T004 Sewalong

Today I will guide you through the making of t-shirt #T004 which is a very simple style and it is perfect if you are looking for a quick sewing project or if you wish to tackle some knits. For the sewalong, I chose a striped jersey so there will also be tips to match the stripes at the side seams.

Now let's begin...

This shirt is not closely fitted and only has 4cm of negative ease at the bust. This means that the t-shirt pattern is made 4cm SMALLER than the bust measurement. Choose your size according to your bust measurement. If your measurement is between two sizes, choose the larger one as it will be much easier to remove any excess of fabric when the side seams are stitched.

The side seams are lightly shaped at the waist level so there is no need to adjust the garment there, however, if your hip measurement is closer to another size than the chosen for the bust, use the grading nest to jump from one size to the other, as shown below. Be sure to draw two identical side seams on the front and back pieces.

Print and assemble your pattern. Then you can cut directly into the pattern board or trace the pattern in the desired size. If your height is less than 1m63 or more than 1m74, we recommend adjusting the pattern length to preserve the proportions of the garment. The approximate length of the t-shirt is 63 cm.

Choose a spandex blend with a nice drape. No need to calculate the stretch for this style because it is not closely fitted. Ideally, your knit will be 4-way stretch, but it is not mandatory. If using a printed jersey, I recommend you to choose a plain jersey for the neckline binding. For my sample, I used a black and white stripe jersey and a plain black jersey for the neckline. The fabric yardage is provided with the pattern.

The list of supplies required for this style is quite simple - have a stretch needle and an all-purpose thread to hand. The use of textured thread is strongly recommended to get elastic seams. Finally, to stitch down the hems, use the double stretch needle. However, if you do not wish to use it, a zigzag point will work out well!

Before cutting out the fabric, be sure to machine clean and dry according to your liking. Then, set your iron at medium temperature press the fabric to remove any creases.

Use the cutting layouts provided with the pattern to lay the pieces on the fabric.

Before removing the pattern, notch the edge of the fabric as indicated. ** TIP: mark the wrong side of each piece with a chalk to make the sewing part easier! Knits very often have a wrong and right side looking rather similar.

Before you lay the pieces on the fabric, cut across the fabric width along top or bottom edge of one stripe.

Then, fold the fabric as show on the cutting layout and be sure to match the stripes along the selvages and across the edge you just cut. This will help you to avoid a shift between the stripes, especially if you are working with a fine stripe. To help you match the stripes on both layers of the fabric, pin the bottom or top edge of one stripe and check the pin position on the layer below. Readjust the fabric if needed and repeat at every 5-6 stripes or so.

Draw the bottom hem fold line on the front and back pieces and place the pattern over the fabric so as the bottom of the widest stripe (or darkest stripe, if both are of even width) is aligned with the hem fold line, near the centre edges. We do this because it is more visually appealing if a garment bottom edge starts with the wide or darkest stripe.

Before cutting out the sleeves, be sure that the stripes are matching on both layers of the fabric, especially at the top of the sleeve head. If the stripes are not matched, the sleeves will look uneven once finished. ** I had to cut the sleeves another time (and unpick them) because of that so be sure to use the needle trick mentioned above!

Regarding the stripe matching at the sleeve...
With some patterns it is possible to match the stripes on the sleeve with the ones on the armholes. However, it is not with this pattern. This is due to the sleeve head being much shorter than the armhole height. **You can always try to match one stripe in the middle of the armhole with the sleeves, but I did not bother to do so.

Unless stated otherwise, be sure to stitch at 12 mm (½") from the edge and match notches and markings with the same numbers.

Assemble RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER, namely by placing the right side of a piece against the right side of another one – the right side being the side showing when the garment is worn.

Use a straight stretch stitch or a narrow and short zigzag stitch.
** TIP: Start your seams at approximately 3 mm from the edge of the fabric to prevent the fabric from sinking into the needle throat plate.

For stretch-proof seams, use all-purpose thread for the needle and textured thread for the bobbin.

EDGE-FINISH: with an overlocker (serger) machine, serge cutting away the excess of seam allowances. With a standard machine, stitch next to the first stitching with a zigzag and cut away the excess of seam allowances close to the second stitching OR use an overcasting foot.

Stitch together the front and back pieces at the shoulders. EDGE-FINISH the seam allowances and press them to the back.

Assemble the sleeves to garment by matching up ➊ and ➋. To do so, lay the front and back panel flat, RIGHT SIDE up, and match up the armholes with the sleeve heads. EDGE-FINISH the seam allowances.

Stitch together the front and back of the garment at the sides and underarms. EDGE-FINISH the seam allowances and press to the back.

Stitch together the short edges on neckline binding and trim the seam allowances to half. Press the seam open. Then, stitch one side of binding, RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER, to the neckline edge, matching up the shoulders and centres. To do so, ensure that the binding is stretched.

Fold the binding inside the garment at 12mm (½") from the seam line and pin in place. Press the neckline. If using the double needle, install it now and set your machine to a straight stitch. Otherwise, keep the zigzag stitch and topstitch the binding near the seam. Then, trim the excess of binding inside the garment by carefully cutting near the stitches.

Hem the sleeves by folding in the edges at 10mm (⅜") and the bottom of the garment at 20mm (¾"). Stitch down the hems on the RIGHT SIDE of the garment using a double needle or a zigzag stitch and press. **Note that it is also very easy to unravel a point made with the double needle so to prevent points from unraveling when stretched, be sure to overlap the hem stitches by at least 3 cm at the beginning and the end of it.

I hope you like this sewalong! Do not hesitate to ask any questions in the comment section below. Show us your work on social media using the hashtag #T004!