How to Sew a T-Shirt for Women – A Step by Step Sewing Tutorial


Hello dear Sewistas! Do you feel like sewing
your own women’s shirt? Then you can put together your own design with the Pattydoo-Designer! And now I would like to show you step by step how you can sew a shirt like this one. Depending
on what design you have chosen, I will explain the different neckline variations, sleeve
shapes, and the two different hem types. We will be using exclusively knit fabrics
for our shirt, which means fabrics, that aren’t woven. So, for example jersey or single jersey.
The elasticity or stretchiness of you fabric will later determine the exact fit of your
shirt, or how it feels. For example, a shirt made out of a thin viscose
jersey with elastanewill in the end be completely different from a shirt made from sturdy cotton,
that has no elastane content! For the shirt we will need different pattern
pieces, which I will now show you with my version of the shirt! This is the front part, which will later be
sewn into gathers. This is the back piece, and both should be cut on the fold, so the
cut sides of each piece match! Then we have the two short sleeves here. Furthermore, we
need a strip for the neckline, two cuffs for the sleeves, and a wide cuff for the hem. Apart from this shirt I will also be sewing
two others: One with a wide turtle neck, long sleeves with cuffs, and a wide cuff at the
hem. As well as another one with a V-neck, long sleeves, and simple hems. You can sew your shirt with a normal sewing
machine, but then there are a few things you should pay attention to. I have covered these
issues, like which settings and stitch type you should use, here in my Elaine-Shirt Tutorial! I will be working with a serger, as well as
with a coverlock machine. And now, let’s start! This first step is the same for all
three versions of the shirt. So, we will first sew the shoulder seam. In order to do so, we will lay the front piece
and the back piece with the right sides together. Before we now sew together the two shoulder
seams, I have a little tip for you! You will have definitely seen this in store-bought
shirts: they often have a fabric strip sewn into the shoulder seam. This strip is meant
to prevent that the shoulder seam later gets stretched out or distended.
I have simply made this strip from the same fabric as the rest of the shirt, cutting it
in the direction which is less stretchy. We will now lay this strip against the shoulder
of the back piece, which will be lying in top when we sew. Then we pin everything in
place and sew both shoulder seams. The seam allowance here is 7 mm (or 0.25 “), and
I have adjusted my serger machine accordingly. Now, I’m just going to cut off the overhanging
ends and the piece of the strip. Next we will work on the neckline. I am now
going to consecutively sew the different versions with you. First, the round neckline with optional
gathers, then the V-neck, and last of all the big turtle neck. If you don’t want to watch how to sew all
the versions, then you can skip forward to yours now. If you have chosen the round neckline without
gathers, then you would sew on the neckline strip straight away.
I will now show you the other option, the one with the little gathers and how to prepare
it. In order to do this, I have transferred the
notches on my pattern piece to the neckline. They mark the area which will we will now
gather. In this segment I have sewn two simple top-stich seams, with the largest stitch length
available, i.e. 6. The distance of the seams to the edge should be 2mm (or 0.07 “) and
5mm (or 0.2 “). I have left the thread ends long at the beginning
and the end of the seam. So, I can now knot them on one side and pull on them on the other,
until I have gathered the fabric to the chosen length. The length is marked in the pattern piece,
and for this shirt it’s 6cm (or 2.4 “). After we have evenly arranged the gathers,
the next step now consists of sewing on the neckline strip. I will use a ribbed cuff.
But you could just as easily use a flat cuff or some fabric from your shirt. Before we pin it in place, the strip should
be sewn right sides together into a ring. I will do this with a normal sewing machine,
because then I can nicely lay apart the seam allowances so everything stays nice and flat.
The seam allowance here is 7mm (0.25 “). For the next step, it is very important that
you have transferred all the little notches from the pattern pieces onto the neckline,
as well as onto the fabric strip. Because these will help you attach the ring evenly
to the neckline! We now take the ring, fold it in the middle,
so that the wrong side lies on the inside and secure it. You can either use pins or,
like me, these little clips. We now begin at the left shoulder seam, and
there align it with the seam of our ring. And then all further notches on the strip
and the neckline should neatly join up. After we have now evenly secured the strip,
we can sew it on. We will begin 5 cm (or 2“) under the shoulder. During the sewing,
the strip lies on top and should be evenly stretched, so the fabric of the neckline lies
nice and flat. Make sure that the seam allowances at the
shoulder seams are layed into the front part so that the shoulder reinforcement, this narrow
strip, is visible. Just before I reach the end, I fold up my
blade so I don’t sever the the start of the seam here. This is what the finished round neckline looks
like. If the gathering stitches are still visible, like mine are here, then you can
simply remove them. So, and now you can either view the other
neckline versions, or you can skip ahead to the sleeves! Here I have prepared the shirt with the V-neck.
