30 September 2010

how to make the shirt

this one:

which I usually wear like this...
because I love a long layer on the bottom of my top and a forgiving layer, too!

or you can reuse an existing t-shirt to make something like this:
by cutting up an old t-shirt that is several sizes too big.

first of all, find a couple of shirts that fit your in the way you want your new shirt to fit.
You can grab measurements from a different shirts, just lay them flat and slap a ruler on them. 
What you need are approximately "right" measurements for your shoulders, hips, the length of the shirt, and the size of the opening for your arms.

measurementreferred to as...if you wanted to make me a shirt**
width at shouldersA117"
width at hipsB18"
length down backC28"
size of opening for armsD8"
add 5" or more to A1A223"

**I'm usually a US size 10 and have more shoulder and a longer torso than most women.

Here are the two pieces of fabric you need to cut:

I have made this from oversized t-shirts and from knit yardage.  The plain green shirt is made from a knit with a bit of weight and a fair amount of spandex.  I found it at my local JoAnn's. 
I really like this fabric. 

As the other pictures show, I have also made this shirt from old over-sized t-shirts.  These are fun and more casual.  Be sure you start with a large enough t-shirt (the A2 measurement in particular can cause trouble.)

To Construct Shirt:
1. Pin the "right-sides" of the front and back together.  Pin the sides together, starting  from the bottom, stopping "D" inches from the top.  Make a 1/4" or 3/8" seam up the sides.  Be sure to backstitch at the top and bottom of your seam.

2. Turn the shirt right-side out.  Now, you are going to join the shoulders.  With the front of the shirt facing you, match up the end of each shoulder (the outside corners of the top of each piece), overlap the front of the shirt slightly over the back and stitch the shoulder together (about 3" width of overlap)
Yes, you are making a half-exposed seam.

That's  all!   Make 'em, wear 'em, sell 'em, & generally do what you will!


  1. I think you just improved my life from both a fashion and budget standpoint! Thank you!!!

  2. LOOOOOVE it, you are the best!!!

  3. This was a great how-to. Thanks for the ratios, makes it easy to convert.

  4. Great stuff! Thanks for the tutorial! Can't wait to make a few of my own!


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