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Did you know that if you purchased my Princess Anna Inspired Complete PDF Pattern, you already have a free pattern to make T-shirts for your kids for summer?!!! Isn’t that AWESOME!!! I love multi-tasking stuff! The “knit shirt” included with the Anna complete pattern is all you need to cloth your kids (boys and girls) through the year. The current pattern includes a long sleeve, and through this tutorial I’m going to show you step-by-step how to create a short sleeve option. 
My son, Nathan, kept seeing me going into my sewing room, but coming out with (often) nothing for him, until…..he started asking me for a “train shirt”. I whipped him up an Anna T-shirt in about 30 minutes, and used a Lesley Riley TAP transfer sheet to apply a train image I found online. So simple, so quick, and now I have a very happy boy! 

Anna Knit Shirt Short-Sleeve Tutorial:
From the Anna Complete Pattern:
 BLOUSE- (“Knit”) Instruction …………………………………………………………………………..pages 43 – 47
Blouse Knit pattern ………………………………………………………………………………………..pages 48 – 53
**Do not use the cotton blouse option for this project. 

           Cut out your 2 pattern pieces from the “KNIT BLOUSE ONLY” and “Knit Shirt Sleeve“.

            To mark the bottom “cut” line to create your short sleeve, as pictured, measure down from the upper right and left sides of the sleeve as follows: 
For the: 6/7– 4″ down from the left side, 6″ down from the right side
             4/5-4″ down from the left side, 6″ down from the right side
             2/3-3 3/4″ down from the left side, 6″down from the right side
              18-24m-4″ down from the left side, and 5 1/2″ down from the right side 
Fold back the sleeve pattern piece on your newly drawn short sleeve lower edge. 
**To get more exact sizing from my crossover Anna sizes: 
To get a size:  7– Cut shirt length 1″ longer from the 6/7
6– use the 6/7 as is
5– Cut shirt length 1″ longer from the 4/5
4– use the 4/5 as is
3– Cut shirt length 1″ longer from the 2/3
2- use the 2/3 as is
24mo– Cut shirt length 1″ longer from the 18-24mo
18mo– use the 18-24mo as is
 Cut out one shirt back piece on the fold (neckline for back cut on dotted line)

Cut into neckline edge on pattern piece and fold back upper neckline area.

 With the upper neckline folded back, cut out one front shirt on the fold 

                                                      (neckline for front cut on solid line).

 Cut out two short sleeves on the fold. 

 Now you should have one front piece, one back piece and 2 sleeves. (We’ll cut the collar out later)

**IMPORTANT: You must use a ball point or stretch needle in your machine for this project. If you have never sewn with knits before, either of these needles is essential to sewing your garment, as they will help you sew the “knits” as easily as a “cotton”. Do not fear if you have not sewn with knits….the needle really does make all the difference. Your machine should feed the knit through easily, but if you feel it needs extra guidance, pick up a walking foot attachment. I have one, but personally enjoy sewing my knits without it (and just the stretch needles instead).
Here’s a brief overview on what they each needle does…
Uses: Ballpoint needle for heavier, looser sweater knits; stretch needle for highly elastic fabrics, like Spandex, or Lycra.

Configuration: Both have rounded points that penetrate between fabric threads rather than pierce them. (Stretch-needle point is slightly less rounded than ballpoint.)

Okay….time to sew….

1.With right sides together, pin the front shirt to the back shirt together at the shoulders. Using a 3/8″ seam allowance, sew (and serge if you have one) across each shoulder.

2.Open up shirt with the right side facing up. With right sides of material facing each other, pin one shirt sleeve to center shoulder seam. Pin in place.

3.Match up the left side sleeve edge to the shirt armhole edge, and pin together.
 4.Now match up the right side sleeve edge to the opposite shirt armhole edge, and pin together.

5.Place a few extra pins along sleeve edge, making sure the sleeve matches up with 
the armhole of the shirt. 

6.Sew the sleeve to the armhole following that same 3/8″ seam allowance. It helps to feed the pieces through with the shirt on the bottom and the sleeve on top as you sew. 

7.Sew across sleeve edge. 

 When opened up, this is what the sleeve attached will look like (with right side facing up).