I have carried over all the notches from the pattern to the neckline and the cuff strip.
In this case, the cuff has these corners, which will later be aligned with the neckline’s
V-point! But before we sew on the neckline strip straight
away, I have a tip for you. This step isn’t absolutely necessary, but
it ensures the shape of the neckline remains nice and sturdy, and that the point, which
we will later incise, is nicely supported: This is ironing on bias tape! This narrow band can be store-bought, and
I will iron it on to the wrong fabric side at the front neckline, narrowly against the
edge. Now, while we let everything cool down, we
can sew our neckline strip into a ring, right sides together. In doing so, we sew along
the corner with a normal sewing machine and 0,7 cm (or 0.25 “) seam allowance. This is what the finished seam looks like
now, and when we fold this together, you can already see how the V-point of the neckline
will later look. These little corners, the overhanging seam allowances, we can simply
cut off. Before we pin the strip to the neckline in
the next step, we will incise the V-point. By 6 mm (or 0.24“), so just about as much
as the width of the seam allowance. Now I take the V-tip of the strip here and
lay it, right sides together, with the open edges here, against the fabric neckline, so
that the seam and the little incision join up exactly. And then I pin it in place. And then I pull the neckline’s edges apart
so that they lie against the edges of the strip, like so. This is what it should look
like now, and then I secure it on both sides. So, first we will sew this little segment
with a normal sewing machine, because the work will be neater than with the overlock. Now, with a seam allowance of 0,7cm (or 0.25“)
I will initially sew this little segment from here to the V-point, or from here to the tip
of the incision we made. At that point I try to end precsiely still in the fabric. So now that I’ve arrived at this tip, I
lift the presser foot and rotate everything, and then sew the remaining little segment
up to the clip. So, this is what the V-point looks like now
on the wrong fabric side and like this on the right side! Now, we can pin the remaining
strip around the neckline, according to the notches and sew it on with the serger machine.
We will begin this at the V-point. The seam width is set to 7mm (or 0.25“).
The strip lies on top while I sew, so I can stretch it to ensure the shirt fabric lies
nice and flat. This is what the finished v-neck looks like.
Now you can iron it and, if you feel like it, also top-stitch it once around. Now we arrive at the easiest version, which
is the turtle neck! But , if you’d prefer, you can also skip
ahead to the sleeves. Here are my prepared pieces for the shirt
with the turtle neck. During preparation I carefully carried over all the notches from
the pattern. First of all, we now sew the turtle neck right sides together at the short
edges. I am going to do this with the serger machine. The seam width is set to 0,7cm. This is what the collar currently looks like.
Now we can fold it, so that the wrong side lies on the inside. The seam and also the notches of both sides
should lie directly on top of each other. Now we can secure the whole thing with few
clips, before pinning the collar to the neckline. The seam of the collar now land on center
of the shirt’s back part, and all other notches join up at with shoulder seam, or
the notches at the neckline. Now, I pull the shirt into the turtle neck here. This is what that looks like and now we sew
the collar on all around, whereby I start here, 5cm (or 2“) away from the shoulder
on the shirt’s front part. This is what the sewn on turtle neck looks
like. Now we will continue with the sleeves! The sleeves are sewn in the same way in all
versions. However, if you have chosen the puff sleeves, then you have to first prepare
the gathers. I will show you now how to do that! If you just want to see how the sleeves
are sewn in, you can skip ahead now. The puff sleeve has a gather at the top shaping,
as well as at the hem. The notches mark the area in which the gathering seams have to
be sewn. Which is this area here at the hem and this
area at the top shaping. I have already prepared these areas here.
