How I Was Driven to Sew My Own Tee Shirt

A green tee shirtThe Challenge

When shopping for clothes, I am forever in search of tee shirts with the perfect amount of scoop in the neckline.

Usually, I can find only tee shirts with necklines that are either:

A) entirely too high, and which cover my collar bones, or
B) entirely too low, which would require me to wear layering tees beneath them.

Since I don’t look good in high-necked tee shirts and I dislike wearing layers beneath low-necked tee shirts, I was driven—driven, I tell you!—to start sewing my own tee shirts.

The Solution

I Made a Pattern

I used this tutorial on YouTube to make a pattern of my favorite tee shirt.

A paper tee shirt pattern

I Bought Fabric

I bought a yard of cotton-polyester knit interlock fabric on sale at my local JoAnn craft store, which I prewashed and dried.

I Cut the Fabric

I laid out the fabric on my kitchen table, pinned on the pattern pieces, and traced them with a fabric marker. Then, I used my fabric shears to cut out the pieces. I labeled all the pieces and noted the wrong side of each piece so as not to mix them up.

Fabric cut into pattern pieces

I also reserved some of the extra fabric to make a neckband for the tee shirt. I used this tutorial and this tutorial on YouTube to learn how to make and sew a neckband onto the tee shirt.

I Sewed the Fabric

I pinned the pattern pieces wrong sides together and sewed them together using my very basic sewing machine. (It’s a Singer Advance.)

Because I was sewing knit fabric, I used a ball point needle, which is designed to more easily pierce the weave of knit fabric. And again, because I was sewing knit fabric, I used stitches that stretch. I used the overedge stitch programmed on my machine to sew the tee shirt seams and I used a narrow zigzag stitch to sew the neckband onto the tee shirt.

Then, I switched to a twin needle, and hemmed the sleeves and the bottom the tee shirt. Here is a tutorial—and here is another tutorial on YouTube—on using a twin needle.

I Made a Tee Shirt!

Here is the finished tee shirt. Note the perfect amount of scoop in the neckline!

A green tee shirt

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