How to Make Shirts Using a Sewing Machine

Written by jennifer simon
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Although shirts can be easily purchased in stores or online, an individual can make shirts using a sewing machine if he possesses basic to medium sewing skills. The process of making a variety of shirts including T-shirts, blouses, polo shirts, and dress shirts is relatively straight forward. Once the sewing machine is set up, the most important aspect of making a shirt is ensuring that the correct measurements have been taken. In order for a shirt to fit correctly the measurements and the fabric must be determined and verified prior to beginning the sewing process.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Scissors
  • Shirt fabric
  • Shirt design idea
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Buttons
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Measuring tape

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  1. 1

    Use a measuring tape in order to record all of the necessary sizes for the various components of the shirt. The Execs Shirts website explains that an individual should measure the person's overall length which is from the shoulder to the hip, the diameter of the chest, hips, waist, shoulders, the length of the arms, and diameter of the neck. Once the measurements have been taken, 2 inches should be added to the waist, hip, and chest measurements.

  2. 2

    Visit a local department or sewing store in order to select a fabric for the shirt. Consider the style of shirt and what occasions it will be worn for when choosing a fabric. The Best Custom Shirt website explains that the individual should consider the texture, colour, durability, thickness, thread count, and likelihood to wrinkle before purchasing a large piece of fabric.

  3. 3

    Find a thread colour that matches the shirt fabric. In some cases, a shirt will need buttons, so matching buttons should be chosen if necessary. The Best Custom Shirt website explains that the creation of a shirt is important so that the individual obtains the specific look that is desired once the shirt is completed.

  4. 4

    Use an old shirt as a pattern and measure all of the necessary shirt portions including the front, back, sleeves, and collar. Check to make sure that all of the measurements are correct before sewing the shirt. Use sewing pins in order to assemble the shirt after the material has been ironed.

  5. 5

    Begin by sewing the body, shoulder, and neck portions of the shirt. The Red Dawn website recommends that the seams be reinforced with extra stitching. If you are unfamiliar with the sewing machine you're using, join pieces of scrap cloth in order to get a feel for the speed and pressure you'll need to use while feeding material.

  6. 6

    Align the edges of your material and place your hands in a comfortable position on either side of the machine. Press the foot pedal to begin, and use both hands to guide the fabric along the lines you want sowed. This should be done steadily and fluidly so that the distance between stitches is identical. The machine will handle the heavy work, just make sure it doesn't bunch.

  7. 7

    Sew the sleeves onto the shirt via the same process. After, add any buttons or garnish by hand with needle and thread.

  8. 8

    Try on the shirt to make sure that it fits correctly. Making a shirt with a sewing machine is a straight forward process, but it does require some practice in order to master the skill of shirt design.

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