How To Trace Out a T-Shirt Pattern

If you intend to sew a T-shirt, you must trace a shirt pattern first. The success of your project will always depend on how well you make your pattern. Thus, it is necessary that you are knowledgeable in terms of doing this task correctly. If not, it will be impossible for you to create even a single perfect piece. To help you with this purpose, follow the steps below in tracing out a T-shirt pattern:

  • Lay a T-shirt on the paper. This first pattern is for the back of the shirt. Lay down the shirt facing up over a pattern paper. When you do this, make sure the shirt is smoothed down on the paper very well. Then, fold both sleeves to the front side of the shirt and then pin them into place. As much as possible, you must use an old shirt when tracing a pattern. Though using a shirt to trace out a pattern does not mean ruining the shirt, using an old shirt is a more practical idea.
  • Mark a 5/8-inch allowance all over the T-shirt. The only exemption is with the neckline. Mark all edges of the shirt in a 5/8-inch measurement. You can use a pencil or pin to mark this on the paper. Once done, cut the pattern by following the markings on the paper.
  • Make a different pattern for the shirt's front. Use the first pattern to trace the shirt's front pattern. Lay the newly created pattern on a different piece of paper. Trace this pattern using a pencil. Then, cut around the pattern.
  • Cut the neckline of your front pattern. Cut the neckline following the shape of the model T-shirt. Compare it repeatedly to the shirt to ensure you have trimmed the pattern correctly.
  • Trace another pattern for the sleeves. Fold first a piece of tracing paper in half. Lay the sleeve on the folded paper facing up. Smooth it down to ensure you are getting the right shape and size. Then, mark a 5/8-inch measurement around the sleeves just like what you did in creating the back pattern.
  • Mark the armhole edge on the pattern. While still on the paper, fold the sleeve up so as to expose the edge of its armhole. Then, mark the armhole line following the shape of the shirt adding another 5/8-inch measurement for the seams. Cut this pattern out by following the markings you have created.
  • Create a different pattern for the second sleeve. This pattern is easier to make than the first sleeve. You can use the finished pattern to create another pattern for the second sleeve. Simply put the finished pattern on a new folded paper and trace it using a pencil. Cut the pattern out and make sure that both sleeves are identical in size and shape.

There can be a lot of steps when it comes to tracing a pattern for a T-shirt. However, if you give each step attention, you will find yourself creating a perfect pattern for a T-shirt project. Keep in mind that making a mistake here is not an option. A simple mistake in the tracing or cutting method can cause a lot of trouble for your project. Therefore, prior to sewing your shirt, make sure you have traced a perfect pattern for it.


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