Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Doll T-shirt Tutorial

I meant to have this up earlier but I forgot to take pictures when I was sewing a week ago and with the daylight disapearing so early these days I had to wait for the weekend to get some decent shots!

What you need:
  • knit fabric (an old T-shirt will do nicely!)
  • serger or sewing machine (serger preferred, needle and thread would do in a pinch)
  • pins

Step 1:
Print off the pattern.  It should fit a letter size (8 1/2" by 11") piece of paper.

Step 2:
Cut out your pieces.  You need two sleeves, two body pieces and a strip for the collar.  Ideally the bottom of the body pieces and a long edge of the sleeve pieces gets cut along the hem of your T-shirt.  (If not, don't worry, see the notes at the end of the post.)

Step 3:
With right sides together, match up your body pieces and serge the shoulder seams.

Step 4:
Measure around the neck opening and cut a piece of collar the same length plus a 1/2" seam allowance.  You can measure with a measuring tape but I just used the collar piece to measure, added the seam allowance and cut.  With right sides together serge along the short ends of the collar.

Step 5:
Fold your collar in half, wrong sides together, to make a thinner circle.  Pin this in place against the right side of the shirt...

And serge around.  Be careful to keep the rest of the shirt away from the knife!!  When you're done it should look like this:

Step 6:
Lay your shirt out flat, right side up and pin a sleeve to an armhole, keeping right sides together and the nice hemmed bit at the opposite end of the armhole!

Serge this seam and repeat for the other sleeve.

Step 7:
Fold the shirt in half, right sides together, and pin the side seams lining up the hem of the arm and the hem of the body.  Do this on both sides.

Serge both side seams and you're done!


  • If you can't cut your pieces from the hem of a T-shirt or other garment don't worry!  Add about 1/2" to the length of the sleeve (which is the width of the rectangle) and the bottom of the body.  Hem the sleeves before you start and the body at the end.
  • This shirt could be made without a serger but it keeps the seams nice and stretchy for getting over large heads.  If you're using a sewing machine try a zig zag stitch which has more give then a straight stitch.
  • Have fun embellishing if you wish!  Freezer paper stencilling, applique, embroidery would be nice additions to the shirt.

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