This is a free sewing pattern for a cute little boys shirt. It’s a short sleeved casual shirt, featuring a western style yoke at the back, collar and button panel facings, and coordinating sleeves.
What you’ll need
- 2 different types of fabric (see below)
- Your sewing machine and basic sewing kit
- 6 buttons
- light – medium weight interfacing for strengthening facings/collar
The pattern uses 2 different fabrics, one for the main shirt body, and one for the contrasting yoke and sleeve cuffs. You’ll need 1 metre of the main fabric and 0.25 metres of contrasting. Use a suitable shirt fabric, something light-medium weight like cotton, chambray, broadcloth, linen, poplin or a denim. The denim I used in this example was a little heavy, and it didn’t really turn out as tidy as other versions I’ve made in cotton and linen. You may get away with not interfacing if opting for a more heavyweight fabric like I did.
The garment comes in 3 sizes. To check the right size measure the childs chest measurement and check the sizing guide below:
Download the Toddler Shirt Sewing Pattern
Here is the link to the Toddler Shirt Sewing Pattern. Have a great time sewing and please let me know how you get on, as well as sharing any pictures of your makes with me on pinterest barmybeetroot or twitter @barmy_beetroot.
How to make the toddler shirt – Tutorial
1. Prepare and assemble the pattern
All 3 sizes are included in the pattern and on separate pages. Each size spans twelve A4 sheets, so you’ll need to identify what pages you need to print, and then if you don’t want to print out the whole document, print those pages only. Remember to print one sided only and not to ‘fit to page’ or scale.
Once printed you’ll need to stick your pattern pieces together. The pattern features a horizontal and vertical dashed line on each page which you match up on each sheet to align the pattern pieces. Cut alongside this line so that you can match up exactly with the corresponding pattern piece.
Cut alongside the dashed line to match up pattern pieces
When the lines are matched, used Sellotape to paste the pieces together. Repeat until all the pattern pieces are joined together and then cut out.
Sellotape together at line
- n.b a 1/2 inch seam allowance has been added to each pattern piece.
2. Prepare and cut out the fabric
Prepare your fabric by washing and ironing it prior to cutting. Here are my pattern pieces laid out ready to cut:
Cutting out the main pattern pieces – layout guide
cutting out the yoke and sleeve cuffs on the contrasting fabric – not obvious here as I used the reverse side of the denim
Points worth noting:
- You may also want to cut out a pocket piece. It’s not included in the pattern but it can be a nice touch
- If using a fabric that needs it interface the collar and facing pieces. (mine didn’t for this demo piece as it was fairly hefty denim)
Right that’s it, grab your shears, cut out and we can start sewing…
3. Stay stitch the neckline
Stay stitching the neckline stops it from stretching and distorting. Run a line of stitching along the neckline on the front pattern pieces and the back yoke. The seam allowance for this project is 0.5 inches and we’ll want to stitch just inside of this at about 3/8 inch.
Stay stitch the neckline – sorry the stitching doesn’t show up too well on these photos.
4. Attach the back yoke and the shirt back pieces
Here are the two pieces we’ll be sewing together.
We’re going to pin them together and sew a curved seam. It can be tricky pinning these shapes together, and also sewing a neat angle at the centre point. A tip that I found helped me was to draw with a water soluble fabric marker along the seam line, which I followed with my needle. At the centre point you can shorten your stitch length a couple of stitches before to make sure you hit it bang on with your needle (if you need to), and then lift the pressure foot and turn the fabric before beginning to sew the other half of the seam. Go slowly, and keep the fabric as flat as you can to avoid puckering.
Here is what that seam looks like pinned together
Once pinned go ahead and sew this seam.
The end result
I’ve not done a fab job here, it was a bit tricky on the denim. Notice the puckers on the right and the point isn’t as sharp as I’d like it to be. I’m sure yours will be better, but it should improve with pressing and some topstitching.
Give it a good press. I chose to pink the seam which will also help the fabric to move along the curve and sit flatter. You can cut a few notches if you prefer.
Press the seam open and finish seam
We’re going to topstich a line of stitching along the back yoke. I chose about 1/8 inch from the seam but go with what you think looks best.
We have a back panel!
5. Sew a pocket
I haven’t included a pocket pattern because it was a bit of an after thought when I put this demo piece together. You can try sketching out a shape you like and remember to add the seam allowance. Here is mine:
I used water soluble market to drawer a line on the pocket to try to make my topstitching even and tidy
Once your pocket has been put together pin in to the front shirt panel and sew around the edges.
