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$4 Tee + $1 Dollar Store Towel = Fabulous Anthro-inspired Shirt!!

Here’s a little project I made the other night. Do you have any Charlotte Russe stores near you? I was in ours and found some great, really basic tees for $4. I really liked the neckline and weight of the fabric. I brought them home and I had this picture of a Anthropologie “Tutu” shirt that I had printed off awhile ago to see if I could recreate.

Tutu Tank�-�Anthropologie - photo

I also had a Dollar Store Flour Sack Tea Towel that I bought thinking I would stencil something cute on it. So I did a little experimenting and created my own version of the Tutu Shirt. And for $5 — I couldn’t be more pleased!

If you would like to make one, here is what I did:

Round-neck Tee Shirt
Dollar Store Flour Sack Tea Cloth or some lightweight cotton material (28″ x 28″) — You may need 2 -depending on how big your shirt is and how many ruffles you need to make.
Sewing Machine (this is a beginning sewing project – if I can do it, so can you!)


  • Print off a copy of the “Tutu” shirt so you can really see what it looks like. The ruffles go around the neckline and down at an angle on the left side of the shirt. Plus, the top layer of ruffles are shorter than the other layers.
  • Cut strips of your cloth or tea towel. The first ruffle I cut at 3.5 inches wide by 28 inches long – which is the length of the tea towel.
  • Cut the rest of the strips 5 inches in width.
  • You want to sew each of the edges of the strips so there is no fraying. Use a small stitch and fold the edges under about 1/4 inch. You can also iron the edges if you want to be very precise. I just eyeballed it and since you are ruffling the material, you don’t have to be perfectly precise – which is just the way I like it!!
  • Once all the edges are folded under and sewed, you want to put a larger stitch down the top of one side of all of the strips so you can ruffle the material. I sewed this stitch right under the previous stitch at the top — do not backstitch this stitch because you want to be able to pull it.
  • Now ruffle up your strips. Take the thread at one end of the stitch you just made, and pull on it. You should be able to push the material down and the thread will keep getting longer as the material gets shorter and the material ruffles.
  • You can always adjust the length of the ruffles once you get them on your shirt.
  • Start with the top ruffle around the neck. Start the ruffle up at the shoulder just like the picture. Run the ruffle around the neckline and angle it down to end just at the seam of the other side of the shirt about 1/3 of the way down the shirt. Pin the ruffle in place.
  • Now do the same thing right under that ruffle. You can flip the upper ruffle out of the way. You want to make sure that the underneath ruffle covers the top of the bottom ruffle.
  • Keep going until you get to the end of the shirt.
  • At the very top of the left hand side are two layers of little ruffles. Use any leftover material to make these.
  •  When I was finished, the kind of stiff flour sack material was a little too poufy for me, so I tacked down each of the layers with my machine. I tacked each layer down about 4 times across each ruffle. This made me feel less like a confectionery. If you use thinner material that lays down better, you will not need to tack anything down.
And you are done! 
Now you have a Anthro-worthy shirt for $5 instead of the $68!!

I am linking up to these great parties:

giveawaysLife as Lori
HookingupwithHoHShow and Tell Green

The Girl CreativeThe DIY Show OffMakingSumo's Sweet Stuff Birthday Wedding cakes crafts parties
CreativeShareWednesdays  http://www.thethriftyhome.com

The Girl Creative ;Birthday Wedding cakes crafts partiesAll Thingz Related



  1. Unique Idea! I have to try that 😀

  2. Terry Ann says:

    Love the ruffled shirt – really well done tutorial, too. Could this shirt be made with all T shirt material? I made a baby ruffled skirt just using a T shirt and strips of another T shirt cut and gathered for the ruffles. Might work for this shirt.

    I can send you a photo of the skirt if you would like. It’s really adorable and reminds me of this shirt.

  3. Christina Beall-Schmidt says:

    This is one, No, not one, the easiest and most straight forward tutorial that I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Thank you for taking the time to make it and I will be checking back here on a regular basis from now on to see what you are working on.

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  5. I have wanted a shirt like this for a long time, but they are way to much in the stores, so now I can make my own!

  6. that shirt is super cute!! good for you…you did a terrific job on it. in fact, i just might make one for myself…thanks!!!!!!!

  7. Jame'Lee Barker says:

    Jen, This is Adorable and from the looks, how to, really easy. I am going to make myself a couple, different colours. And since I’m on a skirt/dress kick I’m going to make a dress too. Thanks and I will be back for more ideas. Will send in pic of them all. See yall.




  9. Great job! I need some fun summer shirts. Great tutorial. Thanks Kristy from http://www.apronsandapples.blogspot.com my crafty,healthy, blog.

