Happy Hump Day Lovelies!

I’m still a bit under the weather…but I thought I’d share with you just how easy it is to draft a pattern template using an existing garment that you already have. I’ve mentioned many times in my posts about drafting a bodice from one of Abigail’s existing t-shirt patterns but never showed you how! I made a couple of t-shirts for Adrian last week using the same method and thought I’d share with you the process.

STEP 1: Find an old T-shirt! In order to get the pattern pieces I needed to construct the t-shirt, I needed to cut apart an existing t-shirt. Find one that has the fit you are looking for and one that you don’t mind cutting apart….especially one that won’t be missed! lol Here I’m using one of Adrian’s old T-shirts:


STEP 2: CUT T-shirt apart.  In order to get an accurate pattern piece it’s important to cut along the side seams and sleeve seams. So basically you will be cutting the T-shirt in half at the seams and cutting off the sleeves at the seams. Now I have a front pattern piece, a back pattern piece and a sleeve pattern piece.


STEP 3: TRACE pattern pieces onto paper.  Here I’m using basic brown paper (you can it at any craft store, Target and even Walmart). Fold your fabric pattern piece in half (match up shoulders and pin in place at shoulders and neck) and trace. You can use pattern weights to hold down the fabric so it does not shift while you are tracing. We are folding the fabric pattern piece in half because we will be cutting on the fold of the fabric. Cutting on the fold will result in a whole piece when you fold it out.


After you’re done tracing, you should end up with something that looks like this:


STEP 4: ADD SEAM ALLOWANCE. You’ve just created the outline of your t-shirt – but we’re not done yet! Remember, you will be sewing these pieces together so we need add a seam allowance. To do this, take your ruler and add 1/2 an inch all the way around. Repeat this step for your front, back and sleeve paper pattern piece.


STEP 5: CUT OUT PAPER PATTERN PIECES. You’ve just created new lines around your pattern pieces that allocate for your seams allowance – so now we are ready to cut those pattern pieces out. Cut along the NEW lines AND THERE YOU HAVE IT: You’ve just created your very own pattern pieces! (sidenote: If your lines are a little squiggly you can use a ruler or your curve ruler to make the lines more uniformed). ALSO be sure to make a NOTE of where your FOLD is located on the pattern pieces.


STEP 6: Lay pattern pieces on FOLD of fabric and cut.


STEP 7: Create Bias Binding Tape for Neckline. To finish your neckline create a piece of bias tape. I show you how to do that HERE.


STEP 8: Once you’ve got your pattern pieces cut and your bias tape made, you can sew your t-shirt together. I promise to show you how to do that in another post! For now, you’ve just learned how to draft your own pattern pieces from existing garments. You can check that off your bucket list haha! jk.

This is actually one of the quickest sews I’ve ever done and I’m beginning to enjoy working with knits.

We spent the weekend in San Diego and Adrian rocked out his Monster Rock t-shirt. Here he is looking quite handsome, if I do say so myself…haha



This is the first t-shirt I’ve made for Adrian (I don’t know why it took me that long! haha) but it certainly won’t be the last! =)

That’s all for today guys! Talk to you soon, I better get back to resting. xoxo


5 thoughts on “How to Draft a Tshirt Template – DIY

  1. Wow!! I’m amazed at how easy and simple you made this sound. I’m a newbie. But I can’t wait to get stuck in. So until my stuff is delivered I have been scouring the web looking for tips ideas and how to diy videos. Seen lots but none as good and clear as this. I came across it on Instagram and I’m so glad I found your site. I never read blogs but this is awesome. Thankyou so much.

  2. Great idea! Plan to buy your pattern on Craftsy to construct a dress from a man’s or maybe a woman’s shirt for my 2 year old granddaughter. Thanks so much for your awesome ideas!

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