Simplicity 8376 T-Shirt tutorial

Who doesn’t love a great T-Shirt! And who’s to say a T-shirt needs to be boring? IMHO, most T-shirt patterns are very similar in that they have a front, and a back, and sometimes sleeves, and that’s about it. What makes them challenging is the neck band. So, let’s see if we can master that here and now.

Simplicity 8376

T-shirts can be one of the most versatile articles of clothing you can own. Dressed up or down, under clothing for added protection or warmth, or for casual fun. That’s what I’m going to do on this make… it’s all about the FUN! So put on your seat belt and get ready for a fun ride into freaky town!

My mind was wandering through all the neat fabrics in the store and I noticed lots of “Halloween” fabrics beginning to show on the racks. My eyes went right to this super cool one of eyes peaking through slots of….wood??? no… Mummy bandages??? and the eyes GLOW IN THE DARK! I had to get it. Perfect for a cool T-shirt that is definitely a statement piece.

This is a very stretchy cotton so ensure you have the right needle for stretch fabric and have your machine set to stitch for stretch too! Nothing worse than doing a straight stitch just to have your stitches break when you put the t-shirt on. UGH! Test drive your stitches and tension to make sure you’re not getting a bunch of puckering. Below are some example stitching just to show you the difference a little tweak of your machine can make.

HINTS for SUCCESS: Loosen up the presser foot tension when sewing stretch fabrics. Use fusible Stay Tape around your neckline prior to attaching the collar. Don’t use the pattern guide to cut out your neckband….Cut the length of neckband that is the right stretch for your neckline/fabric combo. In general, I find that the neckbands need to be about 70% the length of the neckline. Use a straight stitch for topstitching your collar instead of a stretch stitch. Use Stay Tape around your hemlines.

test your stitches

Sew….Here we GO!

Cut out your pieces. Sew the shoulder seams together using a 5/8″ seam allowance. Trim and press your seams open. I did not finish my seams because this fabric does not fray or ravel at all. Sew your sleeve seams the same way. I went ahead and hemmed my sleeves by just turning them up 3/4″, press and sew. That’s it. Super easy breezy.


Now take the collar band and sew the ends together with right sides together. Fold the neckband in half so right sides show. I marked my band into quarters and then I marked the neckline of the bodice into quarters. Your band should be smaller than the neckline by about 70% because you will be stretching the band to fit the neckline while sewing. This will ensure your neckband lays against your neck and not flop over. Hence pin your neckband in place at the quarter marks. Slowly stitch it in place and stretch the band ONLY… not the neckline. For extra help, use Stay Tape along your neckline to help it not stretch out while you sew.

Mark quarters of the neckband
Stretch neckband to fit neckline as you sew.

Press the neckband towards bodice. Topstitch 1/4″ from seam-line around neckline to hold the band in place. Sew the sleeves in place and hem your shirt and you’re done! WHAAAA. LAAAAH. Spookie!

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