How to Stitch a Shirt

Making your own clothes, for example stitching a shirt, is an exciting and worthwhile hobby, and in today’s financial crisis can be quite a useful skill to have that could even be turned into a successful small business.

Shirts are a popular item to make because they can be so expensive to buy, but with a sewing machine, some fabric and a bit of know how, stitching a shirt becomes easy. Start with a pattern, you can buy these from any good fabric shop, they may even be available online to download.

Your pattern should include all the pieces that need to be cut out which will be graduated for different sizes of shirt, and once you’ve measured the vital statistics of the person for whom the shirt is being made you can cut your panels to the correct size easily.

Generally the measurements needed to make a shirt are the distance from thigh to shoulder, measurement of the waist and hips, and the widest point of the chest, distance from shoulder to shoulder, diameter of the upper arms, and length of arm from shoulder to hand.

Cut all the pieces to size, some adjustment may be needed since not all upper body types are the same, for example you may need to make shorter arms than the pattern might suggest for broad shouldered people.

Pin the entire shirt together and check it on the person, making minor adjustments as needed, then stitch together, making sure to follow the order and stitch suggested by the pattern. This may involve making the collar and cuffs first because they need to turned inside out after stitching, and before attaching to the arms and neck of the shirt.

Next, cut the button holes and use the buttonhole stitch on your sewing machine to finish them off. Finally, iron the shirt to remove creases.

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