How to Sew a Shirt? Step-By-Step Guide

How to Sew a Shirt? Step-By-Step Guide

To advance your sewing abilities and elevate your shirt designs, learn how to make a shirt.

  1. Sew a Button Stand on a Shirt
  2. Sew a Shirt Yoke
  3. Sew on a Shirt Collar
  4. Attaching Your Collar to the Bodice
  5. Sew a Shirt Placket
  6. Sew on a Shirt Cuff
  7. Sew in a Sleeve

Have you ever wanted to know how to sew a t-shirt but just didn’t know how? Maybe you thought it’d be a lot cheaper. Or perhaps you wanted to make a fun custom shirt but didn’t want to head to the store to buy one. Today, we have the ideal post for you.

Learn how to sew a shirt by using these pointers and detailed instructions if you’re looking for a simple sewing project. Read More: How to Sew a Zipper?

Materials You Will Need to Sew a Shirt

To sew a shirt at home, you need a few basic materials. If you have made DIY clothing before, you may already have some of these items on hand.

  1. Fabric: Pick a fabric that is both comfortable and simple to work with, like knit.
  2. Pattern: You can make your shirt using a template provided by a sewing pattern. Choose a T-shirt pattern in your size and a silhouette you like from the neighborhood fabric shop. Alternatively, browse the thousands of free patterns online.
  3. Sewing machine: You can sew quickly and easily with the aid of a sewing machine. Since the knit fabric is easy to work with, you will not need a serger—a specialty sewing machine used for edge finishes—for this project. Learn how to use a sewing machine.
  4. Sewing tools: For your shirt, you’ll need some basic sewing supplies, including fabric scissors, a measuring tape, pins to hold down your pattern, and a tailor’s chalk to mark it.
  5. Iron: Throughout the sewing process, use an iron to smooth out your fabric and press the seams.

How to Sew a Shirt?

Make a DIY T-shirt at home by following this sewing tutorial. The bodice will be our first focus:

  • I’ll show you how to sew a button stand on your front bodice
  • Also, how to sew a shirt yoke on your back bodice.

Then we’ll make our way outside:

  • I’ll walk you through how to sew on a shirt collar. Stick with me, and I promise you’ll soon be a pro.

And finally, we’ll tackle the shirt sleeves:

  • We’ll start with the plackets (don’t worry, they’re not as scary as they seem)
  • Once they’re complete, I’ll show you how to sew on the cuffs
  • Last but not least, I’ll show you my easy method how to sew in a sleeve

Sew a Button Stand on a Shirt

How to Sew a Shirt? Step-By-Step Guide

To sew a button stand onto a shirt, refer to this detailed tutorial.

  1. Before removing your pattern piece, notch each fold line at the bottom where the hem is and at the top too. Do the same on the opposite side as you should have done on one pair of the bodice pattern pieces.
  2. Now fold and press each fold line in-fold underneath if you don’t want a fold line on top (refer to video for demonstration) and repeat on other bodices. TIP: Before you fold and press, iron on any interfacing that will help your button stand stronger. If you don’t have interfacing, make sure your button stand is going to be thick enough to hold the structure. To make sure it is, I’ve substituted a triple-layer button stands for a double-layer.
  3. To make sure your button stand is extremely accurate, you can secure it with a few pins before sewing.
  4. Lastly, sew a couple of millimeters in from the edge of your button stand (not the center front edge) to secure it in place. Repeat on both sides (front bodice left and front bodice right). The buttonholes and buttons can now be marked so that the garment fastens properly.

