If your little girl needs to keep warm at gym or dance class then what about making her a classic shrug. This free shrug pattern is really easy to make and a great beginner stretch fabric project.
Free Shrug Pattern: Supplies
1/2 yard (0.45m) of 60 inch (150cm) wide stretch fabric. Check your stretch fabric has at least a 75% stretch factor.
- Depending on where you live, these fabrics are often called dance fabric, swimwear fabric, 4-way stretch or 2-way stretch. A cotton/Lycra blend makes a really nice shrug. The Lycra content will help it keep its stretch after energetic moves and multiple washes.
- If you are not sure how to measure the stretch in your fabric, then get my printable stretch factor chart you can take to your fabric store.
- If you are in a small town or find it hard to get out to the shops this week, then there are some amazing stretch fabric shops online. (Read where to buy stretch fabric online).
- The Blue leopard print fabric in my photos was one of Robert Kaufman’s Laguna stretch. It was a little thinner than I normally like to use but the stunning color and print was worth the little extra care I had to take. The purple in the photo at the bottom of the page was a cotton/Lycra combination designed for dance-wear and was a little thicker and lovely to sew.
1/4 inch (6mm) swimwear elastic.
- Swimwear elastic is a good quality, firm woven elastic that won’t rot with sweat. Don’t skimp and use cheap stretchy elastic as they generally give a stretched-out look to the edge of your shrug.
- There is an exact elastic cutting guide in the pattern.
- If you are headed to the shops then get 1 yard (0.90m) for sizes 2 to 8 and 1 1/4 yards (1.15m) for sizes 9 to 14.
- Swimwear elastic can also be purchased from Amazon or online.
Shrug Pattern Download
Get your free pattern pieces for girls sizes 2 to 14 from my website. The pattern is absolutely free so just add it to your cart and check out. No card is necessary. Unless of course, you’d like to add something else to your cart like these great leotard patterns 🙂
Premium Leotard Patterns
These are just some of the amazing leotard patterns you can match with your shrug.
Shrug Pattern Layout
Once you have printed and sticky taped your pattern together, it is time to start cutting. This pattern includes 1/4 inch (6mm) seam allowances so you don’t need to adjust your pieces. All my sewing patterns always include seam allowances for your convenience.
Just fold your fabric in half so you are cutting through 2 layers. In most fabrics, you will have the selvages together but just check that the greatest stretch is going around the body.
General tips for cutting Lycra
- Check if pins leave marks before you start. If they do them pin inside the seam allowances or use pattern weights to hold your pattern down.
- Use sharp scissors that won’t bur the fabric edge.
Shrug Pattern: The sewing
All cut out and onto the sewing! Like most simple projects, most of your time is spent in preparation – the actual sewing is the fastest part.
Step 1: First put your pieces with RIGHT sides together and stitch the top of the arms as shown. Make sure you are using a stretch stitch on your machine if you don’t have a serger. If you haven’t sewn stretch before then read – how to sew stretch fabric. Use a stretch or jersey needle to prevent skipped stitches.
Step 2: Open up the shoulder seams and on the WRONG side, fold up the wrist hems by 3/8 inch (1cm). Use a wide zig-zag stitch across the raw edge. Experienced sewers may like to use a twin needle instead.
Step 3: Fold the shrug with RIGHT sides together and stitch under the arms. Make sure you backstitch well at the wrists so they don’t come undone.
Step 4: Mark the center back on the WRONG side of the neck (A) and hem (B). Mark the distance halfway between the center neck (A) and hem (B). This is C and D. The easiest way to do this by folding.
Step 5: Overlap the ends of the elastic by 1/2 inch (12mm) and stitch. Divide the elastic band into fourths and mark.
Step 6: On the WRONG side of the top, pin the elastic to the raw edge matching the quarter marks. Note that the elastic is a little smaller than the fabric so it will gather slightly between the marks. The edge of the elastic should be even with the edge of the fabric.
Step 7: Stitch the elastic to the raw edge using a wide zig-zag stitch and stretching out the elastic between the marks. I used a stitch width of 5 and a length of 3. Stitch in the center of the elastic.
Step 8: On the WRONG side of the neck, fold the elastic edge in once to form a hem. You will fold it over the width of the elastic. Stitch over the inner edge of the hem with a zig-zag stitch.
It looks best if you adjust your zig-zag stitch to a narrower setting with a shorter stitch length. Try a length of 3 and width of 2.5. Check you like the look of that on a scrap of fabric first.
Amazing – You’ve done it! I hope you enjoyed your shrug pattern. Now you are going to be asked for one in every color!