Show Your Stoff Zierstoff Blog Tour

Show Your Stoff – Zierstoff Blog Tour + Discount Code!

It’s Zierstoff Blog Tour time! I have joined many other bloggers and signed up for the ‘Show Your Stoff Blog Tour’ using the great patterns from Zierstoff. I live on the underside of the globe in little old New Zealand. Since we are heading into our cooler weather I have chosen to make the Yann Hoodie/Shawl Collar Shirt and the Nico Reversible Pants. I think these two will make excellent staples for the cooler months. Both these patterns are available in two size ranges, 6 Months to 4/5 Years and 5 Years to 12 Years. These are nice broad size ranges which should mean you get a lot of use out of your pattern purchase.


Continue reading “Show Your Stoff – Zierstoff Blog Tour + Discount Code!”

Boy's Dress Shirt Pattern and Tutorial Free

Boy’s Dress Shirt Pattern + Tutorial (FREE!)

Boy's Dress Shirt Pattern and Tutorial Free
Welcome to my Boy’s Dress Shirt Pattern and Tutorial! I have been putting in the hard yards these last few days to get this boy’s dress shirt ready for you all!  If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen the updates, if not follow me!
Simple this shirt maybe but there is still quite a bit of work involved in making a pattern and turning it into a PDF.  Luckily I enjoy the process!
Boy's Dress Shirt Pattern and Tutorial Nina Makes
This shirt is a classic style dress shirt for a little boy.  The Pdf pattern is in Size 7/8 which is a little on the large side for Harry but will last him a little while.  So far I have only made the one size but feel free to adjust it to make it work for you!  I also have plans for a more fitting version…I’ll let you know when that makes it on to the current to do list!
Boy's Shirt Pattern Free Nina Makes
I love that it is so simple to dress boys up.  Just a nice pair of shorts/pants and a dress shirt and you’re away!  You can add a sweater vest for cooler times or even make a long sleeved version.  Use contrast stitching for a more modern look, although I’m not sure I’m the person to be asking about cool…34 (nearly 35) years old surely I’m way too old to know whats ‘cool’ anymore!  In fact the word cool probably isn’t cool anymore!


What you will need to make the Boy’s Dress Shirt Pattern

  • Fabric – Take your pick as long as it’s fairly lightweight it should be fine. You will need 104cm (43″/ 1.14 yards) of 115cm (45″) wide fabric. Allow a little extra for matching patterns and if you want to cut the yoke on the bias.
  • Bias Binding – 1cm Single Fold
    • Neckline – 44cm (17 1/4”)
    • Hem – 100cm (39 1/2”)
  • Pattern – You can download my Boy’s Dress Shirt Pattern here.  As always my patterns are hand drawn (yes I’m talking pencils, paper, erasers and fine tip sharpies) so they are not computer software perfect but they are most importantly free!
  • Note: Seam Allowance is 1cm (3/8”) unless otherwise stated

Step 1 – Print and Assemble your pattern and cut your pieces

You will need to print the pattern in actual size (no scaling), it will print on both A4 or letter size paper.  Print out just the first page if you are unsure and measure the test square before printing the rest.

Boy's Dress Shirt Tutorial Step by Step

The pattern has arrows to show the grainline and instructions on how to cut your pieces.  I cut my pocket and back yoke pieces on the bias because I liked the look of the plaid going at an angle.  That is totally optional you can cut those pieces on the grainline too if you prefer.

NOTE: If you are using interfacing cut the collar piece as noted on the pattern, and cut two strips of interfacing 2.5cm (1”) wide and 51cm (20”) long.  These are for the button placket and are optional but a good idea on thin fabrics.

Step 2 – Create Button Placket

Boy's Dress Shirt Nina Makes (21)
I like to get this step out of the way and create the button placket first.  This will keep these edges neat and prevent them from fraying making harder to do at the end.  Above you can see what they will look like once finished!
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You can decide which side you want the buttons on (most men’s shirts have the buttons on the right side and the left lays on top).  Which is what I have done here.
Lay your left side front right side facing down and lay the interfacing in place right against the raw center edge of the fabric.  Trim the curve at the neckline to match that of the fabric piece.
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Head over to your iron and press in place.
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While you are at the ironing board fold the interfacing over and press.  If you are not using interfacing fold over by 2.5cm (1”) and press.
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Fold over and press again.
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Sew down the folded side using a 0.5cm (3/16”) seam allowance, remember to lock stitch or reverse over a few stitches at the start and end.
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Fold the placket back out one fold, it is laying right side facing up in the photo above.  Press again.
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With the right side facing up topstitch both edges nice and close to the edge.  This will keep it sitting flat rather than folding back under.  And that is the left side finished.
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Now for the right side place and press your interfacing 0.5cm (3/16”) in from the raw center edge.
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Press the raw edge over on top of the interfacing (or just press over the same width if not using interfacing).
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Fold over and press again to completely encase the raw edge and interfacing.
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Sewing on the wrong side of the fabric, stitch close to the folded edge to keep the folds in place.
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And topstitch the folded edge too.
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And now you should have two pieces that look like these!!

