Free Vintage Shirt Pattern and Tutorial

 I have always been intimidated to sew shirts, mainly because of the sleeves. For some reason, it just looks really hard to put together. Well, I decided it was time to conquer my fear! I found this really cute cherry fabric at my local fabric store and thought it would be perfect for a nice vintage shirt for work. I got an old shirt of mine and dissected it into all the main parts: sleeves, one side front and back. This weekend, I am planning on writing up a tutorial on how to draft your own pattern from an old shirt in your closet. I am not 100% happy with the way the shirt came out. I think it would have looked better with a collar instead of a binding neck line. What do you think?

 This pattern fits a size medium with bust circumference of 34″-36″. It fits a bit lose which is perfect for me since I am not so proud of my abs:-). This project was longer than most; it took about 3 hours from drafting the pattern to sewing the buttons.

Here is the pattern for The Vintage Shirt. Please forgive my rough drawing of the pattern. I don’t have pattern software so this was done freehand. I also did it in pencil first and then sharpie over when I was sure I had the correct measurements. I did a 1/2″ seam allowance on the pattern so you just need to cut it out as is at 100% scale.

Here is what you need
1 1/4 yard fabric of choice
6 buttons
1/4 yard medium weight interfacing

Step 1
Cut out all of your fabric from the pattern pieces. You should have 2 front pieces, 1 large back piece, 2 sleeves, 2 pieces for the neck binding and 2 pieces for the front band. Iron on interfacing to your binding and band pieces.

Step 2
Sew on the darts on your front pieces and back pieces as indicated on the pattern. Iron out the darts

Step 3
Sew the front and back pieces together at the shoulder right sides facing each other.
 Step 4
Fold in and iron fold in front of both front pieces on marked lines on the pattern.


Step 5
Sew down on the sides of the folds from top all the way down.

Step 6
Sew the sides of the shirt together. Serge or zig zag seams.
Step 7
Make the band for the two front pieces by folding in your band pieces 1/4″ on both long sides and then fold in again in the middle.

Step 8
Sew on the band to the end of the front pieces by placing the band under the first fold.

Step 9
Make the binding to the neck line. Connect your two binding pieces right sides together. As you did for the band, fold in the long sides of the binding and then fold in the middle.

Step 10
Place the edge of the neckline in the middle of your binding and sew all the way around.

Step 11

Connect the underarm of the sleeves together by sewing right sides together. Take the entire sleeve, sew it on the arm of your shirt, right sides facing each other. You may want to pin it all the way around to make sure it lines up. You can also slightly gather the upper part of the sleeve to make it fit.
I am sorry these pictures are not the greatest. Its difficult to hold my camera and hold the sleeve at the same time.
Line up where you connected your sleeve on the side to the side of the shirt

I gathered the top a little to make it fit the circumference of the armhole.

Step 12
Fold in the bottom of your sleeve 1/2″ and then 1″ and sew all the way around. Iron.


Step 13
Hem the bottom.
Step 14
Add 6 button holes about 2″ apart along with your buttons.


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