Sewing a t-shirt for Iplehouse EID (pattern included)

Here we are again! While I was cleaning my hard drive, I found this older pattern and decided to post it here. While I shared a lot of my old patterns on Den of Angels back when they were new, not everyone has access to that forum or knows how to get it, so it’s important to keep stuff like this available elsewhere too.

EDIT 8/27/2016: I’ve updated this pattern so it fits even better than before, is easier to print, and includes a pattern piece for the collar. Also, stabilizer should no longer be necessary unless your sewing machine is bad about eating stretch fabric. Otherwise, the rest of this post should stay the same!

Things you will need:
This pattern, made from scratch by me. As stated last time, it’s for PERSONAL USE ONLY, thank you! Please do not redistribute this pattern. Alteration does not make it okay to redistribute, either. If you see anyone redistributing this pattern or a derivative of it, or trying to sell my pattern or doll clothing made from it, please notify me.
– A printer and paper
– Fabric
– Scissors
– Thread
– Pins
– Hand needles or a sewing machine

Things that will make your life easier:
– A twin needle
– An iron and ironing board
– Tearaway stabilizer of any sort. You can use actual stabilizer, interfacing, or just regular paper.

Step 1.
Print the pattern and prepare your fabric pieces.
The pattern can be printed on normal printer paper at 300 DPI for an accurately sized pattern that includes seam margins, but you MUST turn off page margins on your printer to get the pieces to print at actual size!
Please note that the pattern does not include a piece for the collar, but it isn’t really necessary. The collar is just a long, straight strip of fabric folded in half and ironed to lay flat. I typically cut a strip about 10 inches long and trim the excess, just to be sure I have plenty of length in case I mess up and have to trim the piece before restarting. Since I discovered I had no knits, I’m recycling an old t-shirt just to have photos for this tutorial. It was a factory second with a crooked cross on it, but I wore that thing until it came apart.

Step 2.
Sew one shoulder seam. It doesn’t matter which one. My sewing machine is notoriously awful about eating knit fabrics, so I use paper beneath the fabric to prevent it from stretching out of shape or being eaten by my machine. People with better machines probably won’t need to take this precaution. Though using paper means there will be bits of paper left in the seams, this is easy to fix by washing the shirt after you’re done.

If you are sewing with knits, you don’t need to finish the edges, but I still finish some edges with a zig-zag stitch because I like the way it looks and it can make it easier to control how seams lay where they meet other seams or hems. In this tutorial, I finish the shoulder seams and the side seams to make them lay better. 

Step 3.
Sew the collar to the neckline and trim away excess fabric.

If you want, you can top stitch the collar down to help it lay nicely. I typically do this because I like how it looks, but it isn’t necessary!

Step 4.
Sew the other shoulder seam, which now includes the collar.

The collar is under my thumb, if you can’t tell!

Step 5.
Sew the sleeves into the arm holes.

Step 6.
Hem the sleeves by folding between 1/4 and 1/2 of an inch of fabric to the inside. I usually shoot for a half inch because it’s easier to manipulate, and the excess can be trimmed away on the inside.

I use my twin needle for this because I like the way it looks on a finished shirt and it adds a little stretch, but there’s nothing wrong with using a regular needle and normal straight stitch. If you don’t know how to sew with a twin needle, don’t be afraid! It’s really easy to use. I may do a mini tutorial on using one in the future.

Step 7.
Sew both side seams from bottom of the shirt to the opening of the sleeve.

As I mentioned earlier, I finish these seams with a zig-zagged edge. Not only does it help it lay nicely when you’re hemming the bottom in the next step, it makes the sleeve opening look neater, too. See the paper bits left in the hem on the sleeve from using a stabilizer? Those will vanish in the washing machine, no need to pull them out.

Step 8.
Hem the bottom of the shirt by turning the bottom edge up 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch. I usually do 1/4 on the bottom hem because it’s a larger piece of fabric than the sleeves, so it doesn’t need as much room for margin of error.

Step 9. (Optional)
Turn your shirt right-side out and iron to make all your new hems lay flat. This isn’t a necessary step, but it looks better if you do it. I haven’t ironed this shirt because I only had an hour to sew and my time was up. Please excuse the lint, I figured there was no point in cleaning it with a lint roller when I’m about to throw it in the washer anyway!

The shirt is now finished!


Happy sewing!


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