How to Make a Cap Sleeve T shirt (without a pattern!)

Leggi questo post in: Italiano

With spring here and summer just around the corner, my family uses a LOT of T-shirts. Luckily, I came up with an incredibly simple way to make a cap sleeve T-shirt in just 10-15 minutes without even using a sewing pattern!

Learn how to make a cap sleeve t shirt without a pattern! In 15 minutes you’ll transform a rectangle of jersey into the easiest DIY tee ever! Perfect for beginner sewists! #easysewing #diytshirt

This project is fast and easy, even for beginner sewists or sewers who have never sewn knit T-shirt fabric. All you have to do is fold a piece of jersey fabric in half, sew two lines, and cut open a neckline. No bindings or hemming!

Learn how to make a cap sleeve t shirt without a pattern! In 15 minutes you’ll transform a rectangle of jersey into the easiest DIY tee ever! Perfect for beginner sewists! #easysewing #diytshirt

Despite being such a simple project, there are different ways to customize it to your tastes. For example, the shirt above is form fitting with a rounded neckline and short faux-cap sleeves. The one below is looser, with a rounded V-neck, and with longer “sleeves”.

(I’ll give more customization ideas at the end of this tutorial.)

Learn how to make a cap sleeve t shirt without a pattern! In 15 minutes you’ll transform a rectangle of jersey into the easiest DIY tee ever! Perfect for beginner sewists! #easysewing #diytshirt

So, are you ready to learn how to make a cap sleeve t shirt in under a quarter of an hour? Then keep on reading the tutorial or watch the video below!

Materials

Materials for sewing the easiest T-shirt ever

GET FREE CREATIVE SUPPLIES!
Sign up for the Cucicucicoo Newsletter. You’ll receive an email with a link to click to confirm your subscription. After you click it, you will receive another email with the link and password to the private area with dozens of free downloads, including craft templates, sewing patterns and more!
If you’re already subscribed, click on this link and insert the password. You can find the password in your Newsletter welcome e-mail or at the bottom of any Cucicucicoo Newsletter. If you still cannot find the password, put your email address in this form and you’ll receive an email with the current password.

How to make a cap sleeve t shirt

Trimming a rectangle of jersey fabric to make a T-shirt

1. Iron the fabric and fold it in half, wrong sides facing. Make sure that the greatest stretch goes parallel to the fold. (top)

2. Use the cutting mat*, quilter’s ruler* and rotary cutter* (or just fabric shears*) to trim the right edge so that it’s nice and straight. (bottom)

Fold the t-shirt neckline in half to mark the center back

3. Fold the T-shirt you’re using as a guide in half so that you can locate the center back of the neck opening. Mark it with a pin.

Position the T-shirt on the jersey fabric, leaving 4 cm on each side.

4. Position the T-shirt with the tops of the shoulders on the fold and the right edge of the shirt about 4 cm away from the trimmed side of the fabric. Then stick safety pins in both layers of fabric along the side of the shirt and up the armpit. (top)

5. Put safety pins along the other side and armpit of the shirt and trim the fabric on that side, once again, to about 4 cm. (bottom)

Trim the jersey fabric with a quilting ruler and rotary cutter

6. Trim off the bottom of the fabric along the bottom hem of the shirt. (It doesn’t look straight in the photo here because the camera was crooked, but I promise that it is!)

Cut the T-shirt neckline

Cut the neckline of the jersey t-shirt

7. Trim the fabric along the fold, following the back neckline of the T-shirt.

Mark the center front of the T-shirt neckline

8. Hold the T-shirt’s front neckline in place with a finger and fold the back neckline straight down. Mark the center of the front neckline with a pin in just the top layer of fabric.

Mark and cut the neckline of the jersey t-shirt

9. Use tailor’s chalk* to trace out a front neck curve from the center front to the shoulders. Then cut along the line, being very careful to cut only the front layer of fabric.

Don’t worry about cutting perfectly at this point. You’ll even out the edges after.

