“A t-shirt that doesn't look like you are wearing a t-shirt”– I thought this was a strange request until I saw 3 more women asking for the same thing.
One of these women sent me a very long and emotional email about she struggled with her weight since she was a young girl, how she had never felt comfortable in her clothes, and how she hid for so many years under sweatpants and extra large hoodies. Sarah, that is her name, wrote how she has a dog now and she is walking regularly, but that sometimes she lacks the courage to step outside because she doesn't want to go back to the sweatpants and ugly t-shirts and that it is getting too hot for hoodies. She said she needed a top to feel good in, but at the same time comfortable while she is losing the weight. I think she is on to something and I figure she is not the only one. I hear you girl!
Here is a free easy t-shirt pattern that can be made in less than 2 hours and wear with leggings and a light jacket, to drop your kids at school and head to the gym or the park for a walk with the dog. It's all about looking good without having to make too much effort and what is best, it is super easy to make. I've made the pattern to cater for seven sizes from 8 to 20. The finished garment measurements are all below.
This free easy t-shirt pattern is ideal for a curvy beginner sewist. A very loose fitting A-line top with a self-tie neckline.
We've got a tremendous amount of content and tutorials on So-Sew-Easy.com. So as not to repeat techniques for readers who have already seen and followed this content, but at the same time provide guidance to our new readers and beginner sewists, we'll try to place links to specific tutorials below which will help you with various aspects of the project. If you already know how to use these techniques, you can skip straight through to the tutorial.
Required materials & supporting tutorials
- 3/4 to 1 1/2 yards of rayon knit. See recommendations below. For a previous tutorial on How to shop for knit fabrics online, please click the link.
- sewing thread to match. We have a good selection of thread in the So Sew Easy Store if you need any.
- bias tape your own or bought. For a full tutorial on how to Use bias tape for a neckline or armhole facing, please click the link.
- a jersey or ballpoint needle. Preferably a Schmetz.
- stay tape or stretchable fusible interfacing. For a full tutorial on How and where to use Knit Stay Tape, please click the link.
- a twin needle (optional). For a full tutorial on How to use a twin needle, please click the link.
- a walking foot (optional). For info on More presser feet than you will ever need, please click the link.
- binding foot (optional). For a full tutorial on How to use the binding foot, please click the link.
Fabric recommendations from Fabric.com
Download the free pattern
Finished garment measurements
Step 1: Print out the pattern and cut the fabric
I am using a scrap of fabric and don't have enough to cut both back and front on the fold of the fabric, so I have added the 5/8″ seam allowance at the back. Whatever you do decide to do, don't forget to add the seam allowance.
Step 2: Fuse the tape to the neck shoulder and sleeves and hemlines
Alternatively, you can make your own 1/2″ strip of stretchable fusible interfacing cut on the bias.
Step 3: Attach bias tape to the peek-a-boo hole
Place the front print facing up, pin the bias tape to the seam at 3/8″ and stitch.
Step 4: Fold the bias tape to the wrong side of the fabric and iron and pin in place.Step 5: Sew the shoulders with right sides together
Sew the front and back at the shoulders and then sew the sides seams.Finish the seams either with a stretch stitch in your normal sewing machine or with the serger.
Step 6: Attach bias tape to the neckline
Cut a bias tape of approximately 1 3/4 yards long. Leave 17-19 inches of the bias tape hanging on either side of the neckline, then start pinning the rest to the neck.
As mentioned before, pin the bias tape on the right side of the garment and sew at 3/8″, iron and fold back inside. This time I will use the binding foot. I have a feeling it will work well to make this type of neckline.
This step can be a little complicated so I made a short video showing the procedure as well as the use of the binding foot. Hope it helps.
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Step 6: Hemming the sleeves and bottom
Make sure you have stabilized all the edges of the sleeves and the bottom with the stay tape or the stretchable fusible interfacing.
Pin back to the inside (wrong side of the print) the amount equal to the stay tape (1/2″)Use a twin needle or a jersey needle and your walking foot to finish the sleeves and the hem, and you are ready for that long walk in the park. It doesn't look like a t-shirt and that is the point;) The rayon jersey I have used is very soft and drapes very well. I hope you like this free easy t-shirt pattern. It was the perfect opportunity to use the binding foot and the only difficult part was finding the model.
Next time we are sewing clothes, we will be showing a bit more skin. In the comments below let me know what would you like to make next. In the meantime – Happy sewing!