Tools and materials:
- Cotton batting
- Men’s white cotton t-shirt
- Cotton muslin fabric
- Needle and thread
- Sewing machine
While scrolling through Pinterest, I came across these cool 80’s-inspired power shoulder t-shirts with a modern twist and I couldn’t resist trying to make one of my own. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to make a women’s muscle shirt using a simple t-shirt and shoulder pads.
I used a set of shoulder pads I already own to create this template for the shoulder pads.
I also made two smaller templates.
Using the largest template, I took some plain weave cotton muslin and cut two pieces with the cut line on the bias.
I then took my quilt batting and peeled apart a thin layer, and cut the largest piece out of it.
Then I took a thicker layer and cut out the medium pieces.
I made the small pieces a tiny bit thicker. This is to create that gradual thickness to blend in with the shoulder.
I sandwiched these between the muslin, layering the batting like a tiered cake with the largest piece on the bottom and the smallest piece on top, and pinned in place.
Then I pad-stitched them together. To do this, I started the needle an eighth of an inch away from the cut line and came out a quarter inch from where I went in.
I did this again about a half-inch up from the first stitch and continued that pattern all the way up.
Once I got to the top, I did a half-inch stitch to start the next row.
Then I went back the way I came by inserting my needle an eighth of an inch away from the stitch below it, coming out a quarter-inch away, and continuing on in that same pattern. As you go, it’s helpful to curve the fabric to shape it. I wasn’t so successful with this, but if you keep practicing, you’ll probably get it.
Once you’ve pad-stitched both sides, cut the circle down the middle, and you’ll have a pair of shoulder pads.
I took my men’s white t-shirt and marked where I wanted to shorten it and where I wanted to place the shoulder pads.
With the hem excess, I traced out my shoulder pad to create a casing. I sewed these right sides together and encased the shoulder pads.
I sewed closely around it and trimmed it off later.
At first, I cut out the shape of the shoulder pad and half an inch along the underarm. But I straightened the rounded edge after trying it on because it kind of messed with the drape.
I folded the raw edges of the underarm inward and sewed them down.
Then I went back in and cut the sleeve area straight.
Next, with the t-shirt inside out, I pinned the shoulder pads along the shoulder line and hand-stitched it in place.
Then I folded back the sleeve and stitched a two-inch-wide center segment to the shoulder pad.
To finish, I re-hemmed it.
And there you have it. I hope you enjoyed my guidelines for how to make a power shoulder t-shirt. Let me know what you think of my 80’s nostalgia muscle shirt tutorial.
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