Here is the post I shared over at The Ribbon Retreat a couple of weeks ago!
You can use measurements from an existing pattern, but a great way to get the shape of your shirt is to use a shirt that you already have in your child's size. Lay it out on the fabric.
Cut around the shape of the shirt - with your fabric folded - giving an extra inch to allow for seams. I actually would do more than this next time I make one of these. Since my fabric is not knit like the shirt I am tracing, it is not going to have the give that a knit shirt does. You'll be happier if you give yourself more to work with!
Since I cut my fabric folded, I needed to cut in a neckline on the front piece of the shirt. I folded the front piece in half, and cut the neckline that way so that it was even.
Take the back piece of your shirt, and cut it right down the middle.
Lay the two back pieces on top of each other, with right sides together. Trim an increasing width of fabric from both pieces. Another tip: I wish I had done mine even more wide!
Match up your top piece to your back pieces, right sides together. Sew the pieces together and finish your seams.
Hem in the two sides of your back pieces. Add in your elastic cording here. You'll need a small loop to grab the button that will close up the back.
Now take your coordinating fabric, and cut a piece that is about the same width as your front piece, and the same length as your front piece from under the arm to the bottom hem. Hem up all of the sides.
Pin your peek-a-boo piece to the back side pieces, with the right side of the peek-a-boo piece facing the wrong side of your back side pieces. As I said above, I didn't give myself enough seam allowance for a cotton fabric, so I had to leave the sides pretty open so that my daughter could get it on. I only sewed the peek-a-boo part about two inches to the sides, and then sewed the rest of the sides up as normal. I know it seems weird, but it works, I promise!
Now we're going to make some flutter sleeves. I used the tutorial found here. Cut your sleeves to the size of your liking. I did mine the same size as the tutorial.
Pin it in place where you want it on your top. Top stitch the sleeve in place, trying to sew over your existing hem line.
Once I put this on my daughter, I realized that it was too open in the back, so I added a second button. Much better.
This is usually the view of my daughter these days - always trying to get away from the camera. So busy!
One thing I might do differently next time is that in addition to making the top wider so that there is more give to it, is to make an elastic casing across the top of the peek-a-boo piece so that it will cling to her back better when the shirt is on. My mistakes are your gain when you make this!
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