Jan 6, 2015

T-Shirt Tactics

Everybody loves to wear T-shirts.  For some they are a wardrobe staple - for others they are only occasional wear.  Whatever their place is in your clothing needs, you have choices within the Sure-Fit Designs fitting and designing system as to how you approach this style of garment.

Typically, the T-shirt is relatively close fitting and does not have a bust dart and is sewn from a knit fabric.  The no-bust dart feature does present a problem for you full-busted women.  You all know you will always achieve a superior fit when your pattern has a bust dart.

The Sure-Fit Designs pattern kits provide either the darted bodice pattern from the Dress Kit, or the undarted pattern from the Shirt Kit.  Most of you already know that the Dress Kit bodice has 2 1/2" (6.4 cm) ease in the bust circumference, whereas the Shirt Kit has 5-6" (12.7 - 15.2 cm) ease in the chest circumference.

Which kit to use for your T-shirt?   Since the T-Shirt is usually undarted with a closer fit to the body, you'd use the Dress Kit bodice (with the bust dart).  If you use the Shirt Kit, you'll have a looser fit and a much deeper armscye.

Ah Ha!  In comes my new article, T-Shirt Tactics, where I offer an alternative which uses the Dress Kit bodice and I show you how to remove the dart!  The result offers a fit that is closer to your body, the armscye is not as deep as with the Shirt Kit, and this process generally provides an excellent T-shirt alternative.

Yes I know it doesn't have a bust dart anymore, so you full-busted ladies will inevitably end up with some folding in the armscye that points toward your bust.  And no doubt, the shirt will likely hike up somewhat in the front because your don't have that bust dart shaping your bustline.  But since you are going to be sewing with a forgiving knit fabric, usually these issues are minimized.  But at least, you have 3 great choices now to design your favorite T-shirt with the Sure-Fit Designs patterns.
  • Dress Kit bodice with dart
  • Shirt Kit pattern - no dart - deeper armscye
  • Dress Kit bodice without dart
To download your copy of the T-Shirt Tactics article with instructions to remove the dart, please Click Here, then simply scroll toward the middle of the page where you'll see the link for the .pdf file.
Just for fun and for interest, I finished my T-shirt with a self-fabric 2 1/2" wide band at the hem level, scooped the neck edge 2" all the way around and then filled in with a 1 1/2" self-fabric band.  A small tab was inserted at CF while applying the neck band and finished with a decorative button.

And another great benefit is that it can be 'Made in a Day'!  It's just one more quick project for you.

Give it a try and send me your comments and photos.  When you send your photos, I'll put together a T-Shirt collage...and show off all of your work.  Please send photos to info@surefitdesigns.com.
Glenda...the Good Stitch!


  1. Hi Glenda, I got your email yesterday and immediately downloaded the leaflet so looking forward to making some nice t-shirt tops. Thank you as always.

  2. Thank you so much, Glenda. I bought the dress kit to make shirts, on your recommendation,as I have to do an fba with patterns usually, and I can now use it to make some of my beloved T-shirts.

    1. You are most welcome. Please send a photo of a finished T-Shirt. I'd like to put together a collage of SFD customer T-Shirts for everyone to see.
      Glenda...the Good Stitch