Having a son or daughter on a team or activity usually guarantees one thing – a T-shirt for Mom.
Moms love showing support for the team – but might not love with always being seen in a shapeless boxy T-shirt.
Have sewing machine – will add shape!
I used to rely on a self-drafted pattern for this, but this time I used McCalls 6120.
Apparently, this pattern caught my eye on more than one shopping trip – the Pattern Stash contained two of the same pattern!
This transformation usually requires a T-shirt at least 2- 3 sizes larger than the desired finished size. After a few years I learned – just order the largest size available!
This year I ordered a 2XL. The only real challenge of transforming the T-shirt is making sure all pattern pieces fit. There is a lot of fabric in a 2XL! But even with all that fabric, some “finesse” is required, especially for the sleeves.
First cut the sleeves off the body of the T-shirt – as close to the sleeve seam as possible.
The sleeve pattern will not fit as the pattern sleeve “head” is too high.
In the photo to the right, the sleeve head of the self-drafted pattern is much lower than that of the McCalls pattern. Because of the stretch of the knit T-shirt fabric, a lower sleeve head is fine.
The McCalls pattern has long sleeves, cutting straight across at a 3″ sleeve length creates a nice short sleeve.
Line up bottom of sleeve pattern with hemmed edge of sleeve and create a sleeve head as high as allowed by the length of the T-shirt sleeve.
As shown in the photo to the left, the 2XL sleeve was large enough for the sleeve head to be cut higher than the self-drafted pattern, but not as high as the McCalls pattern.
And…because the bottom of the sleeve lines up with the hemmed edge of the T-shirt sleeve – no sleeve hemming will be required!
Now cut the shoulder seams of the T-shirt – again, as close to the seam as possible. Just the shoulder seams, nothing below the arms yet.
Carefully find the midpoint of the logo and fold the T-shirt vertically along that line.
Place pattern piece for back along that line.
The pattern piece has a middle back seam – which will not be cut or sewn. If it helps, mark 5/8″ from upper and lower edge and connect with a line. Align that connecting line with the t-shirt fold. Ignore curve of back seam. Darts may be added to create shape if desired.
DO NOT CUT middle back seam. Cut out top, bottom and sides of back.
When cut, the back will have a centered logo.
Carefully cut off the neckband from the remaining original T-shirt. Fold the T-shirt in half vertically and mark this fold with pins.
Then open and place remaining pattern pieces until they fit.
Double check (and triple check) to make sure all remaining pattern pieces (the band, the lower front and the two upper fronts) will all fit.
Then check again.
The pattern also requires a second band – but as the second band will not be seen and even a size 2XL has limits, cutting the second band from some other knit fabric works just fine.
Once these pieces are all cut out, the top can be sewn together following pattern instructions, except there is no middle back seam and no sleeve hem is required.
Back waist darts can be added for more shaping.