(which is actually too big for the wee model, but you get the idea)
and a lap tee, such as this, This tutorial is about how to create the pattern, and not how to sew the pattern together. I am assuming a basic familarity with sewing this type of pattern, although I can in the future, if anyone wants, go over the basic points on how to sew a tee shirt.
And now on with the show.
The foundation for this pattern is an existing tee that fits well. This one here is very orange, but comfy and, obviously from the stains, well loved:
Sketch in the shape of the neck hem, one of the shoulders, and one arm hole (hold the seam and lift the sleeve away from the paper to mark approximately the shape - same as with neckline). Also trace the line of one side and half the bottom of the shirt.
Fold the paper in half and cut either a 3/8" or 5/8" away from your lines (which ever seam allowance you feel most comfortable with). You may want to measure out this distance, but I usually just sorta wing it (see picture below).
Important: cut the neckline according to the highest neckline (the back piece).
Allocate one pattern piece to be the front and the other the back. Cut the front piece according to the front neckline.
That takes care of the front and back pieces. When you use your pattern, place the vertical center along a fold and cut around the bottom, sides, and top of the piece.
To make life easier for you, I recommend taking a moment to label the pieces, write down the size, 'align with fold' marks, seam allowances, and any other information you'll find helpful in the future.
Time for the sleeve.
Take one of your bodice pattern pieces and lay it down on a sheet of paper so that the top seam (but not the seam allowance) is aligned with the top edge of the paper.
Trace the curve of the armhole onto the paper.
Take away the pattern piece and using your child's arm and wrist measurements, mark where the sleeve should end and how wide the wrist should be (note: for the wrist measurement, add a few extra inches of room here. Best bet is to take the measurement off a long sleeve shirt that your child already enjoy's wearing.)
This is your approximate shape (the double line here represents the seam allowance):
The arrow in the picture indicates where I've draw in a little slanted triangle at the armpit where experience has taught me that without that little angle, the fit is awkward and tight. Just put a little nooby thing in the same place on yours and then trace around for the seam allowance.
The wrist is indented then flares because that is where you are going to fold under and hem. Mine is rather dramatic, you may with to make yours less so. (Since I have a little girl, I sometimes just do lettuce edging instead and the dramatic flare adds a little something.)
Cut out your sleeve and label it. When using your sleeve pattern piece, lay the top edge along a fold and cut around the rest. This will open up into one sleeve.
That is one complete pattern for a tee shirt. If you get the impression that it is a little loosey goosey and slap-dash, you are right. It lacks finesse, I admit. But, again, it will create a very functional tee, and it is fast and fun. I say, keep the meticious sewing for special occasions (or when you have a hankerin') and enjoy yourself with fabrics and embellishments.
This basic tee can be altered in a hundred ways, and embellished in thousands. Try different techniques for heming (lettuce edging, ribbing, using bias tape, rolled hem, etc.) Add a hood or pockets. Embellish with ribbons and appliques.
A tee made with the pattern created here:
And you can use this pattern to make another pattern for a lap tee. Like so:
Take your back pattern piece and trace it out on a fresh piece of paper folded in half along the vertical center (it will act the same as when you folded vertically to make your front and back pieces for the regular tee):
Cut the pattern out along the bottom and side. Leave the shoulder area intact.
Figure out how far over you want the overlap of the lap tee to go down the armhole. Mark this point and measure it.
Measuring straight up from the shoulder, mark the same distance above the shoulder seam.
With the paper folded, cut out the armhole.
This is a free tutorial and I encourage you to use the information in any way you need to (check the disclaimer at the bottom of the page). If it works for you, please consider supporting my etsy shop by purchasing a Little Print Design pattern or toss a dollar or two in my paypal to show appreciation and to encourage me to offer up even more quality patterns and tutorials.
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