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.

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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!

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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

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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

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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!

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

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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 ☺

Summer Shorts with a twist

I like to mix things up and try new things with my existing patterns.  My favourite pattern is Kid Shorts by Dana from Made.  I love this pattern and have used it over and over and over…you get the idea!  You can get the pattern on her blog, the link is above!

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I have always admired the slight gather in the leg of some girls shorts and thought I would give it a go!

I started with the standard Made pattern for a size 8, girls length.  I added a little extra width in the leg to allow for the gather.  I did not add much as the pattern already has fairly wide legs.  If you are using another pattern you may need to add more!

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Then I cut two 4cm wide strips for the the bottom bands, you could use bias binding, or contrasting fabric or whatever you like!  I think next time I would make them slightly wider.  You may want to remove the Hem allowance from the bottom of the shorts, I have purposely left Hannah’s longer so when she grows (Again!) they will still fit for a while!

What you will need

  1. Fabric – I used woven cotton blend print.  I am not exactly sure what the fabric is as it was a gift out of my Mother in laws stash!  But it’s nice and light for summer (yep we are just about to head into spring here!), and I love the floral pattern.
  2. Sewing machine – Overlocker/Serger (Optional)
  3. Thread
  4. Elastic – Follow your pattern instructions
  5. Iron!!

Step 1 – Cut out your fabric

Follow the instructions to cut out Dana’s from Made, Kid Shorts Pattern (or the shorts pattern you are using).  I am making the flat fronted shorts, I like the streamlined look of these, but full elastic waistbands will work too!

Add a little (or a lot depending on your pattern) to the leg width of your shorts.  I have added 1cm (3/8”) to each piece so 4cm (1.57”) in total.

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Cut out two strips of fabric 4cm (1.57”) wide and a little longer than double the wide of your shorts leg (it will need to go around both halves – see photo below!)

Step 2 – Sew middles and inseams together

You will need to pin and sew the two fronts together.  Place them right sides facing each other and sew together (waist to crotch piece).  Repeat for the back pieces.


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Pin and sew the inseams together, I like to pin from the crotch out each leg so that the middle lines up.  It is much easier to straighten the leg length than have a mismatched seam in the middle.

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As you can see mine don’t quite line up, so I will trim the excess of with scissors.

Step 3 – Gather the legs

Set you machine to the longest stitch length and the tightest thread tension, and sew one single line along the bottom of the leg.  DO NOT lockstitch (reverse a couple stitches) at the start or end, and leave plenty of thread at both ends in case you want to loosen the gather.

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Adjust the gather if needed to the desired length, I measured around the widest part of my daughters thigh (35.5cm or 14” and she’s nearly 7 if you are wanting a guide) to be sure it wouldn’t be too tight! For more details check out my Superhero Cape tutorial!  Once you have adjusted the gather tie the ends in a knot to prevent it slipping further as you sew.

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Press the gather with your iron. This will help keep them all in place as you sew.

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Step 4 – Fold and sew on the bottom bands

Time to fold the bottom bands, so stay by the good old iron!

Iron in half with the right sides of the facing out. Fold open the strip and fold one raw edge over till a little over half way and iron again.

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Overlock the remaining raw edge, it should be quite a bit longer than the folded side.  You can fold this instead if you want a neater finish, I prefer to overlock it for speed and ease of catching both sides when sewing!

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Iron the bands again to press the seams, I adjusted mine slightly to make them wider, and to line the seams up a little closer.  (See photos above!!!)

Pin the bands on to the gathered edges.

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Topstitch close to the edge, you will have a bit of excess band but you can trim that off.

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Step 5 – Side seams

Overlock/zigzag all the side edges separately.  This will allow you to fold out the seam flat so the band will sit nicer.  Leave the end of the overlocked thread on.

Summer Shorts (21)Pin and sew both side seams starting at the bottom band that way to can make sure it lines up.  Any miss-match can be sorted out at the waistband!

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Iron open the side seams.

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Thread the overlocking ends back up under the seam, this will help the folds from not showing out the bottom, and will stop them coming undone later.

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You can trim the excess overlocked thread off now.

Topstitch on the band on either side of the seam to secure the fold at the bottom, to top will be secured when you sew the waistband.

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Step 6 – Waistband

Overlock the waistband to prevent fraying and to even out any miss-matched side seams (You can just trim with scissors and use zigzag).

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Decide whether you want to fold the waistband once or twice (to hide the overlocked edge), I have chosen to just do it once this time.  Iron the band over once or twice depending on your choice.

I like to sew the topstitch around the top edge of the waistband first.

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Now to create the casing for the elastic only in the back half of the shorts.  Start at one side seam (make sure it stays folded out), and sew your waistband round to the other side seam.  Add a tag if you are wanting one!  Don’t forget to lockstitch (or reverse a few stitches) at the beginning and end.

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Overlock/zigzag the ends of the elastic to prevent them fraying.

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Thread the elastic through till the end is still just sticking out of the opening, pin in place and little way away from the side seam. Sew on the right side of the waistband straight down the side seam to catch the elastic, I like to sew this up and down for extra strength.

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Feed the elastic the rest of the way through, line up the other side and pin and sew in the same way.

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Sew up the front of the waistband (photo above right!)

Step 7 – Admire the gathered leg shorts!

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I also made Harry a pair with pockets, using bias binding and neon green zigzag to attach it.  Much like the Baby Bib in the Struggling with bias binding post. Can’t leave the neon thread alone!!!