Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Tutorial Tuesday: Self Drafted Simple T-Shirt

I have several favourite t-shirts, that are so comfy and get worn so much that I decided to have a go at making my own pattern from one! All you need is a large sheet of paper, a large towel, some pins and a pencil. Fold your t-shirt carefully in half, matching up the edges. Lay this on a large sheet of paper with a folded towel underneath.
You are now ready to start creating your pattern. I started with the sleeve (which I will come back to). Start placing pins carefully through the seams and around the edge so that the pin pricks the paper. The towel helps to soften this process and the pins sink into it nicely. Then do the same for the t-shirt seams, neck line and bottom edge.
Once you have done the front of the t-shirt, remove the pins (taking care not to rip the paper) and you will be left with a dot to dot!
Join up the dots with a pencil, once you have something firmer to lean on.
Now do the same for the back of the t-shirt (as you can see from the photo below, the back of my t-shirt falls slightly lower).
Once you have joined all of the dots, you can cut out your pattern pieces.
The sleeves
The sleeves may need a bit of tweaking! My sewing teacher helped me to create a bit more of a curve around the part that joins to the top and a straighter edge for the armhole. Otherwise, when you open up your sleeve it will create a pointy bit at the top!
For the t-shirt fabric, I decided to use one of my personal favourites, the Mod Pink Grey Squares on Blue Cotton Jersey. Fold your fabric right sides together and pin your pattern pieces on the fold. Don’t forget to add a seam allowance before your start cutting! At this point, I also decided to add a bit more length to it.
Take the front and back piece, and with right sides together, zig zag or overlock the shoulder seam.
Now you need to start fitting your sleeves.
I laid out the top with the right side down and lined up the sleeves at the shoulders. I then pinned them in with the right sides together and overlocked.
Once you have done this, make sure you have lined up the front and back of the t-shirt (right sides together) and sew or overlock from the bottom of the sleeve seams straight down the side seams.
Quick and Easy Neckline and sleeves
You now need to decide how you would like to finish off the arms, neckline and hem. I usually add a thin neck band with the same fabric (doing the same for the sleeves). However, I decided to finish off this one with a piece of stretchy lace.
I pinned it around the neck line, matching up the straight edges with the wrong side of the lace facing up. Sometimes it’s not always obvious but usually the right side is a bit more raised and shiny. 
I then used a very small zig zag stitch, very close to the edge of the neckline. I also stretched the lace ever so slightly as I went around.
Once you have done this, fold the straight edge under so you now have the right side of the lace showing. You can either sew another small zig zag stich along this edge or use a twin needle. I decided to use a twin needle. The lace gives it such a neat finish and is so quick and easy!
I did exactly the same for the sleeves and then used a twin needle to hem the bottom.

I then decided to have a go at making another t-shirt (vintage roses on navy cotton, jersey blend knit fabric) from the same pattern but to make it even quicker, I didn’t add sleeves! I edged the neckline and shoulders with stretchy lace. 
I was really pleased with the outcome and the fabric worked beautifully.
You can use any of our gorgeous Cotton Jersey or Cotton Lycra fabrics for your T-Shirts. Some of my favourites from the store below...
For more ideas, patterns and tutorials, follow Girl Charlee's board on Pinterest.
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Happy Sewing!
~ Jen & The Girl Charlee Team

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