  10. Great idea! Will have to try this

  11. I love this! Thank you for sharing

  12. so clever and so so cute

  13. I love, love, love your ideas. I am inspired! Anything which involves turning old into new or upcycling gets me giddy. Keep up the good work. Rgds, Lynn in Dubai

  14. I love this…I will be making one for myself

  15. What a great tutorial… I have a couple boring shirts that I didn't know what to do with… I think one will become a ruffled shirt…

  16. I just had to share that I was inspired by your inspiration! I bought a package of Men's Ts at Target, a pack of four flour packs and an adorable scarf at the 99 cent store. (I wanted to add a splash of color). I'm emailing you pictures of the finished product. I love it, and my friends think I'm super talented (I tell them it was your idea, not mine)

    • Sharon Champagne says:

      I would love to see the variation of what this women did with your shirt can you send me her photo of this.

  17. Oh wow, that looks so cute, and even cuter on you. You are just adorable, now on me, all those ruffles, may not be so cute, but for my daughter, yes please. NEVER would have thought, so gotta love you for sharing!!!

  18. Young Wife says:

    I love this! Thanks for sharing!

  19. mrssherbert says:

    OMG! I already have white ruffled fabric! I now know what I want to make out of it!

  20. Practically Spent says:

    Wonderful. It looks awesome on you.

  21. Katie Gariepy says:

    Lovely tutorial! I posted it on my blog :)

  22. Very cute! I just discovered your blog today, and I love it! I love to sew and I love clothes, and you have a lot of great ideas on how to look stylish on a tight budget.

  23. Heather - Dollarstorecrafts.com says:
  24. Stephanie Lynn @Under the Table and Dreaming says:

    Jen – you always amaze me. I just adore the ruffles – super cute! Thanks so much for linking to the Sunday Showcase. I greatly appreciate it. I am featuring this today. Hope you are enjoying your weekend. ~ Stephanie Lynn

  25. Katherine says:

    wow! you nailed it! visiting from shabby chic cottage.

  26. Heather - Dollarstorecrafts.com says:

    You are so cute! Genius use of the flour sack towel. :)

  27. Maureen F. says:

    WOW – awesome shirt – I have to try that

  28. Simply amazing! Love what you've created here. Thanks so much for sharing. So creative and I love, love, love ruffles.

  29. thismabeyheaven says:

    So, so cute…I wonder if I could get away with it…

  30. Amanda K @ Every Crafty Endeavor says:

    So cute! Just one more thing to add to my "to do" list! Hahaha!

  31. Chic Creations says:

    So dang cute! I wish I could wear something like that. But it wouldn't work for me. Looks adorable on you! Thanks for sharing.

  32. That is so stinkin' cute! You should come over and link up to Tuesday Tell All. MyCraftielife.blogspot.com

  33. Thanks for sharing. I went to our Dollar Tree to get the towel today and found a irregular, white scoop neck t-shirt that was perfect enough for this for a $1 too! I cant wait to get started!

  34. Quiltstory says:

    Um seriously amazingly adorably cute!!! :)

    We'd love if you came and added them to our new linky party just for fabric projects!!

  35. raggygirlvintage says:

    Wow, you did am amazing job!!

  36. Kristy Evans Photography says:

    So cute! I'm loving the new design on T&J!


  37. That is really amazing! I love it!

  38. SO CUTE. It turned out so awesome. I love your cute trampoline pictures. You are so stinking ADORABLE.

    I love your site…have forever.

    I would love for you to stop by my site any time you have a free second.

    Just Another Day in Paradise

  39. I just got a plain white tee from my mom yesterday…it might just get refashioned into this!! Thanks for sharing!!

  40. The Girl Creative says:

    That came out adorable. I didn't know that the dollar store had tea sacks. Will have to go check that out. :) Thanks for linking up!

  41. Cute top! I never thought of using a flour sack! Great idea!

  42. Its So Very Cheri says:

    That is adorable Jenn


  43. Fabulous…simply fabulous!! I am so glad you de-mystified the layout of this shirt. I actually tried to make a similar one, but it was a total disaster! :) I am filing this at thecraftersfilebox.com. Thanks so much for sharing!

  44. And I'm also linking up to the party today. Thanks!

  45. I subscribe to along for the ride. Love it!

  46. southernscraps says:

    Awesome job. Give true meaning to that old saying about looking good in a flour sack!

  47. What a wonderful idea! I shared your tutorial on my blog: http://craftyfever.blogspot.com/
    I can't wait to try to make one for myself!

  48. kami @ no biggie says:

    So Cute Jen! You have so much talent, for reals!

  49. Little Lizard King says:

    I love this!

  50. billiemonster says:

    I need to make this!!! GREAT job! 😀

  51. Nina Patricia @ The Adventures of Nina Patricia says:

    I love it! Too bad I can only sew butttons…sometimes..if I'm desperate.

  52. Kelli @ RTSM says:

    Very cute! I love all the ruffley-girly stuff that all the stores are carrying now. Thanks for sharing the great step by step!

  53. Fantastic. I think I'm going to make myself something FINALLY!! This is fabulous! Thank you!!!

  54. Sue (Someone's Mom) says:

    Cute and talented…can't believe I like you so much! I am blown away by the things you can create. I love the shirt, it looks great on you and I'm amazed by how you did it!

