How to sew a T-shirt – step by step sewing tutorial


Hello dear sewistas!
Today I would like to sew a classic men’s shirt with you. This is a great project for
beginners, which are looking to give working with jersey a first try. The shirt that we
will now be sewing has short, in-set sleeves, but you can also sew it with long sleeves.
The neckline is round and nicely serged on the back part. If you want, you can also sew
a little chest pocket and this nice button placket here. You can get the pattern for the men’s shirt
in our pattydoo designer. There you can also choose other options, for example one with
a V-neck or a shoulder yoke. To sew the shirt I use a serger machine
by Pfaff. Further information on this machine can be found if you click on the link below.
Furthermore, I also use a normal sewing machine, also from Pfaff, with an integrated upper
transport. Here too you will find more information by clicking on the link. You can also sew the whole shirt with the
normal sewing machine. Which settings you should be on the watch for, I show you in
the tutorial video for the shirt Elaine. I have already prepared the pattern pieces
for our shirt here. So here we have the back piece, the front piece, and both will be cut
in the fold. Then we here have a right and a left short sleeve. Here is the strip for
the neckline and on top of that a short strip for tidying and here the little optional breast
pocket. We will now begin with the breast pocket,
which we sew on to the front part. To do so we take the pocket, fold it right sides together
and sew once around, whereby we leave a little gap here at the side, through which we can
later turn it right side out. I now sew with a jersey needle and a normal
straight stitch with a length of 2,5. The seam allowance is seven millimeters, so I
can just guide my piece along the presser foot edge. Here I leave the opening through which I will later turn the pocket. So, next we can cut off the seam allowances
at the corners, turn the pocket right side out and iron it! The fabric edges at the little opening will
now be cleanly folded inwards and now I briefly iron over this part here.
Next I quilt stitch the upper pocket edge in a distance of 1,5 centimeters or 5/8 of an inch. To do so, I take a slightly larger stitch length of 3,5. When positioning the pocket on the front piece
I used the pattern for guidance and marked the correct position with a few pins. With
this fabric I can also orientate myself along the stripes. Now you can pin the pocket in place along
the lower edge. Or you can use this super practical doublesided tape. Then you can just
stick the pocket on and nothing can slip! And now we will edgestitch the pocket onto
the front piece. Since we here have an uneven seam beginning, it is helpful to place a folded
piece of fabric under the back part of the presser foot. And you can sew the pocket on, with a distance of 2 to 3 millimeters or 1/8 of an inch from the edge. This is what the sewn on pocket looks like!
If the fabric is a bit out of shape here, you can just iron that flat. And now we will continue with the shoulder
seams. To do so, we lay the front and back pieces right sides together and sew them together
at the shoulders up here. I will now just place a few clips here. Next I will continue with the serger machine. Here the seam width is only seven millimeters. This is what the shoulder seams look like
now. In the next step, we will take the fabric strip for the neckhole, fold it right sides
together and sew it together into a ring at the short ends here. This is now our ring for the neckline! And
so you can nicely follow the next few steps, I will just explain the position of the notches.
On my ring the short seam now lies here , and will later meet up with the left shoulder.
Then we have these two notches up here, with only a little distance between them. Here
the first notch will meet up with the center back and the next notch lines up with the
right shoulder. The notch that lays beneath, the last one, will meet up with the center
of the front piece. If, like I, you want the back part of your
neckline to be nice and tidy, meaning that the seam allowance is covered up, then you
can now just sew another fabric strip on to your neck line. The strip is 2,5 centimeters or about 1 inch wide and will be sewn on between the seam and shoulder notch. Lay the strip right sides together, exactly
on the edge of the nechline cuff and fold the ends over, so that the strip ends at the
seam, or the shoulder notch. Then you can secure all of this with a few pins or clips. The secured strip we can now sew on to the neckline cuff with the sewing machine. I will now use a simple straight stitch about 5 millimeters or 1/8 of an inch close to the edge. This is what our guiding seam looks like now.
Now the strip is sewn on we can comfortably secure our cuff at the neckline, aligning
the notches like I demonstrated earlier, with some pins or clips. To do so, we fold the cuff down the center,
so the right side lies on the outside, and now secure it along the neckline’s edge,
and this on the right shirt side. I will begin up here in the center, whereby the strip we have previously sewn on now lies on top. Then we will continue with the next notch
that meets up with the shoulder seam. And this notch here aligns with the front
center, which I also previously incised a little bit. The cuff seam here meets the second shoulder
seam. The cuff ring is now secured on the right
shirt side. The wrong fabric side lies on the outside. Here too you can see that the
ring is shorter than the circumference of the neckline. This is necessary, since the
ring will be stretched when we are sewing it on, so the neckline lies nice and flat
later. I now begin with seam at the back of the neckline. The cuff will be stretched to the length of the neckline hole while we sew. But make sure
that you do not stretch the shirt as well. And this is what the neckline looks like now
when it has been turned. In the next step we will now just sew on a neatening strip.