Sew a Shirt Yoke

How to Sew a Shirt? Step-By-Step Guide
  1. 2 yoke pattern pieces will have been cut from your fabric. Place one of your front bodice pieces between the two yoke pieces with the right sides of the yoke facing inward. Pin all 3 layers at the shoulder seams and sew in place.
  2. Repeat on the other side of the front bodice piece.
  3. Refer to the demonstration in the video to learn how to fold both yoke pieces. The shoulder seams can then be pinned to keep them in place until we topstitch them (this is optional and up to you).
  4. The hems of both yoke pieces should now be folded in and pressed to hide your seam allowances.
  5. The seam allowance of the back bodice piece is tucked inside the two yokes. To keep it in place, pin and topstitch a few millimeters from the yoke edge. If you don’t want to topstitch your shoulder seams, you can just take the pins out instead.

Sew on a Shirt Collar

How to Sew a Shirt? Step-By-Step Guide

Before you sew on the collar and sew the front and back bodices together at the side seams, make sure the aforementioned steps are finished.

  1. Before you take the paper pattern piece off the fabric, make sure all your notch points are marked. TIP: To ensure that the collar sits properly on your back bodice, I also advise adding a few notches to the center back of the collar.
  2. First, you want to start with your fall piece. The piece that “falls” over the stand is this one. You will have already cut out one pair, so place them right sides together, pin, and sew all the way around, leaving the straight edge open to attach to the collar stand. TIP: Before sewing the fall pieces together, be sure to iron on any interfacing if you have any.
  3. Snip off your seam allowance corners and trim the rest of the seam allowance down to 0.5 cm/1/4″. Furthermore, cut your curve so that it turns through with a clean, smooth profile. Now you have the option of leaving it alone or topstitching the edge a few millimeters in.
  4. Now, take your collar stand pattern pieces (you should have cut 1 pair) and sandwich the collar fall that you’ve just created between the two collar stand pieces. Do not forget to line up your notches and secure them with pins. Prior to attaching the collar stand pieces to the fall, make sure the collar stand’s interfacing is ironed on.
  5. Sew around the curved edge then trim off any excess seam allowance trimming it down to 0.5cm/1/4″. Snip into the curves again so when you turn through they are smooth and neat. Now make a right turn and press.

Attaching Your Collar to the Bodice

How to Sew a Shirt? Step-By-Step Guide
  1. Start by matching up your centre-back notches on your collar stand and on your bodice. Pin the edge of your button stand and the match on your front bodice. Match any other notches along here and pin. TIP: Start with one layer. I like to topstitch on the outside, which is the side you will see, so I like to start with the inside layer first.
  2. Now sew along to secure it in place, turn the right way and lightly press.
  3. On the remaining collar stand, you can then press as you go and tack in place by folding the seam allowance under.
  4. A millimeter or two up from the edge, topstitch this down.

Your collar is now finished and attached to the bodice.

Sew a Shirt Placket

How to Sew a Shirt? Step-By-Step Guide
  1. Okay, so you are aware of the first instruction I will give you…that’s right, make sure you’ve marked any notches on before removing your sleeve and placket pattern pieces. You can also cut your placket opening on the fabric on both your placket piece and sleeve piece too. 
  2. Pin your placket onto your sleeve with both your sleeve and placket facing downwards (Even though it seems a little strange, this is completely normal when sewing a placket. On the back of the sleeve is where the placket is located. To tell the front and back of the sleeve apart, use your notches. The taller side of the placket is placed towards the center. Do not forget to pin the opening of your placket as well.
  3. Sew around the placket opening (the size of your placket will determine how far out you need to sew the line – normally marked on your pattern piece) and then flip your placket the right way around (refer to the video above for a demonstration).
  4. Press your placket now so that it lies flat and neatly. After that, press the edges of your placket, including the point, where your seam allowance is folded under. 5.I suggest watching the video above carefully for this step.
  5. The fold lines will be folded and pressed in next. Beginning with the shorter edge, fold in the direction of the placket opening, press flat, then fold back in half and press once more. The longer edge of the placket should also be repeated.
  6. Pin all of this in place and sew down the shorter edge of the placket first hiding the previous stitch line. I recommend sewing 1 millimeter from the edge (not from the placket opening edge)
  7. Now move the placket edge you’ve just sewn out the way and repeat step 6 for the loner edge of the placket. You can also topstitch the top opening of the placket hiding any raw edges

