Making a Pattern using a Ready-to-Wear Tee

Combining a FREE Pdf Pattern with a Ready-to-Wear Tee to create a new Pattern.

I bought a Primark Tee earlier this year - it was cheap and I liked the shape, ideal for wearing over leggings but long enough to wear without. It's a high-low, long length tee in jersey. The fabric is dreadful though - it's so thin and bobbled up pretty quickly after only a few washes - sometimes you get what you pay for!

Jersey Fabric Haul
Fabric Haul!

I really did like the shape though and after receiving some good value jersey fabrics from foreverfabrics (now closed unfortunately) I wondered if I could duplicate the shape. There are plenty of youtube videos showing you how to trace your clothing to make patterns. This works well for simple shapes but it's difficult to be accurate around the armhole and sleeves. Sleeves aren't necessarily symmetrical so it can be tricky to get that shape correctly drafted. Also, I would have to work out what length to cut the neckband.

Therefore, I decided to use the Laundry Day Tee pdf pattern from Love Notions as a basis for the bodice. The Laundry Day Tee (LDT) is available in sizes XS - 5X and has the following features:

  • meant for knit fabrics

  • 3 hem lengths: shirt, tunic and dress

  • high/low hem for the tunic and dress length

  • 3 necklines: scoop, v-neck and cowl

  • 5 sleeve lengths: tank, short, elbow, 3/4 and long.

The LDT is FREE if you join their FACEBOOK group, although at $5 it's already really good value and I've used this pattern many many times. For me, the best thing about the LDT is that a full bust piece is already included and I get an excellent fit every time.

To create a new pattern I placed my Primark Tee down on my table. I lay the LDT back pattern piece on top, lining up at the shoulders. I then placed a sheet of tracing paper on top (I actually used kitchen greaseproof paper for this task). I could then trace around the bodice area of the LDT and extend my line down to create the curved hem. I also brought the sides in slightly.

Laundry Day Tee Pdf Pattern Redraft

I then repeated this with the front pattern piece being careful to make sure that the side seams would match in length. I used the short sleeves and neckband pattern pieces from the LDT - I didn't need to retrace them.

Laundry Day Tee Pdf Pattern Redraft

Construction of the LDT is very straight forward. With my new shaping, though, the front and back hem is curved meaning that they meet at an angle at the side seam. Therefore, I sewed the hems before the side seams . I topstitched around the neckband using a stretch twin needle to keep the serged seam flat and to give a neat finish.

After trying on my first polka dot High-Low Tee I cut out another straight away - this time in a stripe! I cut this one out slightly differently - I matched the back curve with the front curve. This was simply because I didn't like the way the reverse of the striped fabric looked and it would show if the front was higher than the back.

Laundry Day Tee Pdf Pattern Redraft

Topstitching with a Twin Needle gives a neat finish on the Neckline.

I'm really pleased with how my High-Low Tees have come out. They are the perfect comfy top to wear and don't use too much fabric. I'll easily be able to make versions with longer sleeves as the weather changes by using the original sleeve pdf pattern pieces from the original LDT pdf pattern.

Laundry Day Tee Pdf Pattern Redraft

Laundry Day Tee Pdf Pattern Redraft

Geordiehandbag's Sewing Adventures


Welcome to my Sewing Blog! 

My name is Joanne and I love to sew. Here I'll be sharing my hand-made makes and giving my honest opinion on pdf patterns and how easy they are to understand and construct.