After a reader comment on this post, I realized that though I have shared how to make a t-shirt pattern and multiple variations you can add to t-shirts, I never covered how to sew a t-shirt together. So today I’m remedying that.
To make a basic t-shirt, start with a front, back, two sleeves and a neckband. Note: You DON”T need a serger to do this. I sewed t-shirts for years using my 1950s Singer 503 and a zig-zag stitch. Now that I have a serger I prefer it, but again, you don’t have to have one.
Place the front and the back right sides together and sew one shoulder.
Open up the shirt and pin the neckband in, stretching it from shoulder to shoulder. Be careful not to stretch the t-shirt, just the neckband. Stitch it in.
Sew the other shoulder and neckband together in one seam, making sure to match the neckline seam and to press the neckline seam allowance up.
Pin in the sleeves by placing them right sides together on the shirt. Line up the top center of the sleeve with the shoulder seam, then pin the ends of the sleeve to the end of the armhole, then ease the rest of the sleeve into place. Stitch.
Fold the shirt right sides together and sew the underarm seam and the side seam in one (red line).
Fold the neckband to the inside of the shirt, covering the neckband seam, and pin. Use a zig-zag stitch on the right side of the neckline to stitch in place.
If desired, hem the sleeve edges and bottom edge – though you don’t have to – knits don’t ravel. I prefer to hem with a twin needle; you can find more about that here.
For t-shirt patterns, I have a free one in this post for children sizes 2-4. For women’s sized t-shirts, there’s a free pattern here. For some fun variations on t-shirts that come with free patterns, hover over my Sewing Tab in the menu bar and choose “Free Patterns” from the drop down menu.
Want to mix up your t-shirt? Try any of these variations: