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June 1, 2016

Your First Sewing Tutorial: Making a T-Shirt

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When I started sew I felt sort of intimidated by the machine, even though I had grown up with the sounds of my mom sewing in the room next door. There’s just something about that needle and all the places where the thread has to be placed that makes one feel inadequate and worried about all the “what ifs”. What if the needle breaks? What if the threads get tangled? What if my machine breaks? But, there really is no reason to be afraid, because the chances of all those thing happening are very slim if you just work carefully and read through your manual (I know we hardly ever do this, but in this case I really recommend you just taking some time and going through the booklet). I promise you won’t regret getting to know your new best friend :).

If you are a beginner seamstress or seamster (lets remember that sewing is not just for women) I suggest that the first thing to do, after reading your manual, is to take a look at a simple t-shirt or top that fits you by flipping it inside out. Look at how it is structured and where the pieces are sewed together. You will notice that the seam is always 1.5 cm away from the edge and that is why you always need to add a seam allowance when cutting out your patterns to make sure that they will fit you once it has been assembled. Also always remember to make a backward stitch at the beginning and  end of your stitched line to prevent the thread from coming loose.

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  1. Get some cheap fabric to test your skills with for your first sewing project, because the chances that things will not be perfect are pretty high (don’t let that discourage you because you have to learn to get better).
  2. Take a T- shirt that you don’t love and need anymore and cut it up on all the seams where it has been stitched together. Fold your fabric in half and place the front piece and sleeves on the fabric with pins.
  3. Cut the 2 pieces out. Remember to add your 1.5 cm seam allowance to the side when cutting! You will now have 2 sleeves and a front and back piece. Cut the neck as you need it.
  4. Place the front and back with right sides facing each other so that the inside of the fabric is on the outside and stitch along the right and left side, and along your shoulders.
  5. Stitch the sleeves on the length by placing them together with the outside of the fabric on the inside to form a sleeve. Leave the arm hole section  and other end open.
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  6. With the body turned inside out, pin the sleeves to the body in the arm holes by placing them in the arm holes with the right side of the fabric of the sleeve and body facing each other. Stitch along the arm hole.
  7. Make your hems on your sleeves, neck and bottom by folding the fabric over 1.5 cm and stitching it down using a straight stitch. You can also finish of the edges of your hems by using a zig zag stitch.

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You will now have a T -shirt! I hope that this helped you. Please feel free to share pictures of your first sewing project or send me any questions if your are struggling with something 🙂

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