Time for another tutorial! It’s been way too long since I posted a sewing tutorial and it’s nice to be back at it!
This shirt is one of my absolute favorites. I love how comfy it is and the elbow color-bloc gives it something a little extra. I especially love that it is easy and doesn’t take long to make at all. Definitely beginner seamstress-approved!
You will need:
- 2 yards knit fabric for shirt
- 1/2 yard knit fabric for elbow color bloc
- measuring tape
- pattern paper
- model shirt
- scissors, thread, etc.
- twin needle (opt)
Step 1: Create pattern
Shirt – Fold your model shirt in half and lay it out on your pattern paper with the fold along the paper edge. Trace around the sides, neckline, and shoulders with 1/2” buffer for seam allowance, and a 1” buffer at the bottom for the hem. Create the back pattern piece to be identical to the front, but raise the neckline.
Color Bloc – Fold your model shirt sleeve in half. Align the fold with the edge of the pattern paper. Draw a straight line from the edge of the paper down to the underarm at the bicep and the forearm (+ 1/2” buffer for seam allowance). Connect these two lines. Repeat steps for the remainder of the sleeve, (forearm to wrist).
Step 2: Cut
Pin your front and back pattern pieces to the fabric, aligning the edge with the fold and the stretch going horizontally. Cut out the front and back pieces. Do the same with the sleeve pattern piece and the color bloc pattern piece.
Step 3: Sew
Pin the right sides of the color blocs to the right sides of the sleeves (thinner end of color bloc aligned with wider end of sleeve) and stitch together with a regular, straight stitch at 1/2” seam allowance. This is when a twin needle comes in really handy because it creates a stitch that will stretch. Plus, because it creates a zig-zag stitch from the bottom, you never have to worry about fraying (but if you’re using knit fabric then you shouldn’t have to worry about fraying anyway). If you’re not using a twin needle, decrease the tension of the thread on your machine. This will have the same effect, allowing some stretch.
Fold under the fabric at the wrists 1/2” (or 1/4” twice) and sew.
With right sides together, pin the front of the shirt to the back at the shoulders and sew together.
Pin the color bloc sleeve to the shirt with right sides together and straight stitch across.
Starting at the wrists, pin the sleeve together to the armpits and extending along the sides to the bottom edge of the shirt. Sew using a straight stitch at 1/2” seam allowance. Clip the seam allowance at the armpit and hem the bottom.
Step 4: Neckline
Measure around the entire neck and subtract 4”. Cut a piece of fabric that is 2” wide and as long as the previous measurement. Make sure that the stretch is going horizontally. Pin the ends, with right sides together and sew with a 1/2” seam allowance. Fold the neckband in half (hot dog style), wrong-sides together and press with an iron. Make a mark at the opposite side of the neck-band seam and on the sides, making four quarters.
Pin the seam of the neckband to the center of the back of the neckline, the mark on the opposite side to the center of the front of the neckline, and the two on the sides, pin 1/2” down towards the front of the shirt away from the shoulder seam. You may have to play with this a little in order to get the stretch of the neckband even around the neckline.
Working your way from the back of your neckline, stretch the neckband and pin to the neckline to fit. Stretch the neckband as you sew with a 1/4” seam allowance. This keeps the neckband from bowing outwards. Clip seam allowance all around the neckline and press.