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Free patterns for you to download and try at home yourself

Western style toddler boys shirt sewing pattern

Toddler boy shirt sewing pattern free

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

Suggested Fabrics

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.

Sizing

The garment comes in 3 sizes. To check the right size measure the childs chest measurement and check the sizing guide below:

Size Chest PDF pages
Age 2-3 55 cm 3-14
Age 3-4 57 cm 15-26
Age 4-5 59 cm 27-38

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

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

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 main pattern pieces – layout guide


cutting out the yoke and sleeve cuffs on the contrasting fabric

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

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.
western_yoke_shirt8
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

Here is what that seam looks like pinned together


Once pinned go ahead and sew this seam.

The end result

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 and finish seam

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.
western_yoke_shirt12
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 I would topstitch over

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

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.
western_yoke_shirt16

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:
western_yoke_shirt17
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 right side

from the wrong 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.
western_yoke_shirt21

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.
western_yoke_shirt22

Then fold this edge up to align with the middle of the pressed open seam. From the right side stitch down as shown below:
western_yoke_shirt23

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.
western_yoke_shirt25

Press the seams. You’ll be left with something that resembles this:
western_yoke_shirt26

At this stage I also added some topstitching at the shoulders.
western_yoke_shirt27

10. Attach sleeves

Now it’s time to attach the sleeves. With right sides together, match and pin curved edges as pictured below:
western_yoke_shirt28

Open out and press seam.
western_yoke_shirt29

Add some more decorative topstitching if you wish.We’ve now got a nice line of stitching inside the yoke.
western_yoke_shirt30

11. Sew side seams including sleeves

With right sides together pin up side and under arm seams and sew.
western_yoke_shirt31
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.
western_yoke_shirt32

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.
western_yoke_shirt33
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:
western_yoke_shirt34
western_yoke_shirt35
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.
western_yoke_shirt76

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.
western_yoke_shirt36
I measured up and made some marks on the fabric in tailors chalk.
western_yoke_shirt39
Then sewed the buttonholes using the button hole machine foot.
western_yoke_shirt40
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!
western_yoke_shirt42

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.

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.
western_yoke_shirt44

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.
western_yoke_shirt75

So here it is, put your hands together for the finished shirt!
western_yoke_shirt74

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.
western_yoke_shirt77
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

Happy Sewing

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

Toddler Waistcoat Sewing Pattern

Free waistcoat sewing pattern pdf

Waistcoats are so under-worn, and often reserved for formal occasions, but why?? A simple and savvy waistcoat can be used to brighten up a casual outfit and kids look ridiculously cute in them. This pattern is quick, simple, easy to make, and you don’t need much fabric, so good for using up leftover small pieces you have around.

What you’ll need

  • 3 different types of fabric (see below)
  • Your sewing machine and basic sewing kit
  • 3 buttons
  • light – medium weight interface for strengthening front panel

Suggested Fabrics

The pattern uses 3 different fabrics, one for the front panels, one for the back panel, and the third for the lining. A fat quarter of each will be enough, or you might be able to use some scraps you have lying around, or up-cycle an old garment. A mans shirt works well. Any type of woven is good for the fabric. I used quite a lightweight cotton which needed interfacing to give it some structure. You may get away with not interfacing if opting for a more heavyweight fabric. It’s really versatile though and would work well with cotton, corduroy, linen, denim, even leather for that cowboy look! Go ahead and experiment. Texture and pattern works especially well on waistcoats. For the backing panel use a fabric in a matching or heavier weight material than the front. To line use a basic polyester lining or lightweight cotton.

Prepare and assemble the pattern

Have your downloaded the free PDF pattern yet? If not, you can download the free waistcoat pattern here, or by clicking the image at the top of this post. All 3 sizes are included in the pattern and on separate pages. Each size spans four 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.

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.

waistcoat pattern

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.

stick the pattern pieces together

Sellotape together at line

n.b a 1/2 inch seam allowance has been added to each pattern piece.
You should be left with two pieces which look like this:

Completed pattern pieces

Completed pattern pieces

Check what size?