Step 3 – Join Back Pieces

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You should have two back yoke pieces and one back piece.  You will see that the two back pieces don’t quite line up, this is to allow for two small pleats, so lets pin these first.
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Measure in 5cm (2”) from the armhole edge on both the left and right of one of the yoke pieces.  Mark with a pencil or a pin.  Also mark the centres of both the back and the back yoke pieces, it will make the next step easier.
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With the right sides facing pin the back piece on top of one of the yoke pieces, one pin at each end and one in the middle.
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Place small darts folding over towards the outside edge at each pencil mark (or pin).  Now the raw edges line up nicely as the back and the yoke piece are the same width.
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Lay your second back yoke piece on top with the right side facing down.
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Pin in place, making sure that the darts stay in place.  You should now have your back piece sandwiched in between two back yoke pieces.
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Sew with a 1cm (3/8”) seam allowance, just using a regular straight stitch.
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When folded back open the seam is hidden inbetween the two layers of the back yoke.
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Press well!!!  I can’t stress enough it is all about the pressing if you want a neat and tidy finish at the end!
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Then topstitch the pressed seam so that it stays neatly in place.  Beautiful!

Step 4 – Attaching Shoulders

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Lay your pieces with the right sides facing out (the right way around!) as we will be french seaming the shoulder seams.  Pin the shoulders in place, lining up raw edges.
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Sew with a 1cm (3/8”) seam allowance, and then trim half of this allowance off as shown above.
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Fold over to encase the raw edges.  Press the seam and sew again with  a 1cm (3/8”) seam allowance, the raw edge is hidden inside just like with the back pieces.  For more detailed steps on french seams check out my post on that here.
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Press the seam flat and top stitch in place, this is optional but I like the look!  Make sure both sides fold the same way.

Step 5 – Attaching the sleeves

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This would have to be my least favourite part but it must be done so better get on with it!  Mark the center of the sleeve as shown above.
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Mark the center of the shoulder (NOTE: it is not the shoulder seam, that sits slightly to the front) by holding the two armpit ends together.
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With the right sides facing join these two points together lining up the raw edges.
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Carry on pinning from the center down each side till the sleeve is pinned in place.  As you can see above the edges don’t line up perfectly.  I have left the sleeves slightly larger to allow for any differences in shoulder seams, it would be much worse if they were too small at this point!  We will tidy that up when we sew the side seams.
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Sew the pinned seam using a 1cm (3/8”) seam allowance, taking care that the both layers of fabric are sitting flat.
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Overlock or zigzag this seam and press towards the shoulder using your iron.
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Then you can top stitch in place.  Again this is optional but it gives a nice look and keeps the seams in place.

Step 6 – Sew Side Seams

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This is a nice simple step and it is coming together nicely now!  With the right sides of the fabric facing each other pin the sides and sleeves starting at the armpit.  Take care to line up any patterns.
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As you can see the little additional tab of the sleeve sticks out but we can trim that off after sewing.  Sew with a 1cm (3/8”) seam allowance.
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Once sewn overlock and press the seams.

Step 7 – Prepare Collar

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You should have two collar pieces (and possibly one matching piece of interfacing).
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Lay your interfacing on the wrong side of one of the collar pieces and press in place.
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With right sides facing pin the two collar pieces together on three edges.  The interfacing is touching the table in the above photo, so that when turned the right way around it will be on the inside.
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Sew around the three sides.  Then trim off the two pointed corners and clip into the curve as shown above.  Do not cut the stitching!
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Turn right way around and press.  You make like to use a tool to push out the points from the inside.  I use my fabric pencils as the have pointed lids, knitting needles work well too, but be gentle.
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Time to top stitch again!  1cm (3/8”) in from the edge this time.
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Now we need to join the neck band onto the collar.  Sandwich the collar in between the two neck band pieces with the right sides facing each other.  Line up the raw edges and pin in place.
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Sew the neckband in place, starting at one curve and going right around to the other.
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Turn around the right way and press.

