T Shirt Patterns
The Designer T.
(106-20-27). On the face of it T shirts should be just about the simplest garments to make. But a designer T shirt has to be made to a high standard, using a top quality fabric, with a great fit, using a perfect pattern shape.
You may be a new startup brand looking to make the perfect T shirt shape. Or you may be a complete novice looking to make your own pattern and garment.
The secret to any high quality T shirt starts with the fit. This is where most startup T shirt brands go wrong. They think that its just a T shirt, so they use any old generic shape to showcase their printed or embroidered design.
The top brands understand the extreme importance of the shape and fit of the pattern. They will make sample after sample until they nail the perfect fit.
Its because of its very simplicity that the pattern needs to be so exact. The length and width need to complement each other, or it just doesnt look right. To spot the perfect shape you need to have a fine eye for detail.
Because it is such a simple garment, worn next to the skin, it needs to be perfectly cut, with no poking or pulling. The wearer should be hardly aware that they are wearing it at all.
There are so many subtle variables in cutting a T shirt pattern that make all the angles flow, without pulling or distortion.
If you want something that is stylish and comfortable, or you want to establish a loyal customer base. Then you will need a bespoke T shirt pattern shape cut to your own requirements.
The cut and fit of a Tee shirt is vital in order to avoid returns and to promote future sales. It is the type of garment that a customer will be prepared to buy in multiples if it is just right. A nice fitting tee encourages brand loyalty.
The shoulder angle.
It is the shoulder angle that controls how the garment looks and feels. If it is too flat it will make the armhole too high, or too big. If it is too steep, it will not sit correctly at the neck, and it will feel uncomfortable to wear.
An ideal angle for a mans shoulder should be around 67 degrees, but sometimes it is made flatter to allow for extra arm lift.
In the pattern cutting world there is something that we call balance. That is the relation between front and back, in both a horizontal and a vertical direction.
A T shirt needs perfect balance to feel right.A garment that is out of balance will pull in one plane or the other. Or both.
The Right Fit.
There are many types of fit, even for a T shirt – slim fit, regular fit, classic fit, athletic fit, muscle fit, oversized fit, tall fit, short fit. We discuss your intended market and the type of fit you need for your product, We discuss the range of sizes you want to fit and how to distribute the sizes.
The close fitting T Shirt must be especially well cut in order to accentuate an athletic figure. If it is not precisely cut then it will not look right and it will not feel right.
The T can be crew neck, V neck, deep V neck or U neck. They need to be just the right fit and just the right length with just the right length sleeves in just the right fabric and with just the right rib.
DIY T Shirt Pattern.
Each type of fit needs its own base block shape in order to create further designs. It is best to create these basic shapes along with a professional pattern cutter. Once you have created your basic blocks, then the rest should be easy.
We provide one-to-one pattern cutting classes to assist you in making your first patterns. Beginners are welcome.
If you really must do it yourself, then I would recommend finding a T shirt shape that you like and just copy that. There is no reason to take the garment apart.
I wont give you diagrams as you can find them somewhere else.
The front and back can be exactly the same, except for the neck. You can make the chest a little narrower than the back if you want to be more correct.
The important things to get right are the shoulder angle and the measurement from one shoulder to the other. And make sure that when you check the pattern through, that all the lines run smoothly through.
When the front and back shoulder are joined the armhole and neck lines should run smoothly with no sharp angles. Where the sleeve joins the side seam, this must also be a smooth line.
if your pattern is just to be used as a surface to display an interesting print, with no concern for comfort or fit, then it really is the easiest pattern to cut. Its just a T shape with a hole for the neck.
Many new brands get their fit and sizing disastrously wrong, because factories generally do not use professional pattern cutters or graders. Even if the base size fits fine, their graders do not really understand grading . They will normally just use the easiest method of making different sizes.
Sometimes the neck rib will have a thin round elastic in order to ensure a good fit close to the neck. The T shirt is normally sewn with a small seam, while the hems tend to have a 2 cm coverstitch. The shoulder and back seams can be reinforced with a binding or tape for stabilisation.
Brief History Of The T Shirt.
T shirts have been around for over 200 years, having been introduced into the armed services in 1813. Originally intended as an under garment before becoming workwear, and then morphing into an iconic fashion item in the form of the plain white T via James Dean in the 1955 film Rebel without a cause.
A good T shirt can be worn for practically any type of occasion, whether smart or casual. The classic T shirt colours are black, white, navy and marl, although they can also be successfully worn in any colour in a way that no other item of clothing can.
If you have a T Shirt shape that you like, I can copy the shape while adjusting it to balance correctly and I can provide you with a professional, factory ready pattern with full instructions for the factory.
T Shirt Pattern Styles.
- CLASSIC FIT ROUND NECK
- SLIM FIT ROUND NECK
- SUPER SLIM FIT ROUND NECK
- CLASSIC FIT V NECK
- SLIM FIT V NECK
- SUPER SLIM FIT V NECK
- CLASSIC FIT LOW V NECK
- SLIM FIT LOW V NECK
- SUPER SLIM FIT LOW V NECK
T Shirt Fabrics.
A mans T shirt can be made in any type of fabric, but not every style will look good in every fabric. A specific sty;e may look great in 100% cotton, but awful in a polyester blend.
The type of fabric used in a mans T shirt will depend largely on the use of the T.
New T Shirt Brand.
One of the first decisions any new T shirt brand needs to make is whether to use pre-made blank T shirts, or to have them custom made. There are advantages and disadvantages for each method.
Having custom made T shirts is more expensive, but should provide better quality of fit, fabric and make. The T shirt sampling process is pretty straightforward, in comparison with other more complicated garments.
How To Start A T Shirt Brand.
If you are considering starting a T shirt brand, but have no idea where to start, who to trust, or how much it will cost, our How to start a clothing brand workshop should answer all your questions.
It is a custom built workshop, built especially for you. It includes the following subjects :-
- Buying blank T shirts
- Custom made T shirts
- Sourcing T shirts
- Sourcing fabrics
- Sourcing factories
- Printing methods
- Quality control
- Different fabrics and their properties
- Labelling and tagging
- Range planning
- Design validation
- Compiling a business plan
If you already have your designs, patterns, fabrics and tech packs you can just bring them to us and we will make them up to your specifications. Or if you need more in depth guidance we can walk you through everything with our one to one mini workshops designed to get you up and running.
In these two hour workshops, run by highly experienced experts, we discuss and develop your ideas. We can sketch up your designs as professional technical sheets. We help you choose fabrics , decide on stitching, construction and design details.
We can advise on sizing, labeling and find cheap sources of fabrics. And walk you through the process of getting your design to market. While we can produce small runs, we do not do bigger runs, but can refer you to larger scale manufacturers.
We also go through the basic errors that start-ups tend to make and suggest a strategy to ensure you get the results you want.
Most new designers do not understand the importance of fit and quality required for a designer label. Although a T shirt may appear to be the simplest of shapes to pattern for, a good fit is vital in order to avoid returns.
Small Production Runs.
There is a big demand by new brands for high quality, small scale production for T shirts, along with design and pattern development.
We are one of the few UK factories that welcome these new brands. We can provide bespoke T shirt design and development services, made and designed to your own specifications.