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FI-NA-LLY here’s something for boys :). With a small delay but I’ve kept my promises. This is the first tutorial from the series that I want to start on with – once a month I’d like to make a “for her and him” instruction. As models I’ll invite friends of mine, who are couples of course. Today we’ve got Kasia and Olek. Kasia is a basketball player and Olek is a footballer. Well, actually he’s a coach now – that’s where I know him from. With wind in hair and between their trainings they came to my studio. We did it all in a flash. Now I’m so excited about these series and I just like this tutorial in general. Let’s get it started! I’ll show you two ways of sewing a T-shirt and in the end we will make a print on it. (ONA in polish means SHE, ON is HE).





  • 1 m of cotton jersey for each t-shirt (it has to be at least 1,5 m wide).
  • 20 m of rib (fabric for welt) in matching colour- at good stores when they sell knit, there are available matching ribbings as well.
  • Paper for the form, a ruler and a pencil.
  • Scissors,measuring tape, a fading felt-tip pen for fabrics, pins, threads.
  • Your t-shirt. Pick a fitting yet not too tight one. We will use it as a base for the form.




  • 0,5 m of transparent, self adhesive foil – for the print’s pattern.
  • Scan&cut plotter, if you don’t have it use a knife (a one in stick would be best), self-healing cutting mat.
  • Paint for fabrics and a paintbrush.




The form and cutting:

Firstly prepare a form for the t-shirt. You can read about how to make it in one of the previous posts (LINK). The difference between the form for females and for males is the size and a waistline, which you’ll outline from your t-shirt. The rest of steps is the same. In the picture below:

  1. The form is copied according to the instruction in the link.
  2. Draw separately the front form ( deeper neckline and armhole). Mirror the form to receive a symmetrical shape of the whole front. Then add allowances for the seams (the blue line)- 1 cm on the sides, armholes, in the neckline and shoulders and 3 cm at the bottom for the trimming.
  3. Do exactly the same with the back form (shallow neckline and armholes).
  4. A copied form of sleeve from the instruction in the link.
  5. At the bottom of the sleeve mark a 3 cm wide roll up ( dark grey element), mirror this part at the bottom of the sleeve.
  6. Add 1 cm of surplus on the sides and around the sleeve’s cap. Remember to cut out two sleeves in the mirror image (the left and right one).




Cut out forms from the fabric in such a way, that the knit will stretch across the t-shirt and sleeves (in the picture below – from top to bottom). For neck trimming, cut a 4 cm width strip from the rib knit fabric. Its length should be 10-18% shorter than the t-shirt’s neckline measurement.  It depends on its elasticity: the more stretchy the ribbing the shorter the strip should be. You can read more about how to measure the neckline size and how to match the ribbing in one of the previous posts (LINK- in this dress I was decreasing the length of the neck trimming only with 8-12% because I used a jersey fabric, which is less elastic than the rib knit fabric).


Sewing – option no.01

After cutting, fold the sleeves halfway and pin the sides’ edges. Fold the ribbing halfway and pin the shortest edges. Lay the front and back of the t-shirt one on another, so that they’ll touch with their right side of the fabric. Pin arms and sides.




For sewing the knit it’s best to use an overlock, but if you don’t have it then sew on the regular machine with a zig-zag stitch. Sew up the pinned edges.




Overlock the bottom of the t-shirt, while cutting about 0,5cm. Then fold the edge with 2 cm to the inside (on photo below the t-shirt is inside-out). If you’re sewing on the regular machine don’t trimm the edge. Firstly fold and press 1 cm, then fold 2 cm for the second time, so that the raw edge will hide in the fold.




Do the same with sleeves.




Using regular sewing machine, sew the folded edges placing the pressing foot on the fold. I’m using a zig-zag stitch for this because the edges will be stretched, so the seam must be elastic. You can use the stitch for jersey fabric (the one with the shape of a lightning). Another way of doing this, is sewing on the right side with a double needle. Then there will be a “ladder” similar to the coverlock, showing underneath ( in this case don’t overlock bottom,  and fold 3 cm to the inside).




Stitch up the sleeves. Leave the t-shirt inside-out and turn the sleeves right side out. Decide where is the front and where is the back of sleeve ( the front sleeve cap is cut down more – in some t-shirts there is no difference between front and back of sleeve cap). Insert sleeves to the armholes in such a way , that the front of the sleeve will touch with the front of the t-shirt. Pin the edges of the sleeve cap and armholes. Place the pins on the inside part of the sleeve.




