While I mainly sew for myself, sometimes - well, rarely - I am a non-selfish seamstress and sew for others. This time, I decided to make something for my husband - after all, a person who has been patiently taking photos of my makes these past several years, must have earned a personal DIY, right?
A few years back, I made him buttoned shirt, more recently - Polo shirt; this time, I wanted to tackle another classic top option for men - T-shirt.
Sewing T-shirt is a quick and fun task (personally, I think every sewing task that involves rib knit is fun!), so it's easy to make several of them at once. Plus, T-shirts are super versatile and are one of those garments that will surely get a lot of wear. A winning garment indeed!
Since I was making T-shirt either way, I filmed a sewing tutorial for it, showcasing all the steps of how I make it (and, of course, included a few tips here and there!).
Before jumping to the tutorial, I want to give a big shout-out to todays sponsors of the tutorial: SewEasy and Hemline, presented by Sewgroup International Limited.
SewEasy was first established by the Mason family of Sydney, Australia in the early 1980’s and later acquired by Sewgroup International, its current owners. SewEasy represents and specializes in Quilting and Patchwork products as well as functional Sewing and Storage equipment, bringing joy to sewers / quilters and crafters all around the world. The SewEasy range consists of a collection of around 250 amazing products, that can be utilized by beginners to professionals alike. Today more than a million Sew Easy rulers are used throughout the World. SewEasy places a high emphasis on quality control and utilizes many cutting edge technologies like laser cutting to ensure perfect and precise measurements. You can view the entire Product Range on the SewEasy website; alternatively, stop by your favorite craft store and ask for SewEasy products.
Hemline was founded in 1987 by the Castley family, whilst working on their wholesale business in Sydney, Australia (now an integral part of Sewgroup International). The Hemline product range quickly became very popular, because it represents top quality products, with affordable pricing in a variety of sewing related categories. Hemline has continued to enrich the lives of sewers and crafters all over the world, with steady growth and great international success. The initial range of 80 products has expanded to become one of the largest in the world, and the Hemline brand now contains more than 1,000 sewing and craft related essentials. The Hemline brand has spread worldwide, with national distributors supplying Hemline globally. You can view the entire Hemline Product Range on the Hemline website; alternatively, please stop by your favorite craft store and ask for Hemline products.
Lastly I would just like to mention that by purchasing SewEasy and Hemline products you are also supporting SewAid. Sewaid is a program which offers selected women in developing countries the opportunity to not only learn how to sew, but to also provide them with the machines, equipment and skills they need to start a small home business in dressmaking or alterations and repair in their region of the world. The Sewaid program is primarily a teaching / aid program and we rely heavily on our wonderful volunteer teachers who donate their time and expertise as well as fund their own travel to each program. If you would like to discover more about this wonderful and helpful program, please visit SewAid website.
What I personally like about SewEasy and Hemline products is that they offer high-quality, functional products with affordable prices, as well as carry an incredibly wide product range - no matter what sewing task I have on hand, I can always to be sure I will find what I need in either SewEasy or Hemline assortment! I also enjoy that they have creative storage solutions, such as this bobbin case, and sewing items, that are very handy while on the go, like this sewing kit. SewEasy and Hemline definitely have everything you need for sewing and more!
In the tutorial you will see me using a few different SewEasy and Hemline products, and I will also link my favourite ones below in this post.
Now... let's start our tutorial!
For this tutorial, you can either use a round-neckline T-shirt pattern you already have or you can make your own (you know how I love making my own patterns!). T-shirt pattern is one of easiest to make, so - if you are in the mood - I always encourage trying making your own pattern (after all, nothing fits like a custom made pattern!).
I am currently experimenting with new pattern making technique, so here is a drawing of my pattern - just add measurements of your model, and redraw for perfect fitting T-shirt!
For front/back pieces:
AD - T-shirt length (from top shoulder point to bottom);
AB - armhole depth;
AC - back length;
AE - 1/2 shoulder width
CF - back waistline middle to shoulder end;
BH - 1/4 bust measure;
CI - 1/4 waist measure;
DJ - 1/4 hip measure, where T-shirt end;
AK - 8cm;
For both front and back pieces, the pattern pieces are the same. Only different happens in neckline depth:
Front neckline depth - 9cm;
Back neckline depth - 3cm.
ab - arm circumference;
ac - center of ab;
cd - armhole depth divided in half + 2cm;
cg - center of cd;
ef - ab divided in half +1cm from each side;
curve depths are marked on the drawing.
Once you have pattern ready and cut from fabric, it's time to start assembling! For assembling, check the video below or scroll for written instructions:
1. Put front and back pieces together (right sides facing together). Pin at shoulder line and stitch with overlock. Iron the seam.
2. Neckband. Measure the neckline piece at the top (both front and back pieces) - when it comes to measuring curves, the easiest way is to use a SewEasy flexible curve ruler, which stays in the position and gives accurate results.
3. Once you have the top neckline measured, cut out the neckband from rib knit fabric. Neckband length is full top neckline (double the number, if you are working on half pattern) + seam allowance; neckband width is height times 2 (because we will be folding it in half) + seam allowance.
4. Sew ends of neckband with straight stitch, iron open. Fold neckband lengthwise and iron. Pin neckband to place and stitch with overlock seam. Iron the seam.
For pinning, a useful tool to have is a Hemline Tulip pincushion with suction cup - you can place it on a sewing machine or any other surface and have your pins ready at any time.
5. Now we will start adding sleeves. Take one sleeve, pin in to place (yes, while the sides of the garment are not sewn together yet) and stitch with overlock. Repeat with another sleeve and iron both seams.
6. Once the sleeves are in, pin together t-shirt and sleeve sides together and overlock. Repeat with another side. Iron the seams.
7. For the hemming of the t-shirt, overlock the edge. Fold 2cm seam allowance and iron it. If your sewing machine allows it, switch to twin needle and sew all along the hemline. Twin needle will create an elastic and neat-looking seam, and will ensure that your hemline does not pop-open. Repeat same with sleeve ends.
For twin needle, make sure you are using needle that can be used with elastic fabric. Today I am using a twin needle from Klasse, dedicated to sewing stretch fabrics.
8. Once this step is completed, give your T-shirt a good press and you're finished!
Here are a few more photos of the finished item:
Thank you for watching todays tutorial and I hope you enjoyed it! If you make T-shirt using this tutorial - please send me a photo via Instagram messages, I would love to see your creation!