Sunday, April 1, 2012

Tutorial: T-Shirt Sleeves into Baby Shirt

My mom made me this shirt out of an old t-shirt: she used the sleeves for the body and the body for the sleeves!
I made two of these at once: first the black one, then the white one.  The blue short-sleeved vest fits the baby now, and I used it as my "pattern" to get the sizing of the body piece.  The body is made of the short sleeves with the sleeve hem as the hem on the bottom of the shirt.
Here are the sleeves from the white t-shirt before cutting.  I had already used the body for something else, so it is cut off.
I set the black one on top to use as a pattern.  I made the black one by folding my blue template shirt in half and setting it on the fold of the sleeve.  Here I am, using the back piece of the black baby shirt as my pattern.  It is placed on the fold of the white short sleeved t-shirt.
For the neck, cut the neck off the t-shirt, leaving a seam allowance intact.
Cut 2 sleeves.  Use your template shirt for the curvature and length.  I did these from the body of the black shirt so I wouldn't have to hem them again.  I didn't have enough of the white shirt body to do the same, and had to hem those.
Now start sewing.

First attach the collar to the top of the front and back pieces.  Stitch the seam allowance to the neckline using a straight stitch.  Cut the excess collar off.

Then finish the seam using a serge or zig zag.  Then hold the seam allowance toward the body of the shirt and topstitch it in place.  
Add your name and size tags, if you have them.  You could also mark the back with a piece of ribbon folded in half.
You now have a front and back with a collar at the neckline.  

Stitch the shoulders.  I used a chain stitch to save time and thread.  Zig zag or serge to finish the seam.
Pin the top of the curve of the sleeve to the shoulder seam, right sides together.
Sew the sleeves on.  Finish the seams.

If you need to hem the sleeves, do it now.
You now have a shirt with open sleeves and body.
Fold it in half and stitch up each side and along each armpit and down the sleeve.  Finish the seams.

If you need to hem the bottom, do it now.
Your shirt is done!

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