The garment comes in 3 sizes. To check the right size measure the childs chest measurement and check the sizing guide below:

Size Chest PDF pages
Age 2-3 55 cm 3-10
Age 3-4 57 cm 11-18
Age 4-5 59 cm 19-26

Prepare and cut out the fabric

If using new fabric, I always recommended washing fabric before sewing with it. Honestly, I am sometimes naughty and do miss this step out, but it’s a good habit to get in to as new fabric can often shrink a little, and you wouldn’t want this to happen after working so hard on your hand crafted item. C’mon – I’m sure you have other laundry to do. I know I do!
Once it’s out the machine and dry give it a good press with the iron so that all the creases and crinkles disappear. This is essential to accurate pattern cutting. Make sure that you are using the correct setting on your iron for the fabric, and carry out a test patch. Some people like to iron with a press cloth between the iron and the fabric to prevent scalding.
I haven’t included a layout guide for the pattern pieces as it’s quite straight forward.

  • Cut out 2 front panels in main fabric, making sure that you have a mirror image of each piece for the left and right hand side. Do the same for the lining fabric
  • Cut out 1 back panel in the backing fabric, and again for the lining. This is cut on the fold.
  • Cut out the interface pieces
Back pieces in lining and backing fabric

Back pieces in lining and backing fabric

Front panels in main fabric

Front panels in main fabric

Front panels in lining

Front panels in lining

Right that’s it, we’re ready to start!

Attach interfacing to strengthen front panels

If you are using a light – medium weight fabric interfacing makes a massive difference to the structure and finish to the waistcoat. It strengthens it around the button area and gives it shape. Use a fusible interfacing to match your fabric, usually a medium-weight interfacing. I quickly cut out a shape to cover 2/3 of the front panel pieces, and then ironed it on, under a damp cloth, pressing with the iron for 8 seconds.

Interface cut to size and sewn on

Interface cut to size and ironed on

Sew the front panels

Match up a front panel lining piece and a front panel main piece and place them right sides together. Using the 0.5 inch seam allowance and a straight stitch, sew the diagonal seam running from the top of the shoulder down the middle of the body. Turn right side out and press the seam.

Sew front panel diagonal

Sew front panel diagonal

Place wrong sides together again and sew around the arm hole seam.
Tip! – Marking the seam curve can help sew a good curve if you’re a beginner, and sewing a little slower helps also.

Sew arm seam

Sew arm seam

Once the seam is finished it’s time to clip the curve, to ease the fabric around the inward curve and help give it a flat, pucker-free finish. You can use pinking shears if you have them, or  small sharp scissors. If using scissors snip every 1/2 inch along the seam, 3/4 of the way up to the stitching. You can now turn right side out and press this seam too.

Clip arm seam

Clip arm seam

We have one more seam to sew on this panel and that’s the down the front of the waistcoat, (the seam that will eventually have the buttons/button holes attached). Sew this section, turn right side out and press again.

Sew front panel edge

Sew front panel edge

Repeat this stage for the other front panel.

Both front panels sewn and pressed

Both front panels sewn and pressed

Sew the back panel

We are going to sew all 3 curved edges on the back panel. Take the back panel lining and backing fabric and place right sides together. Sew along the neckline and both armholes in 3 separate stages as shown.

Back panel sewn at neck and armholes

Back panel sewn at neck and armholes

Clip once again like we did with the front panels. Turn right side out and press the seams.

Clip all the curved seams

Clip all the curved seams

Attach the front and back panel

Now this part sounds tricky but it’s easy to do. We are going to attach the front and back panels by joining and sewing at the shoulder seam. Sandwich one of the front panel pieces in-between the back panel piece. The back panel piece is turned inside out and the front panel piece is the right way round. The shoulders should neatly fit inside each other so that the front panel just sits snugly inside the back panel at the shoulder. If it does not, you can re-sew the top part of the shoulder seam of the front panel ever so slightly, just to narrow the curve and give a better fit. Align the two shoulder seams and pin together once happy. Sew along the shoulder seam.
!Tip - Make sure you get the panel the right way round. It should be that the armholes are on the same side and the right side of the front panel fabric is touching the right side of the main backing fabric. (I made mistakes here a couple of times…oops)

Attaching at shoulders

Front panel inside layers of back panel. Pin at shoulder.

