How to Make a T Shirt Pattern

by Lisa Russell ; Updated September 28, 2017

You Can Make T Shirts in Any Color or Pattern

RoganJosh at

Making t-shirt patterns is a fun activity that even a beginning seamstress can enjoy. What could be more fun than making yourself a comfortable, personalized t-shirt from your own pattern?

Choose a t-shirt you love. This will be the base of your pattern, so make sure it fits you nicely.

Spray starch on your t-shirt and iron it so that it is completely flat and rather stiff.

Lay your t-shirt on the butcher paper or newspaper. Disregard the seams or unravel them. Your goal is to have five pieces of cut fabric; one each for the front and back, one for each sleeve and another for the collar. If you don't want to unravel your fabric, you can simply trace around it while it's attached.

Trace each piece of the t-shirt template on your paper. Stay as close to the original shape as possible.

Measure 1/2 inch past the edges of the fabric. This excess layer will allow you to sew along the lines made previously. When you're finished, you'll have a double outlined version of each piece of fabric, in paper form. This is your pattern, When you're ready to make your t-shirt, simply cut your chosen piece of fabric to the outer line of your pattern and re-assemble.


  • If your fabric is shifting and making it difficult to trace, you can pin the fabric to the paper.

Photo Credits

  • RoganJosh at

About the Author

Lisa Russell has been a writer since 1998. She's been published in Rethinking Everything Magazine, Playdate, AERO and Home Educator's Family Times. She has a Bachelor of Science in business marketing management and a professional background in marketing, education, cosmetology and hospitality.