Step 8 – Attaching Collar to Shirt

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With the right sides facing each other pin the collar in place.  Mark and line up the centres of both pieces as you did with the sleeves first (or match up any patterns).
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The edges may be a little long.
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You can adjust the curve so that they line up!  Don’t forget to pin that in place too.  To hide this seam on the inside we are going to use the single fold bias.
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Add the bias on the inside (will touch the neck of the wearer).  You need to pin it folded open.  The crease closest to the raw edge should be 1cm (3/8”) away from the same raw edge.
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Here you can see it a little closer!  You will need a little overhang of bias too, this allows you to fold it in at the end.
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Sew in place.  Do not sew past the edge of the collar to the end of the bias, just stop and lock stitch at the edge.
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Now it is time to re fold the bias and fold it over to hide the raw edges.  If your raw edge is too wide to fit inside the bias you can trim it back to fit using scissors.  Make sure the back side sits flat as you are going.
Boy's Dress Shirt Nina Makes (86)Boy's Dress Shirt Nina Makes (87)
Here is how I folded in the ends of the bias.  Gives a lovely neat and super easy finish!
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Don’t forget to tuck in your tag!
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Time to sew it in place.  I like to sew this and topstitch the neckband in one go, just sew close to the edge of the bias (yes I got my pins backwards…happens all the time!) and when you get to the end pivot with the needle in the fabric and topstitch right around the neck band back to the bias at the other side.
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Here you can see how I went around in one go!
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Not perfect but not too bad either!  Letting go of my perfectionist tendencies!
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Woo hoo it’s attached!  Only hemming, pocket and finishing the sleeves to go.
Update: And Domes or buttons!

Step 9 – Finish Sleeves

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Fold the sleeves in by 1cm (3/8”) and press in place.
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Fold in again by 2.5cm (1”) and press.  Take care where your patterns or stripes end up, you can always make the fold slightly larger or smaller it won’t matter.
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Sew from the inside close to the folded edge, and there you have a neatly finished sleeve.  Repeat on the other sleeve.

Step 10 – Hem

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In place of double folding the hem I am using single fold bias for a nice neat finish.  Pin the bias folded out onto the right side of the fabric, with the crease 1cm (3/8”) in from the raw edge.  Just as you did when attaching the collar.
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Trim the raw edge so the frayed strings are removed and it will fit easily inside the folded bias.
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Fold over the bias tucking in the ends just like for the collar.  You need to fold it so that a little of the shirt fabric is visible on the inside, that way the bias won’t be visible on the outside.
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Oops almost forgot, it’s a good idea to press it first!
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Then pin it all in place, take extra care pinning the side seams so that they will sit nicely once sewn.
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Take it nice and slow using a regular presser foot, or if you have one you can use a bias binding foot too.  I don’t so slowly it is!

Step 11 – Add a Pocket (Optional)

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Fold all the sides in 0.5cm (3/16”) and press.  Fold the top over again by 2.5cm (1”) and press.  Mitre the bottom corners so you don’t end up with a bulky spot making it difficult to sew in place neatly.
Boy's Dress Shirt Nina Makes b
To mitre the corners, use the fold creases as a guide line them up when folding the corner in and press (left photo).  Then fold sides back over and press again, and there you have a mitred corner!
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Sew the folded top down.  Sew just in from the edge so you can line up with the seam when sewing around the out side edge.
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Decide where you want it and pin in place.  Sewing the triangles at the top will prevent it ripping out or coming undone as easily.

Step 12 – Add Buttons or Domes/Snaps

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Mark the top closure 5cm (2”) down from the edge of the collar.  Then the others every 8cm (3 3/16”) after that.  That should make 5 in total.  I didn’t put one right at the top on the neckband as I never do those up, but if you do then go ahead and add one!
You can add buttons and button holes at this point instead of domes if you like too.
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For domes I do all the top domes first, then using a couple of pins to hold the shirt closed I use the top domes to mark the spots for their bottom halves.
Boy's Dress Shirt Nina Makes i (10)
AND Congratulations you are all finished!!!  Harry is well over it by now…too tired he said!
I would love to see your creations please tag me on social media (links in the green circles on the right side of the page, up a wee way from this super long tutorial!)
Enjoy ♥

Baby Fleece Hunting Tee

Fleece hunting tops are almost an institution here in New Zealand!  My in laws are farmers and the whole family love a fleece hunting tee.  It’s not even just farmers/hunters so many kids at school are wearing fleece hunting shirts too…and why not they are comfortable and warm!  They don’t even need to look like hunting shirts depending on your fabric choice!

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My SIL asked me to make a couple for her little boy.  He is nearly 3 months old and just the cutest thing!  So after three Hunting Tees I am finally happy with my pattern and ready to share it with you!

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I have created a PDF pattern for you (yes it’s FREE!) it is in a Size 1 – so roughly 9 – 12 months.  These little hunting shirts are loose fitting and are worn over top of other layers, even though they are short sleeved.  I have made them with a V style neck so that they don’t ride up in little ones faces, and I don’t know about you but I can’t stand things right under my neck!  Except for scarves somehow they are ok.

