Blog Draft a T-shirt

Cut It (Part 7 of the Draft Your New Favourite T-Shirt Pattern Series)

We are onto part 7 of the t-shirt pattern drafting series. So far we have gathered our suppliestaken our measurements, performed some of the necessary calculations we needed, drafted the bodice and sleeves of our pattern and finished adjusting the pattern. Now that we have finished drafting the pattern, we will begin cutting out our t-shirt pieces.


The materials you will need are:

  • 1-2 yards of stretch knit fabric (the amount will depend on your size, garment length and the fabric width)
    • I really like the drape of a rayon blend fabric, but you can use whatever stretch knit you would like. You will need a knit with at least 40% stretch for the neckband.
    • If you are new to working with knits, check out episode 2 of my podcast for helpful tips
  • Tape Measure
  • Bodice and Sleeve Patterns
  • Scissors
  • Fabric scissors OR cutting mat and rotary cutter
  • Ruler
  • Iron & ironing board (if your fabric needs pressing)

Note: All cutting instructions assume the direction of most stretch runs perpendicular to the grain line.

Ok let’s begin!

1. Cut your pattern pieces out.

You should consider using a different pair of scissors for cutting the paper than cutting the fabric because paper can dull your fabric scissors. 

2. Fold your fabric along the grain line.

Fold along the grain line, parallel to the salvage (factory created edges).  To save fabric, try to place the fold so the pattern just fits (ie. not folding the fabric exactly in half)


3. Place your bodice pattern piece so the fold line on your pattern piece is aligned with the fold of the fabric.

I cut the along the front neckline most of the way and then just fold the back neckline out of the way until I need it.  

4. Cut your front pattern piece out of the fabric.

This can be done by pinning the pattern to the fabric and using scissors to cut around the outside edge or by working on a cutting mat, placing pattern weights on your pattern and cutting with a rotary cutter. 

5. Fold your fabric along the grain line again, making sure that there is enough room for the back bodice.

6. Place the back bodice piece on the fabric, so the fold line is aligned with the fold of the fabric.

7.  Cut the back bodice piece out.

8. Fold the fabric along the grain line again, so there is enough room to fit the sleeve piece.

9. Place your sleeve pattern piece on the fabric so the fold line is aligned with the fold of the fabric.

10. Cut your sleeves out.

I like to cut mirror images along the fold, leaving 4 inches of space between the pieces. I then cut two 2″ bands from the space between the cuts. 

11. If you are choosing to add bands/cuffs to your sleeves: Cut your cuffs so the cuff width is just equal to your bicep – 0.5″ measurement (+ seam allowances) and the height is double the height you would like the bands to be + double seam allowance you are using.

I cut my bands 2″ high which makes them 0.75″ when sewn on, if I use a 1/4″ seam allowance. I also like to cut them on the fold and just slightly shorter than the width of the bottom of the sleeve (so they are tight on my arm). 

12. Measure your patten neckline using a tape measure (this is half of what the total neckline would be since the pattern is drafted on the fold).


13. Calculate the length of your neckband by multiplying the neckline measurement by 0.85 and converting that number into a usable measurement.

If you want to try something other than a band, this blog has some great options!

14. Cut your neckband on the fold, with a width equal to the length you determined in the last step, and double your desired neckband height + double seam allowance.

I like to cut my neckbands about 1.5″ high if I am using a 1/4″ seam allowance, so my final neckband is 0.5″ high. If you’d like to sew a V-neck, this blog has some great instructions (scroll down to the “Draft Your Own V-neck” section).


You now have the pieces cut you will need to begin sewing your t-shirt!

Are you ready to sew? Do you have any questions about cutting your fabric? Share in the comments below or join our Facebook group. If you are sharing on Instagram, don’t forget to use our hashtag #appletreedraftatee 🙂

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