Picture of Summer Shirt Tutorial
This is a tutorial to make a sweet, summer shirt for your child (or even for you!).  This tutorial is based on measurements, not a pattern, so you can scale it up or down as needed.  You can even make it into a lovely sundress!

Come visit me over at to see more pictures and get a bonus tutorial for adding a gathered cuff to a pair of shorts..

You ready to get started?  Let's gather materials.

You will need:
Fabric (about 3/4 yard for a child's shirt)
Matching thread
Coordinating Piping (optional)
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Step 1: Math and Cuts

Picture of Math and Cuts
(All the math in sewing!  I wish I paid better attention in geometry!)  You will need your child’s chest (C), hip (H) and strap (S) measurements.  Place those numbers into the following formulas to get the measurements for the cuts you will need to make.  All seams are 1/2" seams (Except where piping is used).  If you want a looser fit, simply increase the ease in each formula.

Front Band Width (FBW) = (C ÷ 2) + 1” (ease) + 1” (seam)

Back Bands Width (BBW) = (C ÷ 4) + 0.5” (ease) + 1” (seam) + 1” (button placket)

Body Height (BH) = Desired length from chest to hip + 1.25” (hem allowance)

Body Width (BW) = (H ÷ 2) + 5” (ease) + 1” (seam)

Strap Length (SL) = S + 1” (seam)

Ruffle Length (RL) = S x 1.5 (gathering ease-increase or decrease as desired)

Cuts to Make

Front Band: 3” x FBW (Cut 2)

Back Bands: 3” x BBW (Cut 4)

Body: BH x BW (Cut 2)

Straps: 4” x SL (Cut 2)

Ruffles: 3” x RL (Cut 2)

Note:  For my 18 month old, I shortened both the band and the ruffles to 2.5”

Step 2: Make Ruffles

Picture of Make Ruffles
Round off the ends of each ruffle piece.  Remember to make them mirror images of each other.  (I simply used the edge of a plate as a template.)

Finish the rounded edge of the ruffle using a narrow hem or rolled edge.

Gather the unfinished long edge of the strip.
scoochmaroo2 years ago
Stunning, beautiful work! I can't wait to see more :D
sewinharmony (author)  scoochmaroo2 years ago
Thank you! I'm working on it. ;)
katvanlew2 years ago
I love the piping detail. very cute.
sewinharmony (author)  katvanlew2 years ago
Thank you! These shirts were my challenge to myself to get better at piping.
mygibzone2 years ago
sewinharmony (author)  mygibzone2 years ago
That is such a cute shirt! And it looks perfect with the fabric you chose!
sewinharmony (author)  Penolopy Bulnick2 years ago
Thanks! I totally designed around this fabric...I love it so much!
These are just adorable! And seriously amazing photos, too! You make it look so easy. :D
sewinharmony (author)  jessyratfink2 years ago
Thanks! They really are very is all I can do to not make 10 of them for my girls. :)