I’m a Sewlebrity?

I’m so honored and excited to be a part of Rachel’s Sewlebrity series over on Family Ever After! I sewed up this color block tee for the Sadester, who almost immediately smeared pink sidewalk chalk dust on the white part. At least I got pics, right? That’s what counts in bloggy land. 😉

Hop over to her blog to check out the tutorial! Go leave some love too (aka comments!) if you don’t mind!

I think this look would work for boys too-though don’t quote me on that, I don’t have much experience sewing for boys. (and with another girl on the way…not in the near future either haha!)

bringing it home below!

Hey Family Ever After readers! I’m Jess, from Craftiness is not Optional, and I’m so honored to be here today for Rachel’s Sewlebrity series! I had the chance to meet her at the SNAP conference back in April, and she is seriously so nice and very sweet! Plus she has an awesome name to boot. (my middle name is Rachel and I’ve always loved it!)

I can’t wait to see what the other guests come up with-I am flattered to be counted among such talented ladies!

I decided to upcycle some old tees into a new, color block tee for my oldest daughter-and I just love this color combo! How can you go wrong with white, teal, and mustard yellow, I ask you?

It can do no wrong.

I think this look would work for boys too-though don’t quote me on that, I don’t have much experience sewing for boys. (and I have another girl on the way…so not in the near future either haha!)

Here’s how I made it:
You’ll need:
 3 colors of knit or old tees to recycle
ballpoint needle
tee to make pattern from
sewing stuff (rotary cutter, iron, spray starch is handy, etc)
I used some knit yardage (white), and two tees to upcycle into this new tee-and used the existing hems on the sleeves and bottom. Bonus!

First I made a pattern by folding a tee in half and tracing around it like so. I lengthened mine a bit because I thought I’d have to hem, but the fabric I chose was from existing tees so I didn’t have to! Label the fold and size.

Cut out that pattern and to make the sleeve pattern, trace the curve of the armhole.

Then sketch in the rest like so…knit is really forgiving so it will stretch into place easily when you sew it…but this shape fits nicely in the armholes. The top line is the fold, make sure to label that.

Then I cut out  two of the sleeves on the fold like so. I had to shorten my sleeve to fit the sleeves on the tee, but it worked out fine.

Both my hems on the shirts were pretty similar so I decided to use them…otherwise I would have cut  my pattern pieces high and hemmed them up together after sewing together.

So then I cut out a back piece using the back neckline.

For the front we’re going to piece it together, so I folded it in half where I wanted the blocking to start like so.

Then cut out the bottom half on the fold, adding seam allowance on top.

Then cut out a top piece using the front neckline and adding seam allowance also. I simply folded the pattern out of the way.

Now to assemble the tee! I used  my serger, but it would work just as well on the sewing machine, just make sure to use a ballpoint needle and a small zig zag stitch.

Sew the top and bottom bodice right sides together.

Then press. This is the key to nice looking knits! Always press after each seam! Also don’t press and drag like on wovens. Press down, then lift up and move to the next spot.

Now for the neck binding…I cut out a piece of fabric on the bias 1.75″ wide. (make sure it’s long enough to go around the neck.

Then press in each long side to almost the middle, and then in half.

This is the ultimate secret weapon for knits-spray starch! It keep the edges from rolling and curling up on you.

Then wrap the binding around the neckline…and oh yeah…lol. Forgot a step! Sew one shoulder seam right sides together first. My bad!

Then sew all along the edge, making sure to catch the underside of the bias tape in your stitching.

Then sew the other shoulder seam right sides together.

Next pin and sew in the sleeves into the armholes, right sides together. Here’s a better pic (from another tute)

I serged mine in, but I’ve sewn them in the regular way so many times. (lazy much?) lol!

Then sew or serge the sides right sides together, lining up the hems on the sleeves and bottom. (the knit will stretch nicely to fit if it’s off a little.)
Then you’re done! Thanks for having me, Rachel!


  1. Very cute! I’m going to have to try this for the granddaughter. Just make them a bit longer for dresses, since she loves them!

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  3. Another super cute top Jess. Thank you. I really need to swipe some of my granddaughters clothes so I can use some of your awesome tutorial and make her some things.

  4. I def. think it could work for a boy, too! Sewing for boys is my thing and I thing this is pretty gender neutral! 🙂

  5. I’ve been looking for a good tee tute for quite awhile. Not surprised I found it here! Thanks! My son will be so glad I’m finally going to make the “hunting” ( read: camo) tee he’s been begging for!

  6. It would work great for boys! Maybe different colors though =) Congrats on the 3rd girl by the way! 3 girls is so much fun (and quite loud).

  7. I think it would look fantastic for a boy in red, navy, and gray! I might just have to do that for my son. I sew for my daughter but my poor boy is almost one and I haven’t made anything for him other than burp cloths. Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. You are most definitely a sewlebrity (at least in my eyes, hehe!). Very cute, Jess!

  9. I love it! I want one! 🙂 And yes. I think if you made the neckline higher and maybe the ribbing thicker it would be a great boy’s tee.

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