T-shirt Trilogy

I finished the third of the Tees a couple of days ago. I love this one. The fabric is a lightweight cotton jersey, which I used earlier in a toile for the Hot Patterns 3 Graces top I turned into a dress. I’ve got yards of this, bought as toile fabric from Myrtille. It has some print flaws in it,  blotches which I avoided, and so was marked down, but its really a very nice, soft fabric with good drape. Its only downside is that it creases easily.

I made a pattern based on a kimono sleeve block this time,  gave it three pleats on one shoulder, and wrap round twisting side seams again, finishing the hem with a separate band.

Pattern laid out on the floor to cut, its too wide for my table.

Its my working pattern and hasn’t got seam allowances added. The front is over on the right, the open part in the middle is the neck, and the curved arrow shaped piece in a different pattern paper is the allowance for the pleats and draping. Someday I’ll buy myself some proper pattern weights, instead of those little bags of obsolete coins I’m using now.

The fabric needs all the help it can get not to stretch out of shape before its stitched, above  you can see that before lifting the piece from the floor, I went round all the edges liable to distort with narrow masking tape. The narrow one isn’t sold locally, so I slice up a wider one with a blade, on the self healing mat. It only takes a moment, and is more effective than stay stitching because the fabric isn’t moved before its stabilised. I use this tip on bias edges too. Try it, it saves a lot of bother on V necklines.

There’s a dart in the joined shoulder which you might be able to spot in the pattern above. It gets stitched first, and the pleats on the other shoulder are folded, pinned and/or basted.

shoulder pleats pinned

Then the shoulder seam is joined, and the neck binding can be done at that stage, or after the slanted side seams. I used the same binding technique as on the last shirt.

Side seams are stitched, sleeve ends bound, and a wider strip binds the hem edge with the same old way – finishing with a double needle through the turnings.


The hardest part of this project was getting a photograph of the finished item. Its been raining Biblically here for what seems like forever, and the inside shot was not a great success. Taking advantage of a five minute break between downpours, this is it!


About jay

I design and draft patterns
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6 Responses to T-shirt Trilogy

  1. SewDucky says:

    That looks fantastic. I wish my tee shirts looked that good on me.


  2. Tia Dia says:

    This is amazing! Is it all from that one pattern piece laid out on your fabric? I love how the striped work together!


  3. Oh wow, I love how that’s put together. Great work incorporating the stripes in there too. Can’t wait to see what you do with the Pattern Magic Stretch fabrics book.


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