Repeat this step for the other front panel piece, joining at the opposite shoulder. You’ve now got one piece. Hurrah! Turn it right way round and press at the shoulder seams.

One piece

Sew up the sides

Now we join the back and front panels of the waistcoat at the sides. To do this unfold and pin the right sides together, making sure to match up the point where the front/back fabric meets the lining under the arms. Sew this seam on each side.

Attach side seams

Preparing to sew the side seams

Sew up the bottom edge

The last step of machine stitching is to sew up along the bottom edge of the waistcoat. We will leave a small gap large enough for you to fit your hand through for turning at the end.
Turn the garment inside out, and line up and pin along the bottom edge. It won’t sit flat but do your best to work with it and accurately align the bottom edge.

Sew up the bottom edge

Sew up the bottom edge, leaving a hand-sized gap

Sew from one end to the other, leaving a gap in the centre of the back panel for turning at the end. Pay attention when sewing the corner angles, as you want them to be really crisp and sharp. Either stop sewing and pivot on your needle at a corner, or sew all the way along to the fabric edge, stop and do the same for the other seam, crossing over the stitching at the corner. Clip the seam allowance away from the corners before turning out.

Give the garment another press to make sure you’re happy with it before hand stitching closed.

Hand stitch closed

I use an invisible hidden stitch to sew the last piece of the waistcoat seam closed. If you are not used to hand stitching here is a link to a post on Fern and Freckle, an invisible seam and hidden stitch tutorial.
Make sure the seam allowance is tucked in to the waistcoat (it should do this naturally) and you have a nice straight bottom edge. Hand sew the opening closed. This is my favourite part. I find hand stitching very relaxing. Unless my toddler is jumping on me whilst I have a needle in my hand … which is quite a lot actually!

Almost done! Not looking bad eh?

Almost done!

Sew and attach the buttons

You’ll want to measure the size of the buttons you are using, and work out how large you need to make the button holes. My button holes needed to be 3/4 of an inch. I used a ruler and tailors pencil to mark 3 x 3/4 inch lines, equally spaced on right panel of the waistcoat.

Measure and marking button placement

Measure and marking button placement

I then used my machine to sew the button holes. I don’t think my measuring was spot on, but I can live with that. I leave enough cotton on the button holes to hand sew in the thread ends tidily, so I know the button holes won’t unravel.

We have button holes!

We have button holes!

Sew on the buttons

I particularly like the cute anchor buttons on this waistcoat. Choosing the right coordinating buttons can really set a garment of perfectly. To hand sew buttons I make sure I stitch them on at least six times, and then to finish, with the thread under the button, but above the top layer of fabric, wrap the cotton 6 times around the middle of the stitches you have just made. This makes a nice little protective edging for the stitches and makes for a strong button that hopefully isn’t going anywhere.

And here we have the finished result. A versatile addition to any child’s wardrobe, and an excellent way of showing of bold and striking prints. I think I’ll be making a few of these!

Attach the buttons

The finished garment!

Show me your creations!

The best part of creating patterns is sharing them with others and seeing how they creatively interpret your designs. I’d love to see what you have made and share your work on my Pinterest page, so please post me a link to a photo of your finished garments. You score brownie points for cute children wearing them :)

Variations on the waistcoat pattern

You could try to:

  • Add some pockets
  • Add a collar / lapel
  • Add a tie at the back
  • Top stitch or add piping to edges

Pssst!

This is my first sewing tutorial and released pattern! It’s incredibly exciting for me to put this together for you all, and I would love any feedback, good or bad, and ideas on how I can improve both the downloadable pattern and instructions. I’ve already got a few more toddler patterns in the pipeline, so hopefully I can incorporate any ideas in to future releases. My aim is to add to the bunch of amazing free sewing patterns for boys available online and to come up with some fun and quirky designs in clothes that children love to wear.