Easy 2-Seam T-shirt Sewing and Pattern Making Guide – No Sewing Machine Needed

2 seam tee feature photos

A 2-seam T-shirt is inspired by traditional Chinese clothing called Hanfu (漢服). It follows the traditional way of 2-dimensional pattern making. Its fit is rather boxy and the sleeve design resembles bat sleeves as the sleeves and bodice are one single piece. If normal T-shirt patterns are confusing to you – hopefully you will find this to be much more straightforward and easy to understand 😀

You may follow along with our video as well as with the accompanying PDF guide that makes it easier to keