Red Week – 80s Flashback

When I was about 9, I totally coveted these cut-up-grid shirts and sweaters. I thought they were the coolest thing… but I also thought that it was pretty cool to wear pink sandals with my green Girl Scout socks. And I wore a lumpy ponytail… but that’s a story for another day…

So… here it is decades later, and though I am now fully aware that pink sandals with green socks is not something I should be wearing in public (even on laundry day)… I still secretly covet one of these shirts. But, I have a feeling that it is probably not an appropriate fashion statement for someone over 30 (even if I’m only barely over 30).

The good news is that I have a little niece who could totally get away with wearing one of these (she’s so cute, she’d probably be forgiven for the green-pink-sock-sandal faux pas). So, I made her one of these awesome shirts… officially making me the coolest aunt ever. : )

If you’d like to make your own… in kid or adult sizes… here is how…

Start with a plain ol’ t-shirt.
Draw a heart on it using a water-soluble fabric marker. I used the “+” on there to line up the heart I drew free-hand. You can always print a heart and trace it if you’re worried about being exact.
Mark your grid. 1″ or 1.5″ squares work well.
Pick your background fabric. I went with this yummy piece of Bliss by Bonnie and Camille for Moda.
Stitch the fabric on the inside of the shirt, with the right side facing front. You will want to pin it down very well, and may want to use a walking foot to make sure you don’t stretch the shirt. I pinned, but didn’t get out my walking foot, and it turned out okay.
Trim the fabric on the inside using pinking shears.
Then stitch on your grid lines, making sure to “anchor” your stitches at the beginning and end of each row by going back and forth, or stitching in place. Cut all of your loose threads.
Now the fun part! To start cutting, poke a hole in the middle of a square, being very careful to only cut into the shirt, not the backing fabric!
Cut to each of the four corners.
Repeat across the whole shirt. You will need to get a little creative on the edges, where you don’t have full squares.
 Throw the shirt in the wash… and voila!

Let me know if you remember these from “back in the day.” Did you rock this style, or were you too busy running around in pink sandals too?

C. Moore


  1. Cute! I didn’t realize this was how these were made. I was totally running around in my green Girl Scout socks and pink sandals too…they jelly sandals, of course! 🙂

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