To do so, I fold the shirt open again. And then I lay the strip around the seam allowance
and secure it with a few pins. When everything is nicely secured, we can
edge stitch this once around with the sewing machine. I will begin down here and sew in
a way that this edge runs closely next to the needle. Even if this step was a little bit of a challenge,
it is really worth it, because I think it heightens the quality and appearance of the
shirt. If this is too difficult for you however, then you can also omit this step. By the way, I used different colored threads
for my seam, the upper thread, so the one coming from the thread spool, is turquoise.
And the bobbin thread here on the spool is brown. Now we can simply finish sewing the shirt,
or if would like, you can now add a button placket to the neckline!
And how this is done, I show you step by step in another video, which you can watch by clicking
on this link below. This is for example what the neckline with
a button placket can look like. And in the next step we will sew the sleeves to the armholes. We have a right and a left sleeve. And which
sleeve belongs to which arm hole you can determine through the notches, the little incisions
which you will have carried over from the pattern piece. Now lay the shirt open in front
of you, so the right fabric side lies on top. Then take the sleeve and lay it on the shirt.
In doing so, the wrong fabric side of the sleeve lies on top and the right fabric side
of the sleeve and also of the shirt are lying together on the inside. Now we pin the sleeve
curve to the arm hole, whereby the two notches of the front piece here meet up with the two
notches of the sleeve. And just like this all the other notches also
lign up. And this notch here meets up with the shoulder seam. Here two differently shaped fabric edges are
meeting up, but since the fabric is very elastic, we can stretch this straight while sewing. While sewing the sleeve lies on top. So this is what the first sleeve seam looks like and in the same way we will now sew the other side. When you have sewn on the two sleeves, in
the next step you can close both the side seams. The shirt now lays with the wrong fabric
side on the outside and now we can we can pin this edge together here, whereby the sleeve seams of the front and back piece will meet up exactly. If, like me, you have used a striped fabric,
then you should make sure that the stripes are nicely aligned. Potentially you could
also place a few pins, but make sure that these don’t get caught in the blade. The side seam is now completed and exactly
like this we will now also sew the other side. When you have sewn both sides together, then
you can turn the shirt and last but not least sew the hems on the sleeves and down here.
To do so, we iron the fabric edges over by two centimeters to the wrong side. The seam
allowance for this is already included in our pattern. You can secure the edge we have just ironed over with a few pins. The hem edge is now ironed over, and now you
have a few different options of how you can sew it on. The first option would be with
the serger machine. How this works I show you in my video to the shirt Liv. You can
reach that by clicking the button. You can also sew the seam with a normal sewing
machine. For example, with an elastic stitch. This I show you in my video for the shirt Elaine. Or you can use a sewing machine with a twin
needle. This you can watch in our video about the children’s dress. I will now show you a fourth option, which
will be sewing with the overlock machine with a flatlock stitch. To do so, we first have
change a few settings at the machine. First we remove a needle. Second, we flip up the
blade as a safety measure. And then we have to adjust the thread tension. This machine
has an automatic tension regulator, with which all thread tension can be automatically set.
This I will set to E. On other serger machines you set the needle thread tension to very low, and the tension of the upper overlock hook to medium, and
that of the lower hook to very high. The best thing to do is check your instruction
booklet and test the different settings on a practice piece. The flatlock seam has two
different sides, and I would like that the ladder stitch is later visible on the outside. To do so, fold over the hem edge in a way
that the fabric edge lies precisely in the fold here. I now begin on the back piece,
just before the side seam and lay the edges just so under the needle that they are hit
exactly by the needle and the fabric looping takes place on the right and outside of the fabric. The needle should run as close to the edge
as possible, but the distance should be wide enough so that the open fabric edge is nicely caught. Before I hit the beginning of the seam here, I cut off the thread chain. After this, we can fold this edge over here
and pull everything flat. Then you can here see this ladder effect, which is partly a
little bit uneven, but gives the shirt a particular aesthetic. In the same way I now sew the sleeve hems
on my men’s shirt. The sleeve hem is easier to sew if you turn the shirt wrong side out.
Then you can sew within the opening. And now our great men’s shirt is done! I
hope you had as much fun sewing it as I did. More sewing tutorials, in which I explain
everything step by step, you can find here in my YouTube channel. And the correct pattern is available at pattydoo. Bye, and until next time!