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FREE Sewing Hack - Faux Layered Tshirt Top

Well Summer seems to be coming to an end here in New Zealand and the cooler weather has definitely started to bite here in the South Island. That means its time to start planning those Autumn Sews. Which is the perfect time for another FREE sewing hack tutorial. This time I am using a Rapport I designed for OTY Fabrics. If you don't know what a rapport is, its a 1 metre by width of fabric design where everything on the fabric coordinates together and the whole 1m piece can be used to make an outfit. In my case I used it to create 2 of the layered Tshirt Tops in a size 5-6 years (118cm). I had been wanting to try out this simple hack for awhile. If you want a easy quick to sew hack then this might be just what you're looking for. I as usual used the FREE Brindille and Twig Ringer Tee pattern as I had it to hand, but you could use ANY pattern you own that has both long and short sleeves, that includes Adults basic Top patterns. I am sure you will come up with lots of other combinations and ways to sew this so don't just stick with what I am doing, make it your own! So onto the tutorial we go...

What you'll need

  • A basic set sleeve Top and Tshirt sewing pattern (I used the FREE B&T Ringer Tee in size 118cm/5-6 years)

  • Sewing Machine and Overlocker (and optional Coverstitch - this can all be sewn on a standard sewing machine using small zig-zag stitch)

  • I recommend using Jersey needles and a walking foot if you have one

  • Thread of your choice

  • Pins, weights, scissors and Wonder Clips (optional)

  • about 1m x 150cm of Cotton Spandex with 4 way stretch of the main fabric (or more depending on the sizes you are making. I used a Rapport in 220gsm Cotton Spandex from OTY Fabrics)

  • Coordinating fabric for the sleeves (approx 60cm x 50cm wide for 2 pairs of sleeves, or more depending on your size)

  • Ribbing or suitable stretchy knit for the bands and cuffs (only a small amount needed)

Cutting out the Tops:

Grab your paper pattern pieces (sorry those who use Projectors this is a paper based one) and make sure your sleeve has both the short and long sleeve markings on the same sleeve (this

isn't necessary as you will be cutting them separately anyway - I traced both lines on my tracing of the B&T Ringer Sleeve Tee and also did my usual flap for the Back and Front pattern pieces rather than have a single body piece cut out)

Cut out your back and front on the fold as normal. You'll see in my picture using the B&T Ringer Tee that I placed the folded waistband at the end to create the hemline for the top as the Ringer Tee includes a waistband which I didn't want to add, I actually wanted a hemline instead. So in order to add a hem that could be turned up I just placed the waistband piece overlaid on the bottom of the body pieces as I cut them out. You'll also see I fold back the flap for the back neckline so I can cut out one piece with the neckline shaping and fold it up to cut the back pattern piece, it just saves paper LOL.

When cutting out stripes like in my Rapport I try to make sure I align the bottom of the armhole curve on one of the stripes on both the Front and Back pieces. The same for the sleeve, the bottom edge of the shoulder curve needs to align to the same stripe as the body pieces so your stripes will line up nicely as you sew them.

Depending on the short sleeve pattern piece you will need to add a Hem like I am doing in my example. I draw down the required centimetres and make a slight angle out from the bottom of the sleeve to create a hem turning when cutting. It was nice and easy with this stripe as I could just cut along one of the stripes to keep my hemline straight! You'll need to cut 2 short sleeves for this hack. (NB: its handy if you cut a notch on the top of each sleeve when you cut so that its easier to line up in the steps below for sewing the sleeves)

You should cut out a Front and Back, 2 short sleeves and two long sleeves as well as your neckband and cuffs. Its up to you how you do the fabrics, I chose a fairly classic style so that it looked like a tshirt over a plain long sleeved top. I will let you choose how you want to coordinate them. Also if you want to add a waistband instead of the hemline by all means go ahead.

Sewing up your Faux Layered Tops:

Now lets get to sewing up the tops. This is fairly simple and I won't go into too much details of how the tops are actually sewn together. The instructions will differ depending on how you normally sew up a basic set sleeves top. The important steps for this is how the sleeves are done. So follow along with me below:

Sew up your Body of the top, including shoulder seams, attaching neckband and sewing up the side seams. You can even hem the top now if you'd like. Sew the side seams of both sets of sleeves. Hem the bottom of the short sleeves using a coverstitch or standard sewing machine and small zig-zag stitch. You can also attach the cuffs to the long sleeves at this point too if you'd like.

Insert your long sleeves into the short sleeves wrong side of the short sleeves matching to the right side of the longer sleeves. Match your seamlines and centre top and then clip (or pin) all the way around the armhole seam. Baste the two sleeves together using a long straight or zig zag stitch around the armhole edge. This will help prevent the two sleeves shifting when you attach them to the body of the top.

With the wrong side of your sewn together top facing you and the basted together sleeves right side out insert one sleeve into the armhole of the top.

Match the side seams of both the sleeves and the body of the top and the centre top of the sleeves to the shoulder seam. Clip in place and stitch the sleeves to the armhole of the top. Repeat the steps for the second sleeve. (NB: its handy if you have cut a notch on the top of each sleeve so that its easier to line these up)

Depending on what you did in the previous steps you can now hem the base of the top, or sew on a waistband and cuffs. Don't forget to iron or topstitch the neckband. Now wasn't that an easy hack? But how cool does it look in these prints? Can you believe you can get two of these tops out of one rapport?? Thats the beauty of them, that you can make many outfits from one piece of fabric, very cost effective and a great wardrobe builder.

And you are DONE! Don't forget to tag us on social media and if you haven't joined the OTY Fabrics Share Group on Facebook please do join, and share your makes. If you have done this tutorial and made some amazing tops or decided to do something equally as cool as these please share and tag me I would love to see. More tutorials are coming because I know how much you love them ;-)


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