Baby Hunting Tee Shirt a

What you will need

  • Fleece Fabric – It will need to stretch (mine is 2-way)
  • Domes – One set for the shoulder
  • Overlocker – For Hem and side/sleeve seams.  You can just sew the side seams and do a folded hem but you will need to add extra length to the hem to allow for it.
  • Sewing Machine that can zigzag or double needle.  Or any stretch stitch you like.
  • Thread

NOTE:  The bulk of this Hunting Tee is sewn in small zigzag stitch and a seam allowance of 3/8” (1cm).  I will specify if you need to use something different!


Step 1 – Print and cut your pattern

Baby Hunting Tee Shirt (11)

Print your pattern (6 pages) in actual size (or no scaling).  It could pay to just print the first page and check that the 1” (2.54cm) square measures up.  Then you can safely print the other 5 pages.  This pattern should work on both Letter and A4 sized paper.

Baby Hunting Tee Shirt (1)

Line up the pages in the order shown in the chart on page 5. 

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Trim off the the bottom outside border on pages 1, 2 & 3.

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Trim off the side borders on pages 2 and 5.

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Now you are ready to tape them together.

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Tape the bottom row together making sure all the borders line up.

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Do not line up the edge of the pages, you need to line up the edge of the printed border.  Sometimes the printer can skew a little or a page can load a little to either side.

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Cut out your pattern pieces.  Now you are ready to cut your fabric!


Step 2 – Cutting your fabric

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Cut your fabric as normal, making sure the stretch of the fabric is following the arrows marked on the pattern pieces.  I have also added the grainline arrows in case you are wanting to use a different fabric than fleece (the pattern pieces in the photos don’t show all the details yet as I added to them after testing!).

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The back piece is cut as normal on the fold.  Then with the piece laying right side up you need to trim the right hand shoulder piece to the red line on the pattern.  Remember, this is with the fabric facing the right way up!  The trimmed side is for the normal seam, the left side is longer for the domes.

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Here is the front piece laying right side up.  This one also needs to be trimmed.  You will need to lay your pattern on upside down!  So you will be trimming the top left side.


Step 3 – Attach Neck Facings

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With the right sides of the fabric facing each other pin the neck facings in place.  The raw edges should line up with the neckline on the front and back pieces.

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Sew starting at one shoulder right around to the other.

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You will need to sew down 3/8” (1cm) past the V and pivot leaving the needle in.  Then sew up the second side.

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Repeat this step for the back facing.  This should be much simpler as it is only a curve!


Step 4 – Join Front and Back Shoulder

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You will need to join the shorter side (left side with the fabric the right way up).  Pin the back and front together lining up the seams from the facings.

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Fold out the facings seams to one either side to reduce the bulk in one place.

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Sew all the way from one side to the other.


Step 5 – Prep Right Shoulder and Topstich Neckline

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On the other side (both front and back) sew the double layered piece as shown above.  Do not sew past the edge of the facing as you will see this from the outside.

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Trim the corners of these last seams.

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And turn right side out.

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You need to make a cut into the seam allowance at the V of the neckline.   This allows it to sit flat when turned around the right way.

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Pin the neckline in place.  You will needle to wriggle the seam between you fingers to bring the stitching to the edge.

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Make sure that the shoulder seam is folded out flat before folding over!

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Topstitch the entire neckline and the tops of the shoulder pieces on the front and back using the same zigzag stitch.  Start at one shoulder at the armhole edge, then you can sew all the way around in one go.  Use the same pivot technique for the V neck.


Step 6 – Add Dome

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Position the domes on the top corner of the shoulder at the neckline side.  I use the corner in the stitching as a guide.  Remember that the front will overlap the back piece.

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There you have two domes ready to go!

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Trim the excess of the facing from the inside.


Step 7 – Adding Sleeves

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Starting on the non domed side pin the centre of the sleeve piece to the seam at the top of the shoulder, with the right side facing.

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Then pin the two ends.

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Spread any gather evenly and pin the remaining seam.  Pin with the body side up so you can keep an eye on the seem staying flat.

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I overlocked these in place.  You can zigzag as normal if you don’t have an overlocker.  Again I used a 3/8” (1cm) seam allowance.

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There is your sleeve attached!

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Time for the other side.  Pin your domed shoulder togther before pinning sleeve.  Line the centre of the sleeve up with the seam on the top of the shoulder.

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Once you have pinned the centre remove the first pin so that you don’t sew over it!  Pin the rest of the sleeve as you did the first one.  Make sure that the layers stay flat when sewing!

