FREE MEN’S CLASSIC T-SHIRT PATTERN AND TUTORIAL
Sew up a classic mens T-shirt, download the free pattern now and follow our step by step instructons.
FREE MEN’S CLASSIC T-SHIRT PATTERN AND TUTORIAL
Sew up this classic Mens T-Shirt pattern designed by Claire Louise Hardie, Love Sewing Columnist and Sewing Producer for BBC2’s ‘The Great British Sewing Bee’.
T-shirts are easy fitting, as there are no fiddly darts or complicated panels, so it makes a great project if you are just beginning to hone your sewing machine skills.
The neckline is finished off with a jersey band, and the T-shirt can be sewn either on a regular sewing machine with a zigzag stitch or on an overlocker. We can’t wait to see your T-shirts, post up a pic of your work in progress or the finished article over on our Facebook wall.
1.5m jersey fabric
30cm iron-on stabilising tape:
Download your FREE T-SHIRT PATTERN SHEETS HERE
Stretch knit fabric such as interlock and jersey, with 25% stretch; this project is not suitable for Lycra or very stretchy jersey.
You can sew this T-shirt either on a regular sewing machine using a zigzag stitch or with an overlocker. The seam allowance is 1cm for either method. If you use a regular machine, you don’t need to worry about finishing off the raw edges as interlock doesn’t fray. Use a ballpoint needle if sewing on the machine, and a ballpoint twin needle for the hems.
It’s important to get the fabric laid out so that the direction of the fabric’s stretch runs around the width of the pattern pieces, not up and down the length. If your fabric has a directional print or surface pattern, lay the front and back pattern pieces out following the same orientation. Both the front and back of the T-shirt need to be cut on a folded edge of the fabric.
The neckband is straight while the neckline is curved. To stretch the neckband evenly onto the neck, match up halfway and quarterway marks.
The armhole and sleeve curve in opposite directions, so you may need to ease them together as you pin. Horizontal pinning is perfect for this.
Instructions for Sewing Up the T-shirt
1. Trace off the pattern pieces – front, back, sleeve and neckband. Cut out and transfer any pattern markings to the fabric. Mark the centre front and centre back with notches, too.
2. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, apply a strip of iron-on stabilising tape to both of the back shoulder seams, within the seam allowance. This will stop the shoulders from stretching out of shape when the T-shirt is worn.
3. With RST, place the front piece over the back. Pin and then stitch the left shoulder with a 1cm seam allowance. Press the seam towards the back. Turn the joined pieces RS facing up. (See Pic A.)
4. Fold the neckband piece in half lengthways, with WST. Press the fold in place and then pin along the length to hold it together. (See Pic B.)
5. Aligning the raw edges, pin the folded neckband to the RS of the neckline at the marked centre front, centre back and shoulder seam marks. Gently stretch the band and pin in between these points until the whole band is pinned in place. (See Pic C)
6. Sew the band to the neckline. Press the neckband up, so that the folded edge is away from the seamline, making sure the seam is well pressed towards the inside of the neckline. Top-stitch around the neckline through the band seam allowance to secure, if you wish. (See Pic D.)
7. Pin and sew the front to the back at the right shoulder seam, making sure that the folded edges of the neckband sit perfectly on top of one another, so that they become a smooth, unbroken line once sewn. Press the shoulder seam towards the back. (See Pic E.)
8. Lay the T-shirt flat, with the RS facing up. With RST, matching the double notches on the sleeve with those on the back of the armhole, and the single notches on the sleeve to the front armhole, pin the sleeve all around the armhole. Stitch the sleeve in place, then repeat on the opposite side. (See Pic F.)
9. Fold the T-shirt in half at the shoulders, RST. Pin the side and underarm seams, matching the side notches, the edges of the bottom hem and the sleeve ends. Stitch one continuous seam from the hem through the armhole to the end of the sleeve. (See Pic G.)
10. With the T-shirt inside out, fold and press a 2.5cm hem around the bottom of the T-shirt. Turn the T-shirt so the RS faces up and pin the pressed hem in place. Fit a stretch twin needle to your sewing machine and thread using your second spool holder. Again working from the RS, sew the hem in place, following the 2cm seam allowance guide on the throat plate of your machine. (See Pic H.)
11. Hem the sleeves in the same way, pressing under a 1.5cm hem to the wrong side of both sleeve edges and following the 1cm seamline on the throat plate of your machine.
This pattern is from Claire’s book The Great British Sewing Bee: Fashion with Fabric, published by Quadrille Publishing.