How to Sew a Rugby Shirt

Written by trish jackson
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How to Sew a Rugby Shirt
Anyone with sewing experience can sew a rugby jersey. (rugby image by Sergey Galushko from

Rugby shirts more commonly described as rugby jerseys have features that distinguish them from other shirts. They are usually long-sleeved with a ribbed cuff, but also can have short sleeves and are made of a thick cotton knit or cotton polyester mix fabric and often have a white twill "V" neck and contrasting collar. Traditional sports team colours are usually plain, striped or checkered, and rugby shirts tend to follow the trend. Rugby jerseys are popular for casual wear for men, women and children and anyone with some sewing experience should be able to make one.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Sewing Machine
  • Cotton
  • Old button down shirt
  • Cotton knit or polyester cotton knit fabric
  • Interfacing
  • Twill tape, bias binding, ribbing
  • Snap fasteners
  • Newspaper
  • Pins
  • Scissors

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  1. 1

    Purchase a rugby jersey pattern and follow the instructions or make your own pattern. Take an old long-sleeved button down shirt with a collar that is a little large for the person who is going to wear the rugby jersey and carefully take it apart at the seams. Fasten the buttons to make one front piece, and you should also have a back piece, two collar pieces, two sleeves and cuffs that can be discarded.

  2. 2

    Iron the shirt pieces and lay them out on newspaper. Cut around them to make paper pattern pieces. Label them. Rugby jerseys have a straight bottom, so if the shirt had a curved bottom, cut the pattern pieces in a straight line across the bottom.

  3. 3

    Lay out the fabric and pin on the pattern pieces, taking care to line up stripes or squares in the fabric design. Lines can be vertical or horizontal. The front neckline has an opening. Once you have cut out the front piece, make a cut down the centre long enough to allow for three buttons and use bias binding or cut interfacing to use for edging. The collar is often made from a plain white or contrasting fabric. The long sleeve cuffs can be made of ribbing.

  4. 4

    Pin the back and front together at the shoulders, wrong side of the fabric out and making certain the right sides of the fabric are facing one another. Stitch. You can iron interfacing onto the collar to make it stiff if desired; then join the collar pieces, fold over and stitch to the neck.

  5. 5

    Sew bias binding or interfacing to the V-neck to edge it. Over-sew white twill tape on the outside of the left side of the V and on the inside of the right side of the V. Attach snap fasteners, so the right side goes over the left side.

  6. 6

    Pin and stitch the ribbing to the end of the long sleeves. Sew the sleeves onto the arm holes, matching the seams. Pin and sew the back to the front at the sides, wrong side out, and join the sleeves. Hem short sleeves and long sleeves if you are not attaching a ribbed cuff.

  7. 7

    Sew the hem on the bottom of the shirt. Finish the inside seams with oversewing or zigzag. Add any badges or logos, pull on your shorts, pick up your boots, and you're ready for the game.

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