Hey y’all! It’s Lakeisha from Sincerely, Shantelle, and WOW! It has been quite some time since I’ve posted here for you. I’ve been busy and every time I thought about a blog post, I was stuck thinking it had to be some sort of grandiose thing…and to be honest, over the past several months I’ve been choosing quick, satisfying sews in favor of complex, time consuming things. Then it dawned on me that I had an idea which would consist of a “hack” but achieve that satisfaction I’ve been after lately.
One of my favorite shirt patterns from Ellie and Mac to wear is the Everyday Tee. It’s a quick sew with few steps, it’s comfy, and takes a relatively small amount of fabric to make. My daughter has fallen in love with the style of shirt and asked for one, so I said “of course” and set out to recreate one of mine for her. Y’all….I own hundreds of PDF patterns from various designers. I’ve got a billion sweaters, hoodies, tanks, dresses, peplums, joggers, you name it. Wanna know what I realized? I do NOT have a simple dolman tee pattern for kids!! I started thinking of the easiest way to hack it with what I already own, and the Kids Twist It Up Top came to mind. I had recently made my daughter a couple of them, so the pattern was still out. I studied the pieces and with a couple modifications to the bodice, it quickly became a copy cat of the Everyday Tee, minus the back seam, and the front and back are the same instead of hi-low.
So let’s get started! All you will need is the Twist It Up pattern, a ruler, and a curved edge (alternatively, you can freehand it or use the hem from the adult Everyday Tee as a reference, if you have that pattern, too). I will be sewing the short sleeve, neckband version, but feel free to add the cowl or long sleeves to get the look you desire. The modification steps will only affect the bodice, so everything else can be added without any additional adjustments :) Special note to keep in mind: If you do not shorten the pattern, the top will be tunic length. If you would like it to be shorter, make sure to adjust and remove the 1.5” from the line indicated on the pattern piece.
The first step in adjusting was removing some of the width from the bodice. This was necessary for the twist portion, since it would pull the fabric toward the center of the bodice. Since we will have regular hem, the amount of width in the pattern is not necessary. I aligned a ruler with the underarm portion of the bodice and drew a straight line for a starting point.
Next, just to add a slight flair to the bottom, I freehanded a slight curve away from that straight line to add about an inch in width to the bodice. You can also use another shirt pattern if you are aiming for a specific width, or want more or less room in the waist, but for my daughter’s shape and personal tastes, this method worked out just fine. I also added some scrap paper to the hem for adding the curve in a later step.
Using a curved ruler, I drew a line from the outer edge of the bodice to the center fold. Feel free to make your curve as slight or dramatic as you like. Make sure to level it out so that it becomes a horizontal line as you close in on the fold, as this will be the center of the bodice and you don’t want it to end up with a point in the center. Don’t want the curved hem? Skip it and move on to the next steps! The choice is yours, here.
Go ahead and cut all the excess paper and your pattern is now ready to sew!
I recommend hemming the front and back pieces separately, before joining at the side seams, as curved hems can be a little tricky to sew. Aside from that, follow the rest of the steps from the Twist It Up top tutorial to complete, omitting the twist steps, and your top is ready! You now have a simple dolman tee in kids’s size to pull out the next time you’re itching for a quick sew.
Until next time, friends!
(Written by: Lakeisha Webb)