T-Shirt Up-cycle Sew Along

Day Two: Cutting Your Fabric

Have you ever heard that saying, “measure twice, cut once?” Well, that definitely rings true for sewing, especially when you have fabric you love. Hopefully my tips today will help you be successful!

If you missed yesterday’s sew-along day, I went over how to prepare your pattern. Check it out here.

Here’s what you’ll need for today:

1. The shirt you want to up-cycle.

2. 1/2-1 yard of knit fabric for the sleeves. (How much you’ll need depends on what length of sleeves you’ll be cutting. With 1 yard, you’ll probably have some left overs but it will ensure that your sleeve pattern fits well.)

** My striped fabric pictured is a double brushed polyester knit from my fave Raspberry Creek Fabrics. This fabric is like butter. **

3. Cutting scissors- love my Ghingers!

4. Pattern that you prepped on day one.

5. Weights of some sort (note my awesome tuna cans).

**You can use pins or clips instead of weights, I have just found that I prefer weights, especially when working with knits. I also like it because then I don’t have pins tearing up my pattern. **

Lets get started!

Step one: Test your shirt to see how the pattern will fit. To do this, find the side seams of your shirt and make the meet, so that the center front and back of your shirt is folded.

Lay your pattern front or back on top. This should give you a good idea of whether you’ll need to cut into the sleeve.

Step Two: Option 1

If your pattern fits on your shirt without using the sleeve fabric, cut the sleeves of your shirt off.

Then cut up the side seams.

And the shoulder seams. Now you’ll have a front and a back piece.

OPTION 2: if you need to leave the sleeves on, cut up the side seam and through the bottom sleeve seam, as well as the top of the sleeve and through the should seams. This will give you a front and back piece. (Pretend the sleeves are still attached in the pic. The black lines are the cutting lines.)

If you need to use the sleeve fabric, you may end up with part of the old sleeve seam. That’s okay!

Now you can cut the neckband off.

Now we are ready to cut the shirt out!

Step 3: Cutting Front and Back

Fold shirt front in half, being careful to match up all the sides.

Lay pattern over shirt, securing with your weights (or pins or clips).

Step 4: Cut out the fabric, paying close attention to the markings on the pattern. (The sleeves and armholes will have notches that will help to match front and back when sewing.)

Repeat step 3 and 4 for the back of the shirt.

Step 5: Cutting Sleeves and Neckband

Fold your coordinating knit fabric in half. This will give you the mirroring you need to cut both sleeves at the same time.

Place sleeve pattern on the fabric, and secure with weights.

Cut sleeves. Don’t forget to cut the markings from the pattern of necessary!

Cut neckband, following pattern instructions.

And now we are ready to sew!

Here are a few tips that will make your life a little easier:

  • Don’t stretch or pull the knit fabric while you’re cutting it. You’ll end up with a skewed pattern piece.
  • Make sure your grain line matches up with the pattern. When you look at your fabric, the grain line is usually going up and down. Cutting off grain will cause your fabric to twist while you’re wearing it.
  • When folding your fabric in half, don’t use the grain rather than the selvage or top and bottom edges. When your fabric was cut, chances are it wasn’t cut completely straight.

If you run into any more questions or challenges while cutting, feel free to send me a message through my contact page, OR leave a comment below!

See you tomorrow for the FUN part: sewing the shirt!

❤ Kayliegh

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