Two top-stitch seams in the largest stitch length, in a distance of 2 mm and 5 mm from
the edge. Now I tie the two long threads together at
one seam end and pull at the threads at the other end until I have achieved the desired
gather. On my sleeve, this segment should be gathered to about 8cm (or 3.12 “). Now we do exactly the same thing at the top
shaping. So, we have now done this with both sleeves
and you can already see how, through the gathers, the sleeves are shaped into this nice puff!
During the next step, the sleeves will be sewn on to the armholes. I will now show you
how to do this, using a flat sleeve without gather as an example! At first sight, both sleeves look symmetrical.
But, with the help of the notches you can make sure you assign them to the right armholes. You will find two notches directly next to each other at the top shaping of the sleeve
and the front armhole of the shirt. Now we fold the shirt apart, and lay it down with
the right side on top. sleeve Then we lay the right side down on to the shirt. So, and now we are presented with a little
challenge: we have to sew two different curves together. But that’s relatively uncomplicated
with this soft jersey. Now we pin together both pieces at the notches. This seam I will once again sew with the serger
machine, whereby the sleeve lies on top. This is what the finished seam, or rather
the sewn-on sleeve looks like now. And just like this one, we sew on the other sleeve. If you have a sleeve with gathers, then make
sure that the little folds are evenly distributed while sewing. However, you can also, just
to be sure, pre-sew this segment with the sewing machine. With which it’s easier to
work neat. So, the sewn on puff sleeve looks like this
now, and the flat sleeve like this, it doesn’t matter in which length. And now we will seal
the sleeve seam and the side seam on both shirts in one go. In doing so, we lay the
shirt right side on right together once more. Now I pin, or rather clip, both layers together.
During which I ensure the armhole seam is folded over in the direction of the sleeve!
And then I sew the seam on both sides from up here at the sleeve down to the hem. And now our shirts are almost done! We are
only missing the hems, on the sleeves as well as at the bottom of the shirt. Here you have
two options. Either I simply fold the hem over and sew it with the sewing or serger
machine, which I will show in just a moment. Or you sew on a cuff, which I will show you
after! Before we now sew the hem, we will iron it
over on the wrong side by 2cm (or 0.8“). Should the fabric roll in on itself, you can
additionally secure the edge of the right side with a few pins. The coverlock stitch cover, and tidiesm the
edge of the hem on the back side. So I can be sure to hit it correctly, I have marked
the distance of 1,5cm (or 0.6“) to the left needle with some tape. Now I can guide my
seam edge along it. This is what the finished hem with the coverseam
looks like, and we are now going to hem the sleeves the same way. Last but not least I will now show you the
hem with cuffs. It works similar to the neckline and here too you can either use a ribbed or
a flat cuff, or some of the shirt fabric. First of all, the strip for the cuff is sewn
together into a ring. Or, coincedentally, the tube has exactly the right circumference
and you don’t have to sew it! The ring will now be folded down the middle
wrong sides together and pinned to the hem. So the longer area of the shirt hem is evenly
distributed along the shorter area of the cuff, I am going to make some marks. One at
the point where the cuff should meet the side seam and another where it should meet the
front, and the back, center of the shirt. If your cuff ring has one or two seams, these
should always meet the side seams of the shirt. I can now pin it in place there, on the left
and the right side. These bits should then meet the two notches I made on the front and
back part of the shirt. Now I pin the ring on to the hem right sides
together. The cuff will now lie on top while we sew
and will be stretched to the length of the shirt. Just before I reach the beginning of the seam
again, I fold up the blade, to ensure I don’t sever the seam. This is what the finished hem looks like now,
and exactly like this I am now going to do the sleeves. Here the the cuff seam meets the side seam and this spot on the opposite joins up with
the middle of the sleeve, or here with the middle of the gather. The cuff lies on top again and this time and
I have turned the shirt wrong side out, so that it is easier to sew here at this little
opening. So, I’m going to check now that the gather
is nice and even. So this shirt is finished now! And whether
you have used wide cuffs, narrow or short sleeves, it always works the same way! In this video tutorial I have now shown you
several version of the shirt, with varying necklines, sleeves, and hems. And with the
Pattydoo Designer you can easily put together your own favorite! Well then, I hope you had fun sewing with
me, and if you’re looking for more tips and tricks, for example on topic of jersey,
then just check out my website Pattydoo! Bye, and see you soon!