Use this t-shirt hack to add a contrast shoulder to any pattern.
I’m back with another t-shirt hack today – this time I’m showing you how to add contrast shoulders to your t-shirt. I love a good basic t-shirt with just enough detailing to make it special, and this top fits the bill.
I got the idea to do this after seeing my friend Miranda wearing a similar top in her Instagram stories. Miranda is a proponent of minimalist/capsule style wardrobe, and while I definitely don’t have a desire to cut my closet down that much, I can see the advantage of pieces that you can wear over and over. And I have been wearing this shirt often since I made it.
I used my Austin T-shirt pattern to sew this one, but you could use any t-shirt or woven shirt pattern that has a set in sleeve to do the same thing. I’ve got a video below that shows how to do it, which you can also watch on YouTube here if you prefer.
How to Sew a Contrast Shoulder
- Start with a shirt pattern that has a set in sleeve (or is sleeveless – this just doesn’t work on raglan or kimono sleeved patterns).
- Mark where you want the contrast patch to end on your shirt front and shirt back – red lines above.
- Mark off the seam allowances of the original shoulders (black lines above), then mark seam allowances to either side of your contrast line (blue and green lines above).
- Overlap your shirt front and back pieces at the shoulder, matching the original seam allowance markings so that one is right on top of the other.
- Trace the shoulder area to the outer (blue) seam allowance markings. Connect the edges in straight lines, then mark the neck, shoulder, front and back.
- Fold or cut the shirt front and back shoulders at the inner (green) shoulder contrast markings.
- Cut your shirt front and back of fabric and your shoulders of contrast
- Sew the contrast shoulders to the shirt backs matching shoulder, back and neckline edges.
- Sew the contrast to the shirt front
- Finish your shirt as instructed for the rest of the pattern.