches)
  • 1-1/2 yards 5/8-inch-wide grosgrain (or 2x length of pleats + 4 inches)
  • 1-1/2 yards medium rickrack (or 2x length of pleats + 4 inches)
  • 3 yards 3/8-inch-wide striped satin ribbon (or 2x length of pleats + 2x length of cuffs + 2x length of sleeve plackets + 12 inches for clean finished edges and mitered corners)
  • 4 yards 1-inch-wide printed grosgrain ribbon (or 2x length of pleats + width of pleats + 2x length of cuffs + length of collar + 16 inches for clean finished edges and mitered corners)
  • Double-sided fusible webbing equal in length and width, or slightly narrower, to ribbon (we chose 1 package each of 1/4-inch, 1/2-inch, and 3/4-inch widths)
  • 10 3/8-inch to 3/4-inch brass charms in assorted shapes (we chose hearts, stars and keys)
  • Needle and thread
  • Iron and ironing board
  • 10-15 straight pins

How to Make Tuxedo Junction Shirt:Step 1: Remove decorative studs and buttons from shirt front. Cut 2 lengths of 26 inches each from polka dot, picot edge, 5/8-inch grosgrain, and striped ribbons, or length of pleated front plus 2 inches.

Apply fusible webbing to wrong side of ribbons.
Apply fusible webbing to wrong side of ribbons.
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Step 2: Following manufacturer's instructions, apply fusible webbing to wrong side of 8 lengths of ribbon. Cut 2 lengths of 26 inches each, or length of pleated front plus 2 inches, from rickrack.

Step 3: With webbed side facing down, position ribbon on pleated front. Begin with striped ribbon nearest center, continue toward outer edge with picot-edge satin ribbon, polka dot ribbon, and then 5/8-inch grosgrain nearest outer edge of pleats.

Step 4: Turn under 1/2 inch at top edge and line up evenly with seam of shirt. Allow ribbon to extend only 1/2 inch past pleated edge at bottom. Trim ribbon if necessary.

Sew or fuse rickrack to center of solid grosgrain.
Sew or fuse rickrack to center of solid grosgrain.
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Step 5: Using straight pins, pin ribbon through shirt, directly to ironing board. Following manufacturer's instructions, press ribbon and fuse onto shirt. Sew or fuse rickrack to center of 5/8-inch grosgrain.

Step 6: Cut 2 lengths of 1-inch-wide printed ribbon, each 33 inches long, or length of pleated front plus 1/2 width of pleated front plus 4 inches. Following manufacturer's instructions, apply fusible webbing to wrong side of each length of ribbon.

Step 7: With webbed side facing down, position ribbon on shirt, outside of pleated front on flat part of shirt. Begin by turning under 1/2 inch at top edge and lining up fold with shoulder seam.

Position printed grosgrain outside the front pleats.
Position printed grosgrain outside the front pleats.
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Step 8: Position along side edge and miter ribbon at corner; then position along bottom edge, covering cut ends of narrower ribbons as shown. Turn under 1/2 inch of ribbon at the edge of the shirt placket, lining up fold with placket.

Step 9: Using straight pins, pin ribbon through shirt directly to ironing board. Following manufacturer's instructions, press ribbon and fuse onto shirt.

Step 10: Fold cuffs up (almost in half) just below the buttonhole and along the entire length, and press. Stitch along fold if desired.

Step 11: Cut 2 lengths of wide printed ribbon equal to length of cuff plus 1 inch. Apply fusible webbing to wrong side of ribbon. Position ribbon for outside of cuff along folded edge. Turn under ends for clean finish. Fuse into place. Stitch along all edges if desired.

Step 12: Cut 2 lengths of striped ribbon equal to length of cuff plus length of sleeve placket plus 3 inches. Apply fusible webbing to wrong side of ribbon.

Position striped ribbon to outside of cuff.
Position striped ribbon to outside of cuff.
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Step 13: Turn under one end for clean finish. Position ribbon to outside of cuff at top edge, miter at corner and position along placket. Turn under remaining edge. Fuse into place. Stitch along all edges if desired.

Center printed ribbon to outside of collar.
Center printed ribbon to outside of collar.
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Step 14: Cut length of printed ribbon equal to length of collar plus 1 inch. Apply fusible webbing to wrong side of ribbon. Center ribbon to outside of collar as shown. Turn under each end to clean finish. You may need to fold at an angle to follow bend in the collar. Fuse into place. Stitch along all edges if desired.

Randomly stitch brass charms on ribbons.
Randomly stitch brass charms on ribbons.
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Step 15: Randomly stitch charms into place on satin ribbon and collar points. Replace shirt buttons with decorative buttons at shirt front.

TIP: Though rickrack can be fused onto ribbon in Step 5, sewing it on with a sewing machine provides a neater and more secure bond.

ABOUT THE CRAFT DESIGNERS

Washed Denim Shirt by Christine DeJulio, Janelle Hayes and Muriel Spencer

Bull's-Eye Tank Top by Christine DeJulio, Janelle Hayes and Muriel Spencer

Tuxedo Junction Shirt by Janelle Hayes, Christina Romo Carlisle and Janis Bullis

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