Sew in such a way that the pressing foot will be placed inside of the sleeve.





The ribbing: 

After sewing the shorter edge, press the welt  halfway lengthwise.




Pin the welt around the neckline – raw edges of the welt should touch with raw edge of the neck line. Welt is shorter, so pin it in such a way, that the excess fabric of the neckline is spread evenly between the pins. Between the pins the welt should be tight, and a part of neckline little loose. While sewing them together, you’ll be stretching the welt to neckline’s length.  Therefore after sewing and pressing up, the ribbing will keep the shape of neckline. If you’ll stretch it too much then wrinkles will show up around the neckline. But if you’ll stretch it not enough, the ribbing will be sticking out.




When sewing, place the pressing foot on the welt and control its width. Then press it and if the seam is rolling out, add seam around the neckline, to keep edge of welt inside. Make it on the regular machine. Done!




Sewing – option no.02

Sew together only the front and back shoulders and spread the t-shirt. Match the right sleeve to the right armhole ( the front of the sleeve cap is more cut down).




Pin the sleeve on.  Place the pins pretty close one to another. If you’re doing it for the first time, baste it before sewing.




After sewing the sleeve on, fold t-shirt halfway. Pin the sides and sleeves together. So that the front and back seams on the armhole will touch. With one seam sew the sides and sleeves.




Trim the sleeves and the bottom by making a pleat: turn the t-shirt right side out, roll up the bottom edge with 5 cm( 2 x the pleat’s width + 1 cm for the seam). Then fold the upper edge of the rolled up pleat downside, while folding pleat halfway. Pin the bottom edges – there should be 3 layers of  fabric.




Pin the edges on the sleeves in the same way. Turn the t-shirt inside-out and sew the pinned edges ( those 3 layers of fabric). When sewing, place the pressing foot on the folded pleat. Sew on the very edge and don’t cut too much fabric (if using overlock).




After sewing press the pleats downside.





The print: 

Prepare the project of your print. You’ll make it into a stencil and fill it with paint afterwards. So it’s important for it, to be made with plain stains, with distincs boarders (without wipes, shades and other photographic effects). For your first print it’d be the easiest to make an inscription or a simple picture. You can pick a type of font on dafont.com. The one that I’ve used is called Couture and it’s available for free for personal use. If you prefer a picture you can draw it by yourself, or look up for a graphic in Google.

From the self adhesive foil cut out the pattern. I’m using a Scan&cut plotter. It takes about a minute and my pattern is cut out very carefully.




If you don’t have a plotter you can cut with a knife. I did it this way:  I was printing the inscription on the paper. Then I’ve overdrawn it on the foil, on the glass backlighted by a lamp or the sun. While cutting out keep such elements like the inside of an “O” letter because you have to stick it in to the pattern later.




Plan where you want to place the print on the t-shirt and stick the foil. It’d be the easiest to firstly stick the edge and then step by step unstick the paper from the foil, while sticking the foil to the knit. Then fill the pattern with missing elements (like inside of an “O” letter). The places where the paint shouldn’t get, have to be sticked to the knit.




To avoid the paint getting under the pattern you should press the foil so it’ll suck in to the knit. Use the iron and adjust its heat to the cotton type of fabric. But press it through the thin cloth while pressing it tightly. Test it firstly to make sure that the foil won’t melt. You’ll know when the foil is sucked in,when there will show the knit’s structure on its surface. The left picture shows foil before pressing – not sucked in, smooth. The picture on the right is after pressing – you can see the structure of the fabric.




Fill the pattern with paint.  Use a paintbrush to put the paint on and be sliding it from the pattern onto the knit. Avoid doing it opposite direction (from the knit onto the pattern), so in case there’s a leakiness, the paint won’t get under the foil.




Leave the t-shirt until the print is dry (few hours- but the timing depends on the type of paint- look up for the info on the box it came in).




When it’s dry remove the foil – the pattern will probably break. Proof the paint with iron ( you’ll find more specific information about this process on the paint’s box).




It’s done! There have been some work with doing this. But it’s really awesome to be wearing your own t-shirt with your own print! Good luck with sewing !

Maybe you’ll give this piece of clothing to your man or woman as a Christmas gift, huh?




And in the end here’s some “behind the scenes”. Kasia was trying to pose like a professional, but Olek was, well … he was a little distracted ;P




This tutorial has been prepared for you by Janek



He was using these machines

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