How to Sew a Shirt: Easy Pullover | Craftsy Sewing Projects







Feature your favorite fabric in a simple shirt you can sew yourself! Seamstress Angela Wolf demystifies necklines, sleeve construction, and all the details so you can whip up this project in an afternoon. Learn to sew your best shirt yet! 👉

Check out these different necklines you can try. →

In this video
Want to make a cute top in an afternoon? I'll show you how easy it is!
I'm using the Scout Tee pattern from Grainline Studio, but you can use any similar style t-shirt pattern.
I've already cut out my pattern pieces in a woven cotton fabric. A woven fabric won't stretch out of shape when you sew. With right sides together, pin each front shoulder to the back shoulder. Then pin the front to the back at each side seam. At your machine, line up the fabric edge with the seam allowance marking for a half inch seam allowance. Insert the needle at least 1/8” away from the edge of the fabric. Back stitch once or twice, and stitch. When you get to the end of the seam don't forget to backstitch. I'm using a contrast thread so you can really see, but you'd choose a matching thread of course! Move to the side seam and stitch down the side the same way.
Repeat this process on the otherside of the garment, and then finish the seam edge. I finished those frayed raw edges with an overlock stitch on the sewing machine but you could zig zag or serge the edge. Now it's time for the neckline. You can make your own matching bias tape out of your main fabric or if you want to save time, buy 1/2" double folded bias tape like I have here.
Here's a tip for sewing the neckline – be careful not to stretch the bias tape over the shoulders or you could end up with puckers. But you do want to stretch it at the center front and back to prevent your neckline from gapping open. Leave about 3" free at the back of the neckline, then Iine up the first fold on the bias tape with the neckline, and pin. Stitch right in this first fold – I'm using a contrast thread but you'd use a matching color. Stitch over the shoulder area – it's very important to avoid pulling the bias tape! You want both layers to feed evenly or we will end up with puckers.  
OK, we're at the curve of the neckline. Start to pull the bias tape slightly as you stitch. Once you're at the other side let it lay evenly once more.
"Back around the shoulder, and we have to close the bias tape. I am not going to stitch straight across, because this can cause the back of the neckline to gap.
Now, here's the neatest way I know to close bias tape – Cross the ends of the bias tape like this, pin and draw a straight line from here to here. See how neat this will look from the right side!
Stitch across the diagonal line. Trim off the excess like this and then finish attaching the bias tape by stitching along the fold – take care to hold those seam allowances flat.
With the help of an iron, fold the bias strip over the seam allowance, tuck under the other pressed edge and pin, making sure to cover the seam allowance and catch the back fold of the bias tape. Work your way arond the neckline, folding, pressing and pinning. You can really see how nice that seam looks at the back. Starting at the center back, stitch one more time around on the edge of the bias tape. Keep checking as you go to make sure you are stitching through both side of the bias tape.
Okay, let's move on to the sleeves. This is a set-in sleeve so I need to prepare the sleeve cap before inserting it into the garment.
Sew two rows of basting stitches across here. A basting stitch is just a straight stitch with a stitch length of at least 5.0.
Pull the end of each of the threads to gather the sleeve head. If you have a tailor's ham like this you can use it to help steam press the sleeve to a nice rounded shape.
With right side to right side and the seams lined up, match the front notches and pin the sleeve in place Match the back notches and do the same thing. This notch should line up with the shoulder seam.  See how I'm easing the sleeve cap into the armhole.  
Starting at the side seam, stitch the sleeve in place – making sure you're sewing through the two layers. Then finish the seam allowances with an overlock, zigzag stitch or serger.
The final step is to hem the sleeves and bottom of the top.

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