Back when I made my Convertible Dress, I was wanting something to wear underneath the dress to help me retain modesty, yet be able to try a bunch of the different ties that were shown on the dress tutorials.
but didn’t want to be constantly tugging the top up, so I tossed around possibly making a tank top, and then, I got this brilliant idea: A Shade shirt!
I wanted one that was as close to the dress color as possible so I went to my local Joann’s Fabric and found some material that was nearly identical to my dress. The fabric was not quite as slippery, which would actually help the dress not move around as much while holding my kids. I purchased about 1/2 a yard, used a 50% off coupon, and was on my way.
Now, I have to give a disclaimer to my sewing abilities. I am really good at straight lines. I can’t read a pattern to save my life, but I am pretty good at making up my own stuff. So, here goes my tutorial on how you can make your own cap-sleeve t shirt! (and pardon the lighting. My best crafting is done after the kids are in bed for the night!)
First, fold the fabric in half and place your existing shade shirt on top of the fabric to use it as a pattern.
Then, trace around the outside of the shirt leaving a bit of extra space for the seam allowance. I just used some regular chalk for this step.
After it was all traced, I pinned it like crazy so that it would line up perfectly while I was sewing and cutting it. I realized at this point I probably hadn’t left enough of a seam allowance, so I cut it out extra far from the traced line.
Here’s what it looks like all cut out:
The next part is to sew it. Now, years ago, I sewed with a lighter weight fabric like this and used the wrong kind of needle which resulted in the fabric having huge holes evenly spaced out over the entire thing. So, learn from my mistakes, and use a needle specific to jersey or finer fabrics. (I used a 180/12).
Sew up the shoulders and the sides, leaving the arm holes, neck, and bottom open. Again, not an expert seamstress here, so I just lined up the presser foot along the chalk line that I had made so that it was even all the way around. Also, make sure not to pull the fabric tight unless you are going for a fun ruffly effect.
At this point, I was so excited that I had actually made a shirt that looked good, so I snapped a picture and texted it to my husband who was at school. (something about how I was so excited that I had sewn a shirt that I could actually wear in public.)
At this point I wanted to hem the neck and sleeves. I watched a couple of YouTube videos and decided that I didn’t want to learn to use the rolled hem presser foot or whip out the iron, so I just made up my own way (see, not an expert, but it turned out great). Barely fold over the raw edge enough that it fits in the gap on the presser foot and sew it up.
Then, fold it over again the same way and sew it one more time to give it a professional, finished look.
And, here’s the final product in daylight even, so you can see what color it actually is!
The shirt fit perfectly. I was able to make it as long as I wanted, and the best part: it only cost $3.67!
Tell me how your shirt turns out!