6. Prepare facings
We have two facing pieces that are attached along the centre seam of the two front pieces. Before we attach these to the main garment we are going to finish some of the facing edges. I used an overlocker, but a zigzag stitch or pinking would work equally as well.
Finish the seams down the long sides of each facing piece
Turn under the finished edge and stitch down like pictured below. The more angular edge is not turned under, just leave it as it is.
That’s it. Our facings are prepped.
7. Attach facings to shirt front
Right sides together pin the facing to the shirt as pictured below:
Sew down the longest straight edge only. Repeat for other side. Fold under and press so it looks like the images below:
From the right side
From the wrong side
We’re going to leave this here now, and start work on the sleeves.
8. Attach cuffs to sleeves
The sleeves have a tabbed strip in contrasting fabric at the botom sleeve edge. Pin the fabric right sides together like pictured below and sew.
Press the seam open, and turn under towards the wrong side the bottom edge of the sleeve tab. Press this edge also. The picture below shows this step more clearly.
Then fold this edge up to align with the middle of the pressed open seam. From the right side stitch down as shown below:
9. Sew back and front shirt pieces at shoulders
With front and back right sides together match up at shoulder seams, pin and sew on both sides.
Press the seams. You’ll be left with something that resembles this:
At this stage I also added some topstitching at the shoulders.
10. Attach sleeves
Now it’s time to attach the sleeves. With right sides together, match and pin curved edges as pictured below:
Open out and press seam.
Add some more decorative topstitching if you wish.We’ve now got a nice line of stitching inside the yoke.
11. Sew side seams including sleeves
With right sides together pin up side and under arm seams and sew.
Clipping the fabric where the underarm seam meets the side seam will help ease the fabric around the tight corner. Give the seams a good press.
12. Make and attach the collar
To make the collar sew as shown below with right sides together. Leave one long edge open, and turn right side out and press, taking time to poke into and get sharp corners.
We are going to sandwich the collar between the main garment neckline and the facings, right side together. Here is what it looks from one side and the other:
Sew all the way along from one edge of the facing to the other. Press seam. This should encapsulate the collar and also sew up the rest of the facing seam. This is a bit of a rough and ready way of attaching a collar. I used a strip of bias to cover the raw edge left inside the garment. It looks a bit daft in green but it’s what I had to hand and you can’t tell from the outside.
13. Button holes
Layout the buttons on to the shirt and make sure you have them equally spaced. I measured my buttons so I knew how long to sew my button holes. My buttons were 1/2 inch wide and I wanted my buttons 6cm apart.
I measured up and made some marks on the fabric in tailors chalk.
Then sewed the buttonholes using the button hole machine foot.
Here they are all done. You can see on the 5th button hole down from the top I made a mistake and sewed it too high, so do take care. Occupational hazards of sewing late in to the night!
14. Final topstitching
Look again at the picture above and notice that I also marked a ‘Y’ shape line that corresponds with the shape of the facing on the reverse. We are going to topstitch this line, which will not only keep the facing attached but also add a decorative touch to the front. I also topstitched along the centre edge of each shirt front piece. This is how that stitching looks:
Hope you can make out the topstitching on this image, the blue on blue isn’t the clearest to see.
15. Attach the buttons
I sewed the buttons on by hand. A good excuse to sit with a cup of tea.
16. Finish the hem
To hem, I just overlocked the bottom edge, turned under, pressed and stitched in place. This worked well because my fabric was so thick. With a thinner cotton you could always turn under, press and turn again, and then stitch, or choose a method you prefer. As this is a demo piece I left the red thread in my overlocker, but it would have been much nicer in a matching colour, because you do sometimes get a glimpse of it when it’s on.
So here it is, put your hands together for the finished shirt!
Show me your creations!
How could I resist showing you it on my gorgeous model? I sewed a size too big for Evan, so he’ll have room to grow in to it. He already has a couple of these shirts in his wardrobe so I’m planning ahead.
So there you have it. I hope you enjoy making my shirt pattern. Please do get in contact with any questions, improvements, observations or just to say hello. I’d love for you to share photos with me of your makes, it’s great to see you all bring my patterns to life.
Variations on the shirt pattern
You could try to:
- Add some pockets
- Try a different shaped collar
- Add some embroidery
- Shape the hem to a dipped hem
If you like my pattern please follow me on twitter at @barmy_beetroot and follow me on bloglovin. I hope to keep making free patterns for you all to enjoy and have a kids pyjama pattern in the pipeline. Bye for now, Amy xx