DIY Oversized T-Shirt : No-sew




Introduction: DIY Oversized T-Shirt : No-sew

About: Specializing in sewing, soldering and snacking. More stuff I do... I teach an interactive fashion and textile class called Wearable and Soft Interactions at California College of the Arts. www.wearablesoft...

This instructable will show you how to create a t-shirt using all the fabric in a given dimension AND without a sewing machine!

Step 1: Get Your Materials

- 2 yards of medium-weight jersey at any width - if 54" or more, you can make another shirt!

- Iron

- Stitch Witchery

- Measuring tape

- Straight pins

- Fabric marking medium (chalk, invisible ink pen)

- Piece of string ~10" long

- Straight ruler

- Rotary cutter **

- Cutting Mat **

** Optional. Scissors can be used, mark your lines with ruler beforehand to ensure straight cuts.

Step 2: Iron, Square and Cut

- Wash, dry and iron your jersey knit fabric to pre-shrink

- Lay it on a table and smooth it out. Measure the width and make sure you have at least 24", I bought 60" width and then cut it in half. So, my starting width is 30" wide fabric that I will be cutting down in the next step.

- Square off the two short ends of your 2 yard piece as best as you can. If you end up with a little less or more of 2 yards in the end, don't worry. This just means that the length of the shirt will be a little shorter or longer.

Working on Wrong Side of Fabric

Make sure to mark and work on the wrong side of your fabric, the part you want towards your body when the shirt is worn. Chalk should wash out, but sometimes certain colors linger on light colored fabrics.

Step 3: Mark and Cut T-shirt Pattern Pieces

The pattern is simple. It basically consists of strips, rectangles and one circle. Follow along below to mark and cut your fabric. Mark on wrong side of fabric.

Dimension of Fabric

- To start, your fabric's dimension should be 24" x 72" (2 yards). Cut your fabric to that dimension. I cut off 6" from the overall width since I started with a piece that measured 30" x 72".

Neck Trimming

- From one of the short ends of the fabric, cut off 2 strips at .75".


- Starting at one end of your fabric, mark 19" from the edge. Draw a line up widthwise, making it a right angle to the length.

- Cut along the line.

- Mark the center width of this new piece at 12", square off and cut. These are your two sleeves. They should both measure in at 19" x 12".


- Measure 25.75" along the length from the cut edge of your remaining fabric and mark. This should be the middle of your remaining fabric length, once you cut off your sleeve pieces. Make the same mark on the opposite edge and lightly draw a line widthwise with your chalk. This is your shoulder line.

- Find and mark the middle of your shoulder line at 12", this is the center of the neckline circle. From the center, go up 5" and down 5", mark.

- Start from the 12" center mark again, this time marking 5" on left side and 5" on right.

- Take your piece of chalk, tie it to the end of a piece of string, hold the string at the center mark and draw your chalk around, hitting all four points, to make a circle. Cut the circle out carefully! This will be used later to make the pockets.


- Take the circle you cut from your neckline and cut it in half.

Step 4: Attach Sleeves to Body

Turn your iron on and put it on a medium setting. While you are waiting for it to get warm, cut these measurements from your roll of Stitch Witchery:

- 2 lengths of 12.5"

- Using the shoulder line as your center, mark 9.5" to the left and 9.5" to the right, creating a length of 19". You will be using these marks to position your sleeves.

- Take your sleeves and mark the middle along the one of the 19" edges.

- Take the body and a sleeve piece over to the ironing board, lay down the adhesive along the raw edge and line up the sleeve center mark with the markings on your body.

- Iron down in place. Let the fabric cool completely before you move it or pull up any edges to see if it has adhered properly. Keeping my iron moving in little circles at all times, I usually stay in one spot for a second or so. If the adhesive does not melt, make another pass with the iron or turn the temperature up a little at a time.

Step 5: Finish Neckline

To keep it from stretching out, we are going to fuse the .75" strip of fabric we cut earlier to the edge of the neckline with Stitch Witchery.

- Lay your shirt out on the iron and grab one of the cut strips and the roll of Stitch Witchery.

- Put one end of the adhesive down along the edge of the neckline. Then put the end of your cut fabric strip on top, covering the adhesive completely and fuse an inch or so. Keep working around the neckline bit-by-bit until you have gone all the way around, ending with little bit of an overlap. You will need to use the second cut strip at some point to complete the circle.

Step 6: Close Up Under Arms and Side Seams

- Fold your shirt in half along the shoulder line and with the right side of the fabric facing out.

- Lay strips of adhesive, along the under arms, from edge of sleeve hem, ending it .5" past the armpit point. Do the same for the side seam of the t-shirt. Make sure you have a .5" overlap at the armpit point, this will help it to last longer, since this point may be strained through wear-and-tear.

- Meet your edges up before you start ironing and try not to drag your iron across your fabric, this will help with any potential warping as you go. Take your iron and start seaming it up from the armpit point, out towards the sleeve hem and then out towards the body hem.

- Check to make sure your seams are adhering and you are almost done! All you have to do now is attach your two pockets.


Before I attached my pockets, I ended up hand painting my shirt to make it a little snazzier. You can see that 'ible here.

Step 7: Attach Pockets

- Take the 2 semi-circles, created by cutting your neckline circle in half, and place them where ever you like on your shirt. I placed mine in a way that highlighted my dye pattern.

- Pin your pockets in place, making sure to leave about 5/8" of the bottom pocket edges loose so you can get the adhesive underneath.

- Take your shirt, pockets and roll of Stitch Witchery over to the iron.

- Starting at one corner of your pocket, lay the adhesive on the shirt body and under the edge of your pocket.

- Iron the bottom curved edge of your pockets, working the adhesive around bit-by-bit between the body of hte shirt and the edge of your pockets, like you did for the neckline.

- When you reach the other corner of your pocket, cut the adhesive close to the top edge and press to ensure good contact.

After the adhesive has cooled down, check to see if your edges are adhered properly. If you need, take a second pass with the iron.

You are done! :)

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    7 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I have used Stitch Witchery heavy duty for my husband's pants hem. Lasted about 4 years with regular washing. Just make sure that the pieces of material has adhered to each other.


    5 years ago

    very nicely done..also good painting


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Nicely done!

    How does that Stitch Witchery stuff hold up to washing? I'm not too familiar with it.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    That's a good question. Some people believe it's too delicate to take a beating (from a washing machine). However, in my experience it holds up fairly well. As long as you have properly heated the adhesive so the materials that it's between fuse together properly. Also, make sure you get the regular or heavy duty weight, not the light.

    So far, I have washed this shirt 3 times with warm water and in the dryer on low heat and nothing has come undone. The manufacturer, Dritz, says it can be washed and dry cleaned.

    To be safe about long-term life, you should put it on a delicate wash cycle or hand wash. :)


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I was wondering the same thing. Would you recommend hand-washing this instead? I usually hand-wash things if I'm not sure but just wondering if Stitch Witchery had any specific instructions. :)

    Love the paint you used, too!