My name is Pamela Leggett, and I am the owner of Pamela’s Patterns, a pattern company based on teaching women how to create great fitting basic garments that flatter their “fluff and scallops”. Check out www.pamelaspatterns.com for helpful YouTube tutorials, patterns and supplies. And if you need some help with your knit sewing techniques, my new Craftsy class, Fashion Sewing & Serging Details, will be available at the end of this month!
I love the look of the cut-out shoulder, but felt that it was possibly a little too young or a little too sexy for someone my age. What to do? Make it appropriate by creating my own scaled down version! The swing-y tunic shape still shows off your “essence-of-waist” and hides a lot of fluff. I like wearing this style with a narrow leg pant and a stack heel or boot. Very chic!
I used Pamela’s Patterns #104 The Perfect T-Shirt and a lovely ITY knit from Fabric Mart.
Let’s Hack the Pattern:
Start by getting a piece of tracing paper (I use medical exam paper), your Back pattern piece, a couple rulers and a pencil.
A) Trace around the neck, shoulder and armhole. Trace 3 ½” – 4 ½” down the side seam.
B) Lengthen the pattern to your desired tunic length (I did 6”) by drawing a new line straight across.
C) Measure 2 ½” out from the side seam and make a mark.
D) Draw a straight line from the side A) to the mark C) and continue it to the hem.
E) So the hem will hang straight and not in a point, curve up at the side seam 3/8”.
Do the same thing for the Front pattern piece. If you are making the Darted Front version, pin out the dart to make sure you are starting the side seam line at the same spot as on the Back.
Now we’ll change the Sleeve pattern. Lay the pattern piece under the tracing paper and trace the sleeve to your desired length.
A) Draw two horizontal lines: 1 ¼” and 2 ¼” down from the sleeve cap.
B) Fold the traced pattern, RST, on the 2 ¼” line.
C) Trace the sleeve cap between the two lines on each side.
D) Cut out the new Sleeve pattern, eliminating the cap of the sleeve.
A) Interface the top edge of the sleeve with 1 ¼” Knit Interfacing Stay Tape. Fold down 1” and press the hem. Stitch ¾” from the folded edge using a small zig zag (W-1.0, L-2.0). Sew/serge sleeve seam, RST. Press.
B) Sew/serge shoulder and side seams of the T-Shirt, RST.
C) Pin the Sleeve to T-Shirt, RST, matching underarm seam and notches. Straight stitch the sleeve into the T-Shirt, ½” seam allowance, continuing around the armscye of the T-Shirt (this will be a stay stitch). Optional – finish armscye seam with a serger.
D) Starting just below where the sleeve meets T-Shirt and continuing up around the shoulder, fold under the T-Shirt so the stay stitch is just rolled to the wrong side. Topstitch in place 3/8” from the folded edge. Press.
E) Finish the neckline and hems as instructed in the pattern.
Always check the fit as you sew. Here are the changes I made, I hope they will inspire you to make this garment be the best fit ever!
A) I ended up taking my top in a little more at the waist so it didn’t look too full.
B) I started with ¾ length sleeves, but shortened them to just above the elbow.
C) I cut the scoop neckline version of the T-Shirt, but then lowered the front another 1 ½” to show off the jewelry that I wanted to wear.
D) Be sure to use the Stay Tapes recommended in the pattern for professional results. There is a YouTube tutorial on my website that will show you how and where they are used.
Thanks again to Pamela for putting together this wonderful tutorial on not only peek-a-boo sleeves, but also turning a t-shirt into a tunic!
Did you miss our previous posts on t-shirt pattern hacks? Check out our Summer of T-shirts Event Page.
We've also put together a t-shirt inspiration board on Pinterest. Check it out HERE.
Don't forget you can sew along with us at home. Share you t-shirt pattern hacks (new ideas you have and ideas that we have shared with you) on Facebook and Instagram using #FMSummerofTshirts. At the end of the summer, we will compile all the people that used the hashtag and you will be entered into a random drawing for $75 gift certificate to Fabric Mart!