A self-drafted teeshirt pattern for a boy.
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Drafting a boys’ teeshirt pattern

I want to learn more about patternmaking and drafting patterns for basic garments is a good way to start. This time most of the work was done as I have made a pattern for girls’ teeshirt. Drafting a teeshirt for boys meant only a few modifications. Then, using the new pattern, I sewed two tees for my son.

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Pattern drafting

I use free Seamly 2d for pattern drafting like I have told you before. Getting started is a bit tricky but luckily there are some nice tutorials available online.

Just downloading the program doesn’t help much if you want to draft patterns that are more complicated than simple rectangles. Luckily there are very good books. I can warmly recommend Winifred Aldrich’s book: ""” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Metric pattern cutting for children’s wear and babywear.

The book has instructions on how to draw basic blocks for children’s garments. However, you still have to make little adjustments. First of all, the book is not very new, so the idea of an ideal fit, for example, for a teeshirt is different from today’s fit. Then you also may have an idea of a body type you are designing for. If you know that your child has a short back, wide or narrow shoulders or a slimmer or stouter figure, you may adjust accordingly.

I was able to use the girl’s basic tee pattern as a starting point. I basically only needed to create a size chart for boys and replace the girls’ chart with it. Then I made a few adjustments to get a better fit. I did this by printing out the pattern and comparing the pattern pieces to my son’s teeshirt that fitted him nicely.

Sewing the teeshirts

I got both jersey fabrics at Ommel festival. My son, K, got to choose the jersey with a grey wave pattern by Mereen. The other fabric is the jersey that I got at the bloggers’ meet. It is the fabric printed with the pattern that had won the design competition. K liked the pattern, so he was the one to get something out of it.

I was happy that both fabrics had so much grey in them so that I could sew them at the same time without any need to change threads. This made sewing very efficient! I finished the neckline with a simple band that was 20 % shorter than the actual neckline length.

K was happy with the fit except that originally the hem was too long. I chopped about 5 cm (2″) out and re-hemmed both tees and then added little labels I had made out of leather paper.

The finished teeshirts

The shoulders a just a tiny bit too wide but I designed the teeshirt so that K could wear it for at least two years.

I think that the teeshirt above is now the favourite garment of K’s. At least he has worn it every single day since I finished it. Soon I will have to take it forcefully in order to wash it!

Now that I have made this pattern I can use it to make different types of tees for K. The most obvious pattern modification is to turn the pattern into a long-sleeved teeshirt for the colder months. And if I’d be to add a bit more width to it, I could make a nice hoodie, too.

Thank you for reading! I hope you liked this post and come back soon to read about my other sewing and crafting adventures! Happy sewing!


I am a mother of two. I sew, knit and create and blog about it.


  • Janet

    This looks fun – and I love that you’ve sized it so he can wear it for a long time. I’ve been wondering about whether to get the mens and children’s versions of Winifred Aldrich’s book to go alongside my copy of the women’s one. Could you tell me, is it possible to draft the blocks using your child’s own measurements, as well as the industry standards in the book?

    • kk

      Yes, of course. Just substitute the standard measurements with your child’s! And if you are using Seamly 2d you can always change the measurement chart to whatever you want as long as the new chart has the same measurements, it doesn’t matter if it is an individual’s personal chart or a multisize one.

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