Hey people! I’ve got some tips to share with you on my method for hacking a regular crew neck tee pattern to have a lap style neckline. Plus a free template for creating a “milk” carton graphic.
Ever since Hawthorne started walking, I started to get a major sewing for the boy bug. The girls pretty much have enough clothes, give or take a few holes in their wardrobe (ahem they need pajamas! and leggings without holes!). Maybe it’s the fact that I’m constantly tripping over piles of discarded girl sized clothes everywhere I tread through the house. Whatever it is, I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate easy, comfy, but custom clothes into Hawthorne’s dwindling selection of well fitting choices, while avoiding spending any unnecessary time sewing things for his sisters.
Of course, I can’t just keep the sewing love for Hawthorne. The tees have been launching all across the country! This “let’s bounce” tee went to my nephew, who is known for his love of bouncing and bouncing and bouncing, and whose birthday is crazy close to Hawthorne’s.
Pardon the midnight iPhone photography, but I hastily sent this one in the mail to another special baby boy, along with some cotton and steel that I was dying to send off to his mommy.
Both were made with the same jersey knit, which I scored enough of to clothe ten babies apparently, from G street fabrics mystery fabric shelf.
Then there is this one that the girls helped me make for their baby boy’s birthday. I made three other versions of it before that, which allowed me to fuss with the details a bit.
Isn’t this the most pleasant photo ever? He was waiting, marooned in a high chair, which is rather foreign to him, on our back deck. He just wanted down while I lit a candle on his watermelon cake. Oh Hawthorne. I love you and your perpetually bruised head.
Mister man was a sport and tested the bounce tee for fit before we sent it off. I don’t think he was really into the shoot though…..he just kept gnawing on a rock and trying to get away. Y u no like sitting still for no reason, Hawthorne?
Now for the tutorial!
Tee shirt pattern
Some free time and a power outlet that your one year old cant yank your iron plug out of
ok, guys gosh. I’m a terrible tutorial writer. Hahaha
First, take your tee pattern out and add about an inch and a quarter to its length, slightly angling out with the shape of the tee pattern. Try to imagine how it will overlap when you construct the tee. You want to round the neckline edge off, and add enough length to create a good overlap of the front and back pieces. You can see the original shoulder line from the tee pattern on my pieces, and where I extended it. Keep in mind that this is for a 12month sized tee. You will want to add a little more overlap if making a tee for a larger child.
Do this for the front and back
Next, snip a little bit into the place where the tee pattern originally would have ended at the shoulder line. You’ll use this later as a reference point.
Cut a ribbing piece for the neck 1.5″ wide x ? ” long. You could either measure your particular pattern’s neckline, or you could do as I do and cut a good length of ribbing and hope that you have enough to bind the front and back. Muahahaha.
Press your neck ribbing piece in half
Begin pinning it into place along neckline of one shirt half. I opt to avoid the work of doing a good job of pinning it all along the neck, and just shirking the rest after the initial bit. Should you actually pin all of it in place ahead of time, I commend you.
However you choose to do it, stretch your ribbing a bit as you cross the scooped portion of the neckline, so that it lays nicely and doesn’t sag.
Press that bad boy like you mean it, angling the seam allowance of the ribbing down towards the shirt body. Top stitch the seam allowance down with a zig zag stitch if you so choose
If you want to add a graphic to your shirt, now is the time. It’s easier to do it now than it is after you have the side seams sewn. I added the milk carton to this one, which is one of my favorite graphics I’ve ever made. It just makes me happy!
When that’s dried and you’ve heat set the fabric paint, overlap the back shirt piece over the front
Align the snips you made earlier so that they overlap the distance of the shirt pattern’s seam allowance. In my case, it’s 3/8ths of an inch. This ensures that your armscye is the same length as it would have been if you had sewn the tee up normally, and the sleeve piece will fit in nicely.
Pin your lap in place, and baste into position with a 1/4″ seam allowance
Align the center of your sleeve between the snips you made in the armscye, and sew in as you normally would.
At this point you just need to sew your side seams and hem!
I’m adding in a super cleaned up version of the original drawing I made for the milk shirt, in case you’re interested in printing it out as template. Clicking on it should take you to a google drive file for download. Toy with the dimensions of it before you print it out for your project. It’s designed to fit on a piece of printer paper.
Thanks for stopping by! -Tara-