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sewing with knits mondays: quick tee tutorial

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  Shannon and I are back today with another Sewing with Knits Mondays, we’re just having too much fun.

Today I’d like to show you a simple quick tee!  I’ve seen them in every store, it’s a simple knit tee that uses a single pattern piece.  You can draft it super easily from a t-shirt you already own and in about 45 minutes you’ll have a cute and simple tee that you can wear alone or layer.

You’ll need:
approx 1 yard knit fabric, depending on your size
a twin needle
polyester thread

Make your pattern:
Lay down a well fitting t-shirt on the fold.  Trace a simple shape that includes just a curve at the armpit area.  It’ll look like your shirt has sleeves, but with less work!

Make note of the scoop of the neckline in the front and back.  Cut out your pattern piece. You’ll cut 2 pieces on the fold, a front and back, then take the front piece and cut the neckline a little lower.

Sew (or serge) one shoulder seam together, RIGHT sides facing.

Press over the neckline about 3/8″ and hem using your twin needle.

You can use Make It and Love It’s suggestion like I did and wind two bobbins and load one in your bobbin case and one with your thread spool, who has two spools of the same thread anyway? right?

front using twin needle

back using twin needle

Sew (or serge) remaining shoulder seam.

Hem both sleeves the same as how you did the neckline.

Place shirt RIGHT sides facing.  Sew (or serge) down each side seam.

Hem bottom if desired.

That’s it!  There are tons of variations on this same style.  It would be super cute to add some rows of shirring at the bottom too!  If you’ve sewn anything using knits go ahead and add it to our flickr pool!

Don’t forget to stop over at Luvinthemommyhood to see what hot stuff is happening there.  Thanks for reading. ♥


38 Responses to sewing with knits mondays: quick tee tutorial

  1. Libby 08.15.2011 at 10:16 am #

    This looks so brilliant, and easy too! On my ‘to make eventually’ list for sure.

  2. Sharon 08.15.2011 at 10:17 am #

    love it! I will have to try this out, thanks for sharing!

  3. Kerry 08.15.2011 at 10:27 am #

    The twin needle stitch looks really good! I always fear sewing jersey but yours looks great!

  4. Jeni 08.15.2011 at 10:56 am #

    WHOA! Definitely need to try this! You tee (and you too!) is so super cute! 😀

  5. Vanessa 08.15.2011 at 10:59 am #

    I really need to try this If I can ever find some cute knit! Thanks for the tips :)

  6. Vanessa 08.15.2011 at 11:56 am #


    Really cute! Thanks for sharing. I never used my twin needle, I am going to have to try it.


  7. Fiona 08.15.2011 at 12:00 pm #

    I’m taking inspiration and getting over my fear of knits – I bought some cheap jersey (that I won’t mind making a mess of!), have worked out how to do straight stretch stitch on my machine (I’ve only had it 25 years before getting round to that!) and dug out the twin needle. And it all works!! I could be a convert!!

  8. Ashley 08.15.2011 at 12:39 pm #

    oh i love it, and it looks so manageable, even for a knit-newbie like me! wish i had a twin needle on hand so i could make this tonight!!

    it looks great on you!

  9. luvinthemommyhood 08.15.2011 at 12:56 pm #

    You are the best partner in crime 😛 Love it!

  10. Jamie 08.15.2011 at 1:02 pm #

    Awesome! I’ll have to try this!

  11. Jeannie 08.15.2011 at 1:32 pm #

    Love how simple you made that. Just so darn cute!

  12. Erin 08.15.2011 at 3:32 pm #

    you look super cute in your new tee. i love the yellow stripes! pinned!

  13. amandajean 08.15.2011 at 3:43 pm #

    that looks AWESOME and EASY, Anna! now I need to research and see if my JUKI will use a twin needle or not. hmmm. thanks for the great tutorial!

  14. Jess 08.15.2011 at 4:59 pm #

    easy peasy and so cute!