Sew on a Shirt Cuff

How to Sew a Shirt? Step-By-Step Guide
  1. Make sure all of our notches are marked on and let’s get things started. Also, mark where your buttons are going to go too (If you’re making a toile, this is helpful to do so you can check they’ll sit in the right place)
  2. Then, if you have an all-in-one cuff pattern piece with a fold line down the middle, fold your cuff in half lengthways, and sew down both edges at either end. TIP: If you want to interface your cuff to strengthen it, make sure you iron this on before you fold it in half and sew.
  3. Cut off your corners before you turn through to make sure your edges are crisp neat points. Turn your cuff through the right way around poking your corners out and press.
  4. We will now sew the cuff to the sleeve. Taking one layer of the cuff, pin it to the wrong side of the sleeve. To secure it in place, sew all around using your chosen seam allowance.
  5. Turn the sleeve the right way through. Take the other cuff layer, press the seam allowance under, and then fold it in half. This will then lay flat where the prior stitching is on the sleeve. Pin and topstitch in place 1 or 2 millimeters from the edge.

Sew in a Sleeve

How to Sew a Shirt? Step-By-Step Guide
  1. Start by pinning your side seam and underarm seam together at the notches (2 at the back and 1 at the front) then match the top of the sleeve head up with the shoulder seam and pin. So you can start working with markers right away.
  2. Now pin in the extra fabric between the notches to hold it in place. This process is facilitated by beginning at the bottom of the armhole. Gently ease the fabric in and pin in areas where there seems to be more fabric.
  3. Finally, sew in place using your seam allowance.

Tips for Sewing a Shirt

Although it’s simple to sew a basic T-shirt, there are a few guidelines that novice sewers should abide by to get the best results. Before you sew a shirt at home, review these tips.

  1. Choose the right fabric. Choose an easy-to-work-with knit fabric if this is your first time making a basic pullover T-shirt. Jersey knit or fabric with ribbing—vertical lines that stretch upon donning the garment—are popular choices. Alternately, use plain cotton fabric to make your first shirt.
  2. Find a simple sewing pattern. Look for a basic pull-over T-shirt pattern that doesn’t require buttons or too many seams. Even with this simple silhouette, there are many options for T-shirts, including long and short sleeves or fitted and oversized styles. Find a sewing pattern with a straightforward feature, such as a front pocket or V-neckline.
  3. Keep the fabric flat. Knit fabric is very stretchy, so keep it flat while you measure, cut, and sew. Your measurements will be less accurate if the fabric stretches under your hands or hangs over the edge of your work area.
  4. Use sharp tools. To ensure straight cuts and prevent fraying, use sharp fabric scissors. Replace the needle in your sewing machine every few projects to keep it sharp and functional.

Conclusion: Sew a Shirt at Home

Here are the steps to sew a shirt at home:

  1. Sew a Button Stand on a Shirt
  2. Sew a Shirt Yoke
  3. Sew on a Shirt Collar
  4. Attaching Your Collar to the Bodice
  5. Sew a Shirt Placket
  6. Sew on a Shirt Cuff
  7. Sew in a Sleeve

You can make perfectly fitting t-shirts in a variety of fabrics and colors with the help of a few special tools and techniques!


Is It Easy to Sew Your Own Shirt?

As long as you know how to operate a sewing machine, you can sew your own shirt. If you’ve never sewn a shirt before, though, it might be easiest to start with a basic t-shirt. Start by following a pattern or creating your own.

Is It Cheaper to Make a Shirt?

Sewing your own clothes can be cheaper if you really want them to be, but it often isn’t. So, we priced several Seamwork patterns with their ready-to-wear counterparts to compare costs. However, before we look at the numbers, it’s important to acknowledge that “cheaper” can’t stop at a garment’s final price tag.

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