  55. You are so talented!! LOVE It!

  56. Love it, Jen and I love your new blog look!

  57. casserole says:

    Oh WOW! That's a fabulous shirt!! I would never have guessed that you used a flour sack! I linked to your tutorial over at Craft Gossip Sewing:


  58. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    I love when you take these projects on, Jen, since your versons always turn out looking nicer than the inspiration piece! All the ruffle projects are my favorites, too.

  59. ~ Kelly Ann ♥ says:

    What a cool shirt- I wish I could sew– if you are willing to sell one let me know- I'll buy one from you-or maybe we can exchange- I'm a photographer and have tons of prints on my website–

    Have a lovely weekend!



  60. So pretty! I love any project where I can use dollar store items!

  61. Adorable! I love your clothing ideas and hope to one of these days try a t-shirt redo out myself. I like your new blog design, too!

  62. Tonia @Chic Modern Vintage says:

    I love a great bargin, even if I have to do a little work :)

  63. What a fabulous t-shirt project Jen! I love it! Is your mum ok? I haven't seen anything from her in a while. xxoo

  64. Nancy's Couture says:


  65. Brilliant! I think I'm going to have to do this.

  66. Laura @ Ms Smartie Pants says:

    AMAZING, who would of thought of a tea towel??? I love the new look of the blog!

  67. Ok, you REALLY are amazing, you just are lol. :) That shirt is adorable and you are GORGEOUS! You're a blessed girl Jen. <3

  68. Carolyn @ My Backyard Eden says:

    So cute! I've been playing around with ruffles too, but I hadn't thought to use a tea cloth! It looks great on you!

    Have a great weekend!

  69. Infarrantly Creative says:

    You my friend are darling. I love your tshirt refashion. You had be a ruffle. 😉

  70. Stephanie says:

    Ok, if I make one of those will I look as cute as you do in it? You look like a teenager for goodness sake. Love your new blog design, great choices of color.

  71. Charm Bracelet Diva says:

    Are you for real, woman? How amazing is this! I've got the T and and towels…you takin' orders? :)

  72. Simply adorable!! Oh…and I LOVE your blog's new look!

  73. Nina @ Momma Go Round says:

    Holy crud that is so cute! It looks amazing and super adorable on you!

    I so wish I could pull off that shirt, but I'm a little too well endowed and I think it would just stick straight out.

  74. Carmen @ Life with Sprinkles on Top says:

    This is so cute! I just love ruffles. What a fabulous idea. I like the new blog design too. :)

  75. Foundinthe-ALI says:

    Love love love this! I can't wait to make it!

  76. Look how cute you are!

  77. Jessabells says:

    Oh I wish I would have seen this earlier. I just came home from the mall and I did go into charlotte russe. My favorite store by the way and I was holding the 2.99 tee shirt in my hand and decided not to get it because I don't know why? Dumb move on my part. This blog post would have definitely inspired me. Oh well. I love your finsihed project.


  78. Brittanie says:

    Adorable! Wish I could sew!! And your hair is gorgeous!

  79. Natalie@Endless Crafting says:

    What a cute shirt. Charlotte Russe here I come!

  80. Love it! Cant wait to try my own :)

    I esp love the pic of the jumping on the trampoline :) Awesome!

  81. That is fantastic! It turned out so great!!!

  82. House of Smith's says:

    OH my GOSH! You look so cute in that shirt! :)
    You did an amazing job, like always :)
    I love it!

  83. Jenglamgirl says:

    I WANNNNT! i so wish I had a sewing machine so I could start somewhere and then get to where you are. LOVE THIS SHIRT. It looks great on you, but you would look great in anything, HOW are you so thin? what is your secret?. do a post on it? You make for a fab. model in your fab. shirt. Hugs, JEN

  84. I love it. And it looks so stinkin' cute on you too!

    How have you been? I hope you've had a wonderful summer.

  85. Laurel @ Ducks in a Row says:

    You are super super cute – the shirt is darling, but you are just awesome!

  86. Super job! That looks way awesome! Thanks for posting your tutorial!

  87. Amanda @ Serenity Now says:

    It's adorable! Looks great on you too. :)

  88. Sooooo cute! Bummer I have already used all my tea towels! Back to the dollar store I go!

  89. If I didn't love you, I'd hate you.

  90. Sonya@Beyond the Screen Door says:

    This is adorable! Thanks for the tip about the t-shirt! It's always great to find a good, inexpensive one!
    Great job!

  91. AM from White House, Black Shutters says:

    Love it, it looks so cute on you! I'm also lovin' your new blog design, so cute!

    Thanks for such a great tutorial, I had no idea about the tea towels… that opens up a whole new world of crafting possibilities, haha!

    -Ann Marie

  92. Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking says:

    LOVE the ruffles! I NEED to try this!

  93. southerninspiration says:

    Adorable….of course a flour sack would look cute on you!! see?!! 😀


  94. So cute!


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