  15. superh2ogirl 08.15.2011 at 6:14 pm #

    This is a great tutorial! Thank you


  16. lamina @ do a bit 08.15.2011 at 6:42 pm #

    That looks great and it looks so easy… I think I will have to give it a go! Thank you!! :)

  17. Megan V 08.15.2011 at 6:43 pm #

    The tee looks great! I’ve never used a twin needle. I’m super intrigued and now I feel like I need to get one and try it out! So it can basically take the place of needing a serger to sew knits properly. Why didn’t I know about this! :)

  18. Emily 08.15.2011 at 6:52 pm #

    I totally have to try this after I get a twin needle. :)

  19. Maureen Cracknell Handmade 08.15.2011 at 7:12 pm #

    You make it look SO easy, I’m going to definitely try this — I just added some cute knits to my fabric wishlist!!! Thank you Anna!

  20. chris 08.15.2011 at 7:35 pm #

    Love the 80s vibe of this shirt! I haven’t seen twin needles for knits…I need to look out for some. :)

  21. Stitchin' time 08.15.2011 at 8:45 pm #

    ‘Ditto’ what Libby said but I’ll have to purchase a twin needle first and look up my machine instructions.

  22. Marina 08.15.2011 at 10:16 pm #

    So cute Anna, you look great in the tee….

  23. WendiC525 08.15.2011 at 11:20 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing! I never knew how to use the twin needle with only one spool holder thingie (I think that’s the professional term) the bobbin idea is brilliant!

    I also LOVE the no sleeves sleeves…thanks again, I can’t wait to start sewing in the morning, this will be my first project I take on for the day!

  24. CraftCrave 08.16.2011 at 12:52 am #

    Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [16 Aug 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  25. hannah 08.16.2011 at 3:28 pm #

    I actually used your tutorial to make a shirt with cotton fabric (a vintage sheet), and it totally worked out! So cute and easy, can’t wait to make it in knit.
    (I don’t have a twin needle, but I did a rolled hem on the neckline and topstiched the bottom hem.)

  26. Dalya 08.16.2011 at 5:35 pm #

    Thanks so much for this! I’ve been keeping/hoarding a worn-out long-sleeve shirt with hopes of using it as a pattern! Your instructions are so clear and simple! Yours is so pretty! :)

  27. Katy Cameron 08.16.2011 at 5:57 pm #

    What a fab idea, and so simple to do too! Eyes up that striped jersey she bought a while back…

  28. Carolyn 08.17.2011 at 11:21 am #

    Okay, you’ve convinced me. I have to get my butt in gear and try out some knit shirt making!

  29. Debbi 08.18.2011 at 7:00 pm #

    nice using double needles…Thanks

  30. Miranda 08.18.2011 at 11:19 pm #

    I have a twin needle but it’s not for knits and I’m having a hard time finding one for knits? Where did you get yours? I’ve tried all the usual places (Joann’s, Hancock etc.) I managed to find fabric for 95 cents a yard to make this shirt! Can’t beat it and can’t wait to try it!

  31. Lynne 08.20.2011 at 10:15 am #

    Your t-shirt looks awesome! Great tutorial and thanks for the link. Have a great day!

  32. Ashley 08.30.2011 at 9:32 am #

    Hi Anna! Finally had a chance to try this out, and I’m so happy to say that your tutorial was fabulous and I know have a cute little knit shirt! I’m so amazed that I was able to sew with knits, AND make something that fits and that I’ll actually wear! Thanks for helping me get over my fear of knits!! :)

  33. Nothy Lane 03.18.2012 at 9:19 pm #

    I am definitely trying the twin needle idea. When I checked the hems of a few t-shirts, they were sewn with a double top-stitching.

  34. Jessica 05.31.2013 at 12:04 pm #

    I’m wondering if you have a great place to buy bulk (or cheap) twin needles? thanks!

  35. sparkschronicles 11.03.2013 at 12:50 am #

    I thought I found a simple shirt tutorial before, but this is so much simpler! I can’t wait to try it. I’ve been afraid of making a shirt because of the sleeve situation, but I think I can handle this.

  36. cathy 11.05.2014 at 8:47 am #

    Do you need a special presser foot for a double needle? Love this!

    • Anna Graham 11.10.2014 at 10:47 pm #

      Your standard presser foot should have enough room for the double needle to pass through. Just double check and hand crank your needle down before you start, if it hits the metal of the foot, try another one. :)

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