Yay guys! We are so excited to finally have a beginners sewing contributor (or two!) here at Pretty Providence. Give a warm welcome to Sara from Sew Loved, she’s killing it with her first post!
OUR LATEST VIDEOS
I’m so thrilled to be a part of the Pretty Providence contributor team and bring to you this super easy slouchy tee tutorial! I am all about easy projects that are inexpensive and bring instant gratification. If you’re like me, this is the project for you so pull out the ol’ sewing machine and lets get started!
In the picture below I’ve laid out the supplies you will be needing to make this basic tee. I made my shirt using a serger but any basic sewing machine will work great. Whether using a serger or a regular sewing machine it is best to use a ball point needle as it will make sewing with the stretchy knit fabric a breeze. Using a regular/universal needle may cause skipped stitches and create holes in your fabric.
However, before you can begin the cut-out and construction of the shirt you must first make a pattern. Don’t let this step scare you! Making a pattern is simple and can be accomplished with a couple measurements and a few simple steps. I drew my pattern on a roll of crate paper which I bought at Dollar Tree for $1, but you can use whatever you have (newspaper, tracing paper, muslin, etc.) I’ve created a little diagram and description of how to get the measurement you’ll need for your shirt and how to create a pattern based off those measurements.
A is the length you want your shirt to be plus 1/4 inch for seam allowance and 1 inch added to the bottom for the hem. (Ex. I wanted my shirt to be 24″ so I made my pattern 25 1/4 inches in length)
B is the circumference of your shirt divided by 4 plus 1/2 inch seam allowance. I also wanted my shirt to be more loose and flowy so I added 4 more inches to my hip measurement (Ex. My hip measurement was 38″ + 4″ = 42. Since I am only making a pattern for a 1/4 of the shirt I divided that number by 4 to get 10 1/2″ plus 1/2″ seam allowance equals 11″)
C + F is the length of your sleeve. I wanted a 3/4 sleeve so I measured from the bottom of my neck to my fore arm. Then I added 1/4 inch to that for seam allowance and 1 more inch at the bottom for the hem.
D is the circumference of your bicep. Divide that number by 2 and add 1/4 inch for seam allowance to get your measurement for D.
E is the circumference of your wrist. Again divide that number by 2 and add 1/4 inch for seam allowance. **Note that lines A and F must be placed on the fold of your fabric. Do not cut where the pattern says “Fold”.
Finally, cut out your neckline to your liking. Remember that you will be hemming the neckline at the end so add about 1/2 inch this. If you are unsure of where to make your cuts for the neckline, grab a shirt that you like the neckline on and lay it over your pattern as a guide.
When your pattern is completed to your liking cut it out and lay it over your fabric. I folded my fabric in fourths so I could get the front and back of the shirt in one cut. If you find it easier, feel free to fold your fabric in half (make sure the inside of your pattern is lined up on the fold) and cut the pattern out twice. Also, if you are using fabric with stripes like mine, make sure your lines are matched up before you pin on the pattern and cut out the pieces.
When you are finished cutting out the pieces, here is what you should have: the front and back of the shirt and two sleeves.
Now it is time to start sewing and in just 4 simple steps you will have yourself a custom made top! To get ready for constructing the tee, switch your needle on your machine to a ball point needle and adjust your settings to a stretch stitch. Again I used my serger for this part but I’ve highlight above on my sewing machine which setting is a good stretch stitch to use if you are using a basic sewing machine. Most machines should have this stitch.
1. First, line up your fabric with the right sides together and sew both shoulder seams.
2. Next you will attach the sleeves to the armhole. To do this open up the shirt with the right sides facing up. Match the bottom of the armhole with the top of the sleeve. Flip the sleeve over so that the right sides of the fabric are together, pin, and sew.
3. With the sleeves attaches it is time to sew together the side seams starting at the one end and continuing to the other end. Again make sure right sides are facing each other and lines are matched up if using striped fabric.
4. The final step is to hem your edges. Since jersey knit fabric does not fray I generally only fold over the hem once. You can serge or zigzag the edges firs for a more finished look or roll the hem over twice so no raw edges are showing….again it is up to you. For hemming the neckline, I folded the fabric over 1/2 inch and top stitched over it with a twin needle for a nice finish. I repeated this for both the sleeves and bottom but instead folded over the fabric 1 inch.