Monday, April 18, 2011

Knit shirt tutorial

As requested by some online sewing friends I decided to do a tutorial on sewing knit shirts. It is really a simple thing but so often seems difficult. While T shirts are fairly cheap at Walmart the ones you can make at home are of a better quality knit and so much easier to do machine embroidery on before construction. I have timed myself to see how long it takes to make on of these shirts and it is around 20 minutes. I can't go to town and purchase one in that amount of time.

I use the Comfyall pattern from Sewbaby for size 6 mo-4T and Kwik Sew pattern for the bigger kids. The patterns are great.

OK so lets begin:

First thing when I cut out the shirt I add about an inch to the hem edge of the front and back. The shirts seems a little too short without adding the length. So far I have only seen knit ribbing in very basic colors and I almost always use the same knit as the shirt. If you do this add about 1/4 inch to the length of the neckband since the interlock doesn't stretch as much as ribbing.

Mark center front, center back, center of the neck band and the upper center point of the sleeve with a washable marker.

Now, off we go to the sewing room. I serge all seams except the hem and the sleeve hems. I also sew as many seams as I can without crossing over another seam before going to the iron to press.

OK, are you ready??

The first thing is serge the shoulder seams and the neckband seam.
Press the shoulder seam and neck band seam. Fold the neckband in half longways and press.

Back to the serger now.

Pin the neckband to the shirt matching the center back seam of neckband to the center back of the shirt and center front mark on neckband to center front mark on neckband.

Serge the neckband to shirt stretching the neckband to fit.

Press this seam.

 Can you see where the mark from the washable marker and the mark on the neckband match up?

Pin right side of sleeve to shirt at the shoulder seam. Now is the part where I may here gasps of surprise. I flip the shirt over so the sleeve is on the bottom . Begin at the outer edge and serge the seam easing the fabrid of the shirt to fit.

Press the seam toward the shirt.

Now serge the side seams and serge around the sleeve edges and lower edge of shirt.

Press the side seams and the serged edges of sleeves and lower edge now. Turn up hem on sleeve edges and
pin and turn up the hem and press.

 Now this is the first time I use the regular sewing machine and I prefer to use my older Kenmore machine to sew knits. I lengthen the stich to 3 and sew these hems without stretching-- just let the machine pull the fabric into the machine.

Here is the finished shirt size 3T for Wyatt.

The time it took for me to make this little shirt ,even with taking the photos. was only 25 minutes.
My hope for anyone who reads this is that you will try making your own shirts. There are several great places to buy  knits. Personally , my favorite cotton interlock is from Hancocks or Joanns. Chez Ami has a good quality knit and in  patterns but I prefer more stretch for the tshirts.

Please comment to let me know if you use this tutorial and find it to be beneficial.


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marilyn said...

thanks for the tutorial Judy!!

Sara said...

great tute!!!!

TerriB said...

Thanks, Judy! Great tips and I'll be trying them out this weekend, Terri

ShirleyC said...

Thanks so much!

Rettabug said...

Very clear, Judy...nice job! Thank you!