Patchwork Tee Tutorial

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White clothes are crisp, fresh and summery – on other people.

White makes me look pale and insipid – this creature is one of colour!

I am also a creature that prefers comfortable pyjamas – so I bought my favourite cotton top from Giordano’s .  I just could not get it in a better colour to go with my new pyjama pants, so I thought, get the white and dress it up to match.

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The pyjamas pants were quite a bargain (20% off Target) and the mauve and aqua pair will go really well with the lavender long sleeved Tee I already had from a couple of years back at Giordano’s.

Their Tees wear really well.  This style used to be marketed as non-gender-specific and come it a rainbow of colours.

Now the same Tee is marketed as just a Men’s Tee, and the colour range is much reduced – but I love them for Pj’s because they are a little longer in the arm and torso.  I thought I would share how I made my Patchwork Tee, so here is a simple tutorial.

Patchwork Tee Tutorial

You will need:

A plain coloured Tee (The plain cotton ones are better than the fitted stretch-blend ones, that are worn really close to the body).

Double- Sided-Fusible-Web (such as Vlisofix, Wonder Under etc.)

Scraps of your favourite patchwork cotton fabrics

Co-ordinating sewing thread

Sewing machine, Iron, Rotary Cutter , Cutting Mat and Ruler.

Firstly make a pile of co-ordinating fabrics (mine were all to match my PJ pants, but you could just pick out a pile of favourite colours).

Lay your Tee down on a wide flat surface that you can use an iron on – mine was my kitchen bench, with a folded quilt on top – you could also use a blanket.

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Next pull out some of your smaller scraps and made sure they are square (square them up with your ruler and rotary cutter).  Lay these out on your Tee, which will start building a framework, (I started with the top and bottom strips, and the large purple square, which I already had).

Cut pieces of your remaining fabrics to size, in order to leave about 1/4″ between each fabric rectangle.  Make sure you cut each fabric scrap square.  It helps to audition some fabrics before cutting them to size, (as you can see in the above photo).

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Once you are happy with your placement, take each scrap, and cut a piece of Vlisofix (or other double-sided-fusible-web) that is 1/4″ smaller in each direction.

Centre this piece on the back of your scrap and iron it in place (following the fusible-web manufacturer’s instructions for iron temperature etc.)  This should leave 1/8″ of raw fabric around the perimeter of your scrap.  If you do this with each scrap, one at a time, you can keep your layout on the Tee intact.

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Peel the paper backing off each piece, one at a time – taking care to place them back in position, maintaining a 1/4″ gap between each fabric rectangle.

Gently press the fabric rectangles in place, taking care not to let them shift as you iron them.  You may need to carefully hold some in place with your hand while you do this.

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Using a narrow and short zig-zag stitch (mine was set on a stitch length of 1.5 and a width of 2.0) , stitch each fabric rectangle in place with the stitching just over 1/8″ in from the edge of each fabric rectangle.  This will ensure that the stitching is on the bonded section of the fabric.

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Take all threads to the back (inside) of the Tee, and knot corresponding threads together.

Thread them onto a needle and take the needle through between the tee and the ironed on fabric, and out again.

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Pull the end of the thread so that the fabric gathers slightly, and cut off the excess.  The thread end will slip in behind the fabric and be buried.

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Your Patchwork Tee is completed.  As you wash and wear your Tee, the edges of the of the fabric rectangles will fray slightly.

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Here is one I prepared earlier – 3 years earlier.

Have fun and drop me a line if you make one – I would love to see it.

5 thoughts on “Patchwork Tee Tutorial

  1. Great idea, I love how your sleep shirt came out. I too, cannot help embellishing any white area and have been known to cover walls and furniture. Project in progress on my blog right now……. 😉

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