How do you sew a shirt?


Quick Answer

To sew a T-shirt, take apart on old shirt, and use it as a pattern. Cut the fabric, pin it together, and stitch and iron the seams. Finish by hemming the bottom. You need a seam ripper, clothing pins, a zigzag stitch, a blind stitch and a fabric pencil.

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Full Answer

  1. Make a pattern

    Use a seam ripper to take apart an old T-shirt that fits. Trim away the loose threads, and press the seams flat.

  2. Pin the pattern

    Lay the new T-shirt fabric right side down on a flat surface. Place the two largest pieces, the front and back, on top of the fabric. Make sure the bias is the same for both, meaning the point at which they stretch. Smooth them flat, and pin into place without stretching the fabric. Fit the collar and sleeves into place.

  3. Sketch the pattern

    Measure an additional 1/2 inch at the bottom of the front, back and sleeves. Using a fabric pencil, mark this new measurement, and trace around all of the old T-shirt pieces.

  4. Cut the new pieces

    Unpin and remove the old T-shirt pieces. Keeping the fabric flat on the surface, cut all the way around the marked pieces.

  5. Pin the pieces together

    Front sides together, pin the front and back together at the shoulders. Mark a 1/2-inch seam, and stitch along the marks. Use a narrow zigzag stitch. Press the seam flat.

  6. Prepare the collar

    Fold the collar piece lengthwise, and press it flat. Stitch the short edges together, and pin the sewn collar into place around the neckline. The right sides should be together.

  7. Sew the collar in place

    Use a narrow zigzag stitch to sew the collar 1/2 inch down from the edge. Iron the new seam flat.

  8. Pin the sides of the shirt

    Keeping the right sides touching, pin along the sides of the shirt. Mark a 1/2-inch seam.

  9. Sew the sides

    Using the narrow zigzag stitch, sew in a continuous line from the sleeve hole to the bottom of the shirt on each side. Follow the marked seam. Press the seam flat.

  10. Hem the sleeves

    Place a mark 1/4 inch from the edge of the sleeves. Fold back at this mark, and press flat. Repeat this procedure. Use the same zigzag stitch to sew the hem.

  11. Sew on the sleeves

    Matching right sides together, sew each sleeve seam. Press flat. Pin the sleeves to the arm holes at the curved end. Mark a 1/2-inch margin, and sew into place.

  12. Hem the bottom

    Measure and fold a 1/4-inch hem at the bottom, pressing it flat. Repeat this procedure. Use a blind stitch to sew the hem.

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