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Step 8 – Sew Side/Sleeve Seams

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Pin the side and sleeve seam in one go.  Make sure to line up the seam at the armpit.

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You will notice that the bottom doesn’t line up completely but…

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Once you sew the seam allowance they will!

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I again overlocked this seam but you can zigzag if you prefer.


Step 9 – Hem Sleeves

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Fold over the raw edge by 1/2” (1.27cm) and pin in place.

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Zigzag with a 3/8” (1cm) starting at the seam and sew right around the sleeve.

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There it is all done!  Repeat on the other sleeve.


Step 10 – Hem Bottom & Add Label

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As you can see I just overloacked the edge.  You can fold the hem just the same as the sleeves if you prefer.

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Choose where you want your label to go and use a regular glue stick to stick in place.

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Sew around the edge of the label.  They you can trim the edges if you like.

Congrats you are all finished!  I would love to see your creations if you make a hunting tee and please share this post using the links below!

Semi Sleeved Poncho Pattern + Tutorial

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I have to be honest and say other than dress-ups I have never been a big poncho fan.  They always have that slightly hobo vibe and I don’t mean the chic kind!  That was till I saw a semi sleeved poncho…
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My Oma (Grandma) sent Hannah a semi sleeved poncho in one of her parcels this year.  I looked at it and thought…hmmm a poncho…yay!  Then I had Hannah try it on and I loved it!
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Poor kid is covered in mosquito bites after our second camping trip this year.  I think we had a wee visitor in the tent on the last night!  This poncho is a little different to the one Oma sent but the idea is the same.  A poncho with two additional seams up the sides to create a semi kind of sleeve.  This front fabric is a satin (I believe) and the back in lightweight knit.  These are both gifts from friends de-stashing so I’m not exactly sure what they are!


What You’ll Need

  • Fabric – At least one needs to be a stretchy knit.  You can have both front and back knit, or font woven and back knit.  As a square the pattern piece measures 53.5cm (21”) high by 66cm (26”) wide so your fabric will need to be at least these dimensions.
  • Knit Bias – I cut strips of the knit fabric I used for the back for this as I didn’t have any stretchy bias.  Instructions below!
  • Double Needle
  • Sewing Machine  (You can use an overlocker in a few places but I didn’t)
  • Thread
  • Pattern – You can download my PDF Pattern for a Girls Size 7.  If you need a different size you can use the pattern as a shape guide and go from there.  The design is very simple so you could easily make your own pattern using a top you already have as a size guide.


Step 1 – Cutting Fabric

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Excuse the join in the table it is school holidays here and I have to work around a stack of colouring in the kids were doing!  You will need to cut a front and a back piece.
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For the back piece fold your fabric and line up the edge of the pattern on the fold.  Your pattern will look a little different as I am using my original hand drawn draft.  Pin or use weight to hold in place and cut around the pattern.
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Now repeat for the front piece with one little alteration.  Place a piece of tape over the ‘front’ neckline right at the fold edge, then cut down the curve of the front neckline to the edge of the tape.
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This allows you to fold it under and out of the way without having to cut and print to seperate pattern pieces!  Saving paper and loads of time!
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The last pieces to cut are the knit strips for the edging.  I use a regular ruler for this which is 4cm wide. 
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You will need roughly about 3 meters (118”).  It is ok to have joins, I will show you how I did those below!


Step 2 – Add Front Neckline

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I seems like an odd way to start but it really is easier this way!  Pin your knit strip onto the right side of the fabric (Update: stretch the knit fabric a little as you go for the front too, this will make it sit flatter at the end).  Leave a little bit of the knit strip overhanging at both sides.  With the right sides facing and the raw edge lining up.  Carry on till the whole front neckline is pinned.
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Sew in place using straight stitch, unless you are using a knit fabric for the front too then use a small zigzag stitch (see the next step).  I used a 1/4” seam allowance but I would recommend a little larger like 3/8”.  Which is what I’ll be doing next time!
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It should look like above.
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And from the right side.


Step 3 – Add Back Neckline

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You pin the back neckline just the same as the front and again stretch the knit strip slightly as you go.
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Sew using a small zigzag stitch so that it retains the stretch.  This will allow the neckline to stretch over the head.


Step 4 – Joining the Knit Strips

Semi Sleeved Poncho (19)
You may need to join the knit strips together to make them long enough to go right round the bottom and sides.  To do this you take the two knit strips and lay them right sides facing one on top of the other with the end lining up.  Sew with a straight stitch using a 1cm (3/8”) seam allowance.
Semi Sleeved Poncho (20)
Then trim off the excess.
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When turned the right way up it will look like above.  You don’t need to join at the usual 45° angle as the knit strip is stretchy unlike regular bias binding.


