I’ve been meaning to put together a pattern for a basic, classic tee shirt for a long time, and I’ve finally gotten around to it. I know, it might seem like a waste of time to sew your own tees when they’re not that expensive to buy, but I hey, I like sewing, so I might as well, right? Now that I’ve finally created a pattern I can make one in less than an hour with one yard of fabric, which makes it a nice quick project.
This free pattern is available in women’s size large. It’s is an easy to sew tee shirt with a scoop neck and two different sleeve lengths (short and elbow). It’s not too tight and not too loose – just a really classic t-shirt with a slightly curved hemline.
Before we get to the free pattern download and tutorial, I want to tell you about the fabric I used, because I love it. It’s a gorgeous jersey knit from Raspberry Creek Fabric, an etsy shop. It’s one of their Club fabrics, which is their in house jersey knit line. The knits are a really beautiful quality with a little more weight than you may be used to from other knits you’ve ordered online. (I can’t tell you how much I HATE ordering knit fabric only to realize it’s so thin I won’t be able to use it.) The Club knits really are the perfect knit fabric: the prints are on trend, the weight is just right, and they have great stretch and recovery. And the very best part? This white floral isn’t see through! I ordered another Club fabric to use for the next fit & flare dress I have planned, so you’ll be seeing more here soon.
Raspberry Creek Fabric also carries other high quality knit fabrics, as well as woven apparel fabrics, flannel, quilting cottons, and more. Shipping is super fast and the owner is very responsive to questions, so go check out the selection!
Alright…back to the tee shirt.
Click here to download the free Classic Tee Pattern in size large. The pattern prints on 8 sheets of 8.5×11 paper. Be sure to print it out at 100% or full size. The test box on page 8 should measure exactly 1 inch square. Butt the pages up against one another and tape them together (no overlapping). This is what the pattern looks like:
You’ll need to cut two bodice pieces on the fold, one with a front neckline and one with a back neckline. You can choose to use the slightly shorter hemline on the front and the longer one on the back, or use the longer one for both. (This shirt is not cut super long, so you may want to compare it to your favorite tee and add length if needed.) You also need two sleeve pieces, but on the fold. Finally, you’ll also want a neckbinding piece which is 1.75 inches tall and about 26 inches long (you can sew together two pieces to make this if needed.) If you’re careful with how you lay out your pieces, you should be able to squeeze all the pieces out of one yard of knit fabric.
Sewing the shirt together is simple. Start by placing the front on top of the back, right sides together, and sew across the shoulders as shown below.
Next, open up the shirt and lay it down flat (1st photo below). Grab one of the sleeves and line the middle of the top curve of the sleeve up with the one of the shoulder seams (2nd photo below). Pin.
Pin the rest of the sleeve onto the shirt, working from the middle out as shown below. Continue to pin the other side of the sleeve to the shirt as well. Sew.
Repeat with the other sleeve.
Place the front and back of the shirt right sides together again, and sew the side seams, starting under the arm and going all the way down the side. I like to give the shirt a bit of a stretch as I sew the curve under the arm just to make sure the seam won’t pop when the shirt is worn.
Now it’s time to bind the neckline. You can measure the neckline and multiply that number by .85 to get a length for your neckbinding (this is the “best guess” measurement that usually works pretty well). Sew the short ends of the binding together and then fold it in half lengthwise. Pin it to the neckline, stretching the binding to fit as you pin.
Because the binding is shorter than the neckline, the shirt will bunch up a bit when the binding is pinned in (1st photo below). As you sew the binding on, stretch the shirt until it lays flat (2nd photo below).
The neckline can look a little wonky after you’ve seen the binding on, but press the it with lots of steam and it’ll look great.
The last step is to hem the sleeves and bottom edge of the shirt. I just turned both up about half an inch and hemmed with a double needle. (Double needles are GREAT for working with knits and are very easy to use – just google it if you’ve never used one.)
I’ll be showing you another classic tee with an elbow length sleeve soon – see you then!
Thanks you to Raspberry Creek Fabric for providing free product in exchange for this honest review. All opinions are my own.
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