8.Repeat steps 2-6 to attach additional sleeve. 
 I like to add an additional overlock (serged edge) to my t-shirts for added durability. However, sewing with a regular machine (and a ball point or stretch needle) will still create a beautiful knit shirt. The edges of the knit material typically do not fray, so you don’t need to worry about adding extra stitching there. Here, I am adding a serged edge to the sleeve edge (as I did above on the shoulders as well).
 Here is what the shirt should now look like, opened up, and with both sleeves attached. 
 9.Bring right sides of the shirt facing each other, matching up armhole seams. 

 10.Pin down each side of the shirt edge, making sure the sleeve edge, the lower shirt edge, 
and the armhole line up.  

11.Starting at the sleeve edge, sew down the entire length of the pinned area, ending at the 
lower edge of the shirt. 
 12.Serge this same edge if you want. 
13.Repeat steps 9-12 for opposite side. 

14.Cut collar size as indicated in chart on page 43. Cut collar piece along grainline of knit fabric. The stretch of the fabric should run lengthwise.
15.Fold the collar in half, lengthwise. Sew across end and serge. 

16.Keep the sewn edge inside, fold collar into a tube, lengthwise, as pictured. Make sure you keep the right side facing outward, and the raw edges inside the tube. 
17. Keeping collar edges together, Pin collar seam at center back neckline of shirt. Place the raw edges of the collar against the raw edge of the neckline.

18. Flip the collar over to the front side of the shirt, and pin the center front of the collar to the center front raw edge of the neckline. Neckline will be wider than collar (you want this).

19. Stretch out collar as best as you can until it matches neckline, and place a few extra placement pins. (or you can skip this step. Most important to have the two pins marking the center front and center back so that the collar ends up even all the way around when stretched).

20.Place the neckline in your sewing machine, with the collar on the outside, and the shirt on the inside, as pictured. Pull and stretch the collar to match the neckline of the shirt as you sew. You are aiming to stretch the collar as you sew, but not stretch the shirt neckline. 
Sewn on, your collar should look like this. 

21. You can add a serged edge if you like to the neckline, or omit.

22.Turn your shirt inside out, so that the wrong side is facing up. Fold back the sleeve raw edge 
by about 1″, and pin. 

**For the sleeve edges (and any seam that stretches) it’s bet to use either a double needle, or a tighter zig zag stitch. These seams get stretched a lot and worn, so a straight stitch is not advised, as it can break when garment is pulled over the head. I set my Singer machine to zig zag, then about a 3.5 on stitch width, and a 3 on stitch length (but all machines will vary). 

23.Here’s what the zig zag stitch looks like on the sleeve from the underside, and the top side:

24.Next, turn under the lower raw edge of the T-shirt by about 1″, and press down with an iron. 
Pin in place.

25.Zig zag (or twin needle) the lower edge on about 3/4″ up from the folded edge.
 26.You are now done! You are ready to add a t-shirt to your son (or daughter’s) summer closet!
 And here is how my Anna sizing compares with one of my son’s store bought t-shirts! I made him a “2” here, but cutting 1″ longer as I advise above gives you the size 3 length that you see pictured here on the green shirt. 
 I added an iron-on transfer with a stock image of a train from online, but you could leave it plain as well. I have tried about 8 different iron-on transfer brands and can tell you that none are error-proof. That is probably why I prefer using the freezer paper method, or the stencil film and fabric paint method.  The Lesley Riley TAP worked pretty well, but it really fared the same I thought as the Jolee, June Tailor, and Transfermations brands. If choosing iron-on, just make sure to buy the one made for light OR dark fabrics (whichever shade your t-shirt is). 
Are you ready to sew up some quick t-shirts up now for your boys or girls using your 
FREE t-shirt pattern??!!!! Well, it’s a terrific bonus if you already have purchased my Anna Complete pattern! And if you use my Anna “cotton blouse” pattern and shorten those sleeves the same way, you could certainly add a lot of cute cotton shirts to your little girl’s wardrobe as well! If you don’t have it yet, you can snag it up here in my Etsy store
Happy Summer T-shirt Making!!! 


Joy2Sew is a sewing business specializing in bridal alterations, custom costume creations, sewing lessons, and pdf patterns for children's costumes.

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