pieced t-shirt pattern


A year or two ago, I saw this style of t-shirt on the Sewing Mamas site, a forum with many talented ladies that I hardly ever get to visit. I can not give any design credits, since I simply can not remember, but the style stuck in my mind and I have wanted to make something similar ever since.


This tee is a basic t-shirt pattern with set in sleeves that has been cut up into different blocks, to create a raglan tee/layered look. I love that I managed to get in stripes, zig zags, polka dots, and a solid block (from my old green tee) all in one shirt.


Want to make a pieced t-shirt pattern for yourself?

Begin with a regular t-shirt pattern WITHOUT SEAM ALLOWANCES. As it happens, I used an Ottobre pattern, but you can make your own pattern from an existing tee in yours or your child's wardrobe with this tutorial.

Trace your t-shirt pattern (sans seam allowances) onto regular paper and pull out a pencil and some paper cutting scissors.


Starting with the sleeve, pencil in a line about where you would like your shirt to be divided, mimicking a short sleeve tee over top a long sleeve tee. Cut along that line and label them Sleeve Cap and Sleeve Bottom (or whatever makes sense to you.)


To create the raglan tee look over the shoulders, draw a slightly curvy line that dips towards the center of the front piece (see photo below). For the back, the slight curved line should dip slightly away from the center of the back piece (again, see photo below). Cut along your drawn lines.


Your current collection of pieces should be similar to this:


To eliminate the shoulder seam, the front and back shoulder pieces can be joined together with a bit of tape and cut as one piece.


Viola, pattern finished.

When cutting your pieces, ADD BACK THE SEAM ALLOWANCES. Also, pay attention to cutting along the grain for the shoulder piece, or aligning any horizontal lines along the joined pieces so that they sit on the squarely on the shoulder (wonkiness here will definitely be noticed by you, if no one else).

When sewing, join your front and back pieces to the shoulders before you sew on the sleeves (and the two sleeve pieces together also, if you like). Then assemble your t-shirt pattern as per usual. (I usually sew in the sleeve and then close the sides, but it is a personal preference.) For anyone out there still a little freaked about sewing with knits, pop over here and have a quick read. It is so much easier than you think it is.



Stacey said...

Oh, wow. I love this. I can't wait to make a few for my boys. I love a pattern that can be unisex!

Bego said...

great idea, I think I will even try one for myself :)
thanks for sharing

Neumaisse said...

Heehee! She's a riot, your girl! SHe has that sort of Punky Brewster vibe to her personality doesn't she? Tee shirt looks fab! Maybe someday I will get brave enough to sew jersey fabric. Right now the thought makes my head hurt! ;D

willow and moo said...

More than likely the pattern that inspired you is the Farbenmix Antonia.

Birdie said...

Adorable, as always. I think I'll be using this to make all daddy's old [beer/bar] shirts into decent things for the little boy. Thanks again!

Andrea @ TheTrainToCrazy.com said...

Such a great idea! Thanks for sharing how you did it!

I have a weekly Thursday blog party especially for people to share things they've made to be worn. Stop by if you'd like!

ColorSlut said...

What a great idea and it looks fantastic on her!

Red de rOuge said...

Very very very nice!!!

Katie said...

This is adorable! I can't wait to try it!! Thanks:)

casserole said...

I love this!! I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:

Beth said...

Thank you sooo much for posting this. I have piles of knit waiting to be donated, but I need more clothes for my 6-year-old for summer. This would be perfect.

Effie said...

Again ... wow and thanks!
I have given you an award: http://effiemaakt.blogspot.com/2010/05/mijn-eerste-echte-award.html

HippieKender said...

Super cute! I've had a pile of outgrown t-shirts sitting around waiting to become something more. I think this is just the ticket!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful as usual. And a great way to be thrifty with those knit scraps. Quick question, did you make Smootch's headband? Do they stay on? Thanks for sharing!

Vegbee said...

Thanks all!

the hairband is a fabric covered plastic dealie from one of those cheapo mall accessory shops. Smootch loves hairbands (all the best princesses wear them, you see), and I love anything that will hold back her wild hair. I wish I had made the hairband, but I didn't :)

Happydacks said...

What a great combination! That is a very fun top!! Also really enjoyed your previous post/next post and the lovely diorama~
! x

Gene said...

question...do you think i could just get like 5/6 shirts from the thrift store that are the same size and cut and piece them back together? (for those of us that are creative, but pattern challenged)...?

Vegbee said...

Gene, sure! You'd have to go with slightly larger shirts to compensate for seam allowance, and you would have shoulder seams to deal with (or ignore). The neck might present a challenge also, you may end up seam ripping out the ribbing and sewing it back in, or buying some new ribbing (or using a bit extra of a really stretchy shirt.

It would be interesting to try anyway :)

david said...

yep vegbee is right, seams are important if you consider making your own shirts, and i think if you put some printing in the t-shirt too, with caroons or stuff

cool shirts said...

These are great tees! I love T-Shirts. The first one on the list seems like it works only with a specific look but very creative anyway.I love all of them, I laughed quite a bit reading them.

design t shirts

Regina said...

this is adorable! Thanks for the tute!