Sew the sides of the T-shirt

The simple t-shirt pinned and ready to try one

10. Your new T-shirt is ready to try on! Put it on (still inside out) and test the fit.

Pin the sides of the DIY T-shirt before sewing

11. If the fit was right, draw a chalk line along the line of safety pins. My shirt was too tight, so I drew my line about 1 cm out from the safety pins.

12. Put ballpoint pins for knits* along the edges and remove the safety pins.

Mark the armpit curve of a shirt by tracing around a drinking glass

*Tip! Trace around a glass to get a perfect armpit curve!

Sew and trim the sides of the handmade T-shirt

13. Use polyester thread* and a stretch needle* to sew along the chalk lines. Then trim the fabric about 5 mm away from the stitching.

If this is your first time sewing jersey fabric, you might want to check out my 10 tips for sewing knits perfectly!

Trim the neck opening of the handmade T-shirt

14. Open up the neckline and trim all around it for a nice even cut. Pay particular attention to the corners where the front meets the back.

*Tip! Don’t try to trim the neckline right at the edge of the fabric, because it’s nearly impossible to get a smooth cut line this way. Cut a little less than 1 cm away from the edge (as seen above to the left) so that you can make a clean cut all around.

Learn how to make a cap sleeve t shirt without a pattern! In 15 minutes you’ll transform a rectangle of jersey into the easiest DIY tee ever! Perfect for beginner sewists! #easysewing #diytshirt

Now turn your new T-shirt right side out and put it on!

Try on your new handmade T-shirt for beginners

Voilà! Nearly instant gratification! I love how the straight shoulder fold makes those faux-cap sleeves!

I purposely made this tee with a snug fit, but you can easily make a looser fit as shown below.

Learn how to make a cap sleeve t shirt without a pattern! In 15 minutes you’ll transform a rectangle of jersey into the easiest DIY tee ever! Perfect for beginner sewists! #easysewing #diytshirt

All you have to do is leave more than 4 cm of fabric to each side of the original T-shirt and move the safety pins further away from the sides of the shirt for it to be looser.

The more extra fabric you leave at the sides, the longer the sleeves will be.

I made this blue version with the same original T-shirt guide, but I purposely cut a curved V-neck instead of a classic curve.

Learn how to make a cap sleeve t shirt without a pattern! In 15 minutes you’ll transform a rectangle of jersey into the easiest DIY tee ever! Perfect for beginner sewists! #easysewing #diytshirt

Another option is to trim the tops of the shoulders, gradually cutting inwards from the armpits, for an easy tank top. Or make it extra long for a comfy beach tunic or dress!

Want to try out my outfits in this post? Check out these other tutorials:

Having trouble with wavy seams, snapped thread and holes in your homemade knit garments? These 10 tips will help you overcome problems and you'll be sewing knits perfectly in no time! Check it out at www.cucicucicoo.com

And again, if you don’t have much experience with stretch fabric, check out my 10 tips for sewing knits perfectly!

Learn to Machine Sew FREE sewing course for beginners, only on Cucicucicoo.com! #sew #learntosew

If you liked this beginner’s sewing tutorial on how to make a cap sleeve t shirt, check out my FREE Cucicucicoo Learn to Machine Sew beginner’s sewing course! And don’t forget to share pictures of your work in the Cucicucicoo Creations Facebook group, or on Instagram or other social media with the hashtags #cucicucicoo or #cucicucicoopatterns!

Don’t forget to sign up for the Cucicucicoo Newsletter here for access to dozens of free downloads, templates and patterns! The Newsletter is sent out every week with lots of great ideas and links to a different free sewing pattern every week!

Click to save this Cucicucicoo.com project on Pinterest!

Click here to save this easy beginner sewing project on Pinterest!

Learn how to make a cap sleeve t shirt without a pattern! In 15 minutes you’ll transform a rectangle of jersey into the easiest DIY tee ever! Perfect for beginner sewists! #easysewing #diytshirt

*All starred links are affiliate links which help fund this blog. When you click, you will not spend anything extra, but I earn a small percentage. I cannot see what you clicked nor which products you have seen. Please read my affiliate link disclosure for more information.

5 thoughts on “How to Make a Cap Sleeve T shirt (without a pattern!)”

Leave a Comment