Introduction: How to Sew and Reproduce My Favorite Shirt

I love sewing projects when they take under one hour because otherwise they usually don't get finished.  The piles of projects I have sitting around because they took longer than an hour is enormous.  I also love to make patterns from my favorite pieces of clothing.  I picked up this shirt in a clothing swap (free!) a few weeks back.  I needed a Christmas present for my sister and realized she would love this shirt as much as I do.

Step 1: Cutting Pieces 1 & 2

If you think you will use this pattern over and over use muslin to make pattern pieces that you can re-use.  For this example I skipped making the pattern and pulled out the fabric I wanted to make the shirt from.  Use a similar fabric as the original you are copying.  This blouse was stretchy and so I'm using a stretchy spandex.  When I use stretchy fabric I usually sew on my serger.  It was on the fritz so I used my good ole Phaff using a zig-zag stitch for all the seams.
There are 4 pieces to this shirt.  Three in the front and one in the back.
Starting on the front top section fold over the shirt so you just see piece 1.
Cut the piece out 1/2" larger than the original.  This shirt was tight in the arms so I extended the length of the armpit to the shoulder.
Flip piece 1 over and cut a copy.  This is piece 2.

Step 2: Cutting Piece 3

Again, lay the shirt on top of the fabric facing up.
Cut 1/2" wider around the bottom piece.  This is piece 3.  I lengthened it by a few inches because my sister is long waisted.  If you are going to hem the shirt account for the added hem.  I didn't hem the bottom because I didn't need to. The spandex will roll up a little around the bottom and keep from fraying

Step 3: Cutting Piece 4

Flip the shirt over so the back is facing up and lay it on the fabric.
Cut 1/2" wide around the shirt.  Again I added a few inches to the length.

Step 4: Sewing the Top Front

Lay out Pieces 1 and 2 with Piece 3 under them.  
Adjust the cross over on Pieces 1 & 2 to match the width (the top width) of Piece 3.
Pin Pieces 1 & 2 along the bottom.  I place my pins perpendicular to the seam so I can sew right over them.
Sew Pieces 1 & 2 together across the bottom.

Step 5: Sewing the Top and Bottom Together

After completing Step 4 lay out Piece 3 face up.  Take Piece 1 & 2 (that are now connected) and lay on top of Piece 3 face down.  
The sides of the fabric that you want to be the outside of the shirt should be facing each other as though it is inside out.  
The bottom of Piece 1 & 2 should be even with the top of Piece 3. 
Pin and sew Pieces together.

Step 6: Sewing the Front and the Back

Now Pieces 1, 2 & 3 are all together.
Lay the front piece, with the inside of the fabric facing out..  
Lay out the back piece, Piece 4 on top of the front piece. The inside of the fabric should be facing out.
Line them up. 
Pin the shoulders and sides.
Sew shoulders and sides together.
Turn it right side out and it is complete!
Note that I did not finish the armholes, head opening or hem the bottom.  With this fabric it was not necessary.  If needed, surge or make a rolled seam with a traditional sewing machine on all the above areas.

Comments

author
nupharhall made it! (author)2014-05-20

I love it! definitely will try it! thx!

author
saosport made it! (author)2013-04-09

I love it thanks

author
Rosilin made it! (author)2011-02-18

Nice Instructable!
Any tips on sewing stretchy fabric on a normal sewing machine, not at serger?
And, what would you do if the article of clothing your copying has dart. gathers, or pleats?

author
Chicken Girl made it! (author)Chicken Girl2011-02-19

When I made this top both (yes, I have two sergers!) of my sergers needed servicing. The zig-zag stitch will do just fine. The width and length of the stitch will vary depending on the fabric. Using some scraps of the fabric you are going to use experiment with different zig-zag lengths and widths to get the one that will be appropriate.
If you piece has darts, gathers or pleats you need to measure. For example, if it's a dart measure the base, tip and length. The base you will double. It's difficult for me to describe in words. Best for my next Instructable!

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