Step 5 – Add Edge Every Where Else!

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Pin and sew the binding all the way around the sides and bottom of the front and back in the same way as the neckline.  The only places that don’t need edging are the shoulder seams.
Semi Sleeved Poncho (25)
When you get to a join it is best if it is sewn folded open like obove.  It reduces the bulk of the seam, but if yours pulled over during sewing don’t panic it will still work fine!


Step 6 – Sew Shoulder Seams

Semi Sleeved Poncho (28)
Lay your two pieces with the right sides facing each other with the shoulder seam together.  Making sure you line up the seams of the knit strips at each end.
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Fold the seams over outwards on top of the knit strip rather than the fabric.  This is important otherwise folding the knit strip over will not work and you will be able to see the raw edge on the inside.
Semi Sleeved Poncho (31)
Sew using a 1cm (3/8”) seam allowance, and carry on the seam in the same line over the knit strip.
Semi Sleeved Poncho (32)
Trim off any excess.
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Now you could use your overlocker to finish the shoulder seam but I have chosen to zigzag the raw edge to prevent fraying.  The main reason for this is that my overlocker still has black thread in it and I couldn’t be bothered changing it for such a small job.  Another plus side people who don’t have an overlocker will not feel left out!  Note how I didn’t sew the knit strip, it will be folded over so doesn’t need edging.
Repeat for the other shoulder.


Step 7 – Finish Edging

Semi Sleeved Poncho (34)
I started with the neckline.  Fold over the knit strip and pin in place.  I like to do this inside out and pin on the right side.  But do whatever works for you!  The main fabric should remain flat and the knit strip should fold around to encase it.
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Here it is all pinned and still inside out.
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Time to dig out that double needle.  If you don’t have one you can use a wide zigzag but it won’t look quite the same.  Mine is quite wide at 4mm you can use any width you like.
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Starting at a shoulder seam lockstitch (or sew a few stitches and reverse over them).  Then sew the whole way around the neckline, and lockstitch again at the end.  Line up the left hand needle so that it sews on the folded knit strip.
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It should look like this!
Semi Sleeved Poncho (39)
Now you just need to trim off the excess knit strip.  I use very small scissors for this to reduce the risk of cutting the wrond fabric.  BE CAREFULL!  You really don’t want to cut the wrong layer now or cut the stitching either.
Semi Sleeved Poncho (40)
There you have a finished neckline.  It is not sitting perfectly yet but I havent pressed it yet either!
Semi Sleeved Poncho (41)
Time to getting pinning and so the bottom/sides in the same way.  I just about used all my pins only 4 to spare!  Then carry on and sew just like you did the neckline, all the way around in one big go.


Step 8 – Sew Semi Sleeves

Semi Sleeved Poncho (43)
Last but not least is the semi sleeves of this poncho.  Well I suppose it is optional if you wanted a regular poncho!  Lay you poncho right side facing up and make sure the edges line up.
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On your pattern cut the side seam dotted line.  Lay your pattern piece on top lining up the shoulder seam and neckline.  Fold the ‘sleeve’ section out of the way and mark the seam line with a pencil or marker.
Semi Sleeved Poncho (46)
The line is hard to see in the photo but I have pinned along the line, making sure the bottom seams line up.
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Here is the view from the back, make sure you catch both layers with the pins!
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Now you are ready to sew!  Start at the bottom seam making sure they are still lined up, lock stitch and sew following the line right to the end.  Then at the end lockstitch very thoroughly as this point is the most likely to come undone.
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Repeat for the second side seam using the same pattern upside down.
Semi Sleeved Poncho a
It wouldn’t be Hannah without a barrage of silly faces!
You could even colour block this with a centre seam…might be more of these coming!

Simple Raglan Sleeve Tee

This pattern is unisex but with a more relaxed boy’s style fit.  If you were wanting to make it more fitting you can always take the sides in a little.  I love the raglan sleeve style!  It’s such a great easy way to add a bit of colour/pattern in the sleeves or body pieces.

Simple Raglan Tee a

The two fabrics I have used are a charity shop find and a donation from my MIL’s stash.  Both are knit fabrics and have a small amount of stretch.  The red is slightly thicker but that doesn’t matter.  Also I made the Tee a size larger than Harry so he could grow into it!

Job Beach Pencil Skirt (31)

With summer coming an extra T-Shirt is always going to be handy, and it is a great staple to have in your sewing repertoire.

What you will need,

  • Fabric – A meter will be plenty, depending on the width of your fabric you may even get away with 3/4 or a meter (1m = 1.09 yards).  You can use all one fabric or mix it up with different colour body and sleeves.
  • Thread
  • Pattern – Download Free PDF Simple Raglan Sleeve Tee Pattern in a size 7/8.  Or draw your own from an existing T-Shirt.
    • The pattern has two different necklines.  The red and striped Simple Raglan Tee has a little larger neck than I would like so I edited the pattern to make it a little smaller.


Step 1 – Print, tape and cut your Pattern

Print your pattern in actual size (or make sure the ‘scaled to fit’ box is unchecked), measure the 2.54cm 1” square to be sure it printed right.


Trim off the margin on one side (red striped line) and tape onto the adjoining piece.  There are 9 pages to print.  These are hand drawn by me and are not perfect (Pretty close though! ☺).  But the best I can do with the tools I have!   One day…not too far away I hope…I will be able to justify a CAD system, but right now this is it!  But on the upside it’s FREE!


Step 2 – Cut Fabric Pieces

Simple Raglan Tee (1)

Make sure to cut the two sleeve pieces in mirror image, and the front and back pieces on the fold.


Step 3 – Join Sleeves to Body

Simple Raglan Tee (3)Simple Raglan Tee (4)

Pin the sleeves onto the front piece, with right sides facing each other.  Check your pattern if you are unsure which side of the sleeve is the front!  Overlock in place, or sew using a stretch stich of your choice (zigzag etc).

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Pin the other side of the sleeves to the back piece, and attach in the same way.

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Laid out flat it should now look like this!


Step 4 – Sew Side Seams

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Lay your tee flat with the right sides facing each other.  Pin the sides starting at the armpit to line up the seam.  Then all the way along right from the bottom hem to the end of the sleeve.  You get to sew it all in one go!

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That’s the sides and sleeves done!  Now turn you Tee right way around ready for the next step.


Step 5 – Sew Neckline

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Overlock the neckline.  You can do a ribbing/cuff like neckline if you prefer check out the Upcycled Girls Tank Top Tutorial for instructions on that.

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Now is the time to add a label if you want to!

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Fold in the overlocked edge using the overlocking as a guide, pin in place.

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Sew on the right side using a double needle or zigzag as I have done here.

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That’s the neckline done!


Step 6 – Hem Body & Sleeves

There is a photo at the bottom with another hemming option!

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Hem the sleeves and bottom hem by folding over by about 2.5cm (1”) and sewing in place.  This is where stripes are are really handy!

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Again I used zigzag but if you have one a double needle would work well and give you a more professional looking finish.

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The bottom hem is sewn in exactly the same way.


Step 7 – Congratulations!

You have finished a Simple Raglan Tee!  I will be adding a few extra options for this tee, I will link these here!

Simple Raglan Tee b

Never can get a ‘normal’ face photo!  Nutter butters!

Simple Raglan Tee b

Here is another version.  I used the sleeve fabric for the neckline and a cuff style hem for the above Simple Raglan Tee.  You can check out my Holes in the Knees Tutorial for the how to on that ☺

Upcycled Girls Print T-Shirt

I was given ‘hand-me-downs’ for my daughter a while ago which are all hanging in the wardrobe.  Last weekend we got them all out to see which will fit for this summer, and had a big try on in which every skirt had to be given the twirl test!  I think it might be high time I made that girl a circle skirt!  But back on topic, there were a few tops she loved but that were still too big for her.

Upcycled Print Tee (1)

She loved this one in particular.  I thought it was a bit of a waste to cut up a perfectly good long sleeve tee!  But looking at the print I decided she probably wasn’t going to want to wear this when she was 12 years old!  A sequin butterfly print is pretty cool at nearly 7 but at 12 I doubt it!  So out came the scissors!

Upcycled Print Tee (2)

I carefully cut off the sleeves as I wanted to re-use those, I did however cut off the white long sleeves.  They weren’t so white anymore, and going into summer short sleeves were probably better anyway!  I also cut up the side seams, but left the top of the shoulders attached.  The neckline wasn’t huge so I will re-use that too.  If you need to put in a neck band check out the Upcycled Singlet into Girls’ Tank Top Tutorial.

That is when I noticed it…

Upcycled Print Tee (3)

It had a little hole Grrrr,  AND since I had already promised I would fix this top for her there was not backing out now!  Not to mention it’s cut into pieces!

I could have just hand stitched it closed but since there was a bit of extra length in this top I decided to remove a stripe.

Upcycled Print Tee (4)

I folded it over so the hole was close to the fold (on it is great but for my stripes is had to be slightly over), and pin in place.  Overlock cutting of the fold with the overlocker.   If you are using a sewing machine you can just trim it afterwards!

Upcycled Print Tee (5)Once it is flattened out the stripes match up fairly well, and I’m sure that as long as the butterfly is in one piece she is not going worry about that!

Time to trim up the sides, I used a T-shirt of Hannah’s I knew fitted well but a little big so she will get plenty of wear out of it.  Place it on top and use it as a guide to cut around.

Upcycled Print Tee a

Pin up the sides and overlock together, remember to have the top inside out (right sides facing).

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Trim up the arm holes, I don’t want to change the size too much as I am re-using the arm holes.  I just wanted to narrow the shoulders for a better fit.

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Pin the sleeves back onto the holes, with the top right side out and the sleeve inside out over the top. 

Note: I have left the overlocked edge on and will cut that off with the overlocker, you can cut it off if you like!  Mine is slightly gathered at the top of the sleeve most of this will come out while overlocking which I’m not worried about.  If you want to keep all of the gather stitch it in place on your sewing machine first.

Upcycled Print Tee b

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Overlock the sleeves in place, making sure you catch both layers and that any seams are cut off.  Also if your hole and sleeve are different sizes to stretch the fabric as you go so it matches up.

Upcycled Print Tee c

Just the hem left to go!  If you have left your original hem on then you are finished!  If you need to hem it overlock the bottom edge and pin it over.  You can just leave the overlocked edge and not hem it, if you like the look!

Upcycled Print Tee d

Use a matching thread and zigzag the hem starting at one of the side seems.  If like me you have two colours I went with the colour the bulk of the hem was going to be sewn on, which was pink.


Upcycled Print Tee e

This is what it should look like!

Upcycled Print Tee f

All finished!!!  Now I’ll have to wait for school to finish to see what she thinks of it!

Upcycled Print Tee g

Upcycled Singlet into Girls Tank Top

I was given an cheetah print singlet to upcycle, which I decided to turn into a tank top for Hannah.  So I thought I had better share my quick and easy tank top upcycle with you!

I used one of Hannah’s favourite T-Shirts as pattern, lay it on top of the singlet both right sides facing out.  I like to re-use the bottom hem so I line up the T-Shirt with that.


Tuck the sleeves in for the tank shape and just go for it and start cutting!!!  Leaving a little room for seam allowance, it doesn’t need much as I’m only overlocking most of it.  Save the neck piece to re-use the collar later on.  Mine has a longer back than front and I have decided to keep it like that and re-use the original hem.

Upcycled Girls Tank Top

Fold the tank top in half and trim any uneven areas so that both sides are even.

Upcycled Girls Tank Top b

Do the same for the neck making the front a little lower than the back.  There are no rules, if you want a large neck cut the hole bigger!

Upcycled Girls Tank Top (6)

This is roughly what you should have.  Turn the pieces over so that the right sides are facing each other.  Pin and overlock (or zigzag) both sides, taking care to line up the bottom hem.  Leave the thread ends on the bottom if overlocking.

Upcycled Girls Tank Top c

With the ends you left on, thread them back up the overlocked seam on the underside.  This will prevent it coming undone later.  My kids are pretty hard on clothes so I like to topstitch the join to give it a fighting chance!

Upcycled Girls Tank Top j

Pin the shoulder tops and overlock together

Upcycled Girls Tank Top d

Time to sew the arm holes.  I like to overlock them before folding over and zigzagging.  This is optional but I find it easier to control the fold especially with lightweight knit fabric.  I use a small zigzag stitch setting.

Upcycled Girls Tank Top f

Nearly there!  It’s time for the collar!  Trim the old collar out of the singlet leaving a good edge which will be trimmed when overlocking (if you are zigzagging you can trim it after sewing).

Upcycled Girls Tank Top e

You only need one piece the length of your new neck line but you can use them for the arm holes too if you like.  Measure the collar piece on your neckline and trim.  Remember to allow a little for the new join, it usually sits nicer if the collar is slightly smaller than than the neckline.

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Line up the cut ends of the collar (right sides facing each other), and overlock (or sew) together.  Thread the end back up (like the side seam before) and topstitch the seam flat to keep it sitting nicely.

Upcycled Girls Tank Top g

Pin the collar to the tank top with the right sides facing each other.  The collar should be slightly smaller than the neck hole, make sure to spread the gather evenly.

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Overlock the collar to the neckline.  Stretch the collar slightly so that both layers line up.  Use the guides on the overlocker foot (or sewing machine!) to follow the edge of the old collar to keep it even, try not to catch the original seam of the old collar.  Check out the photos below!

Upcycled Girls Tank Top h

Topstitch the new neckline, as you can see above it looks a little puffy around the edge.  Topstitching will fix that, again use the small zigzag stitch to retain the stretch.

Upcycled Girls Tank Top i

And there you have it! All finished!  Will add some photos of it in action to the gallery soon ☺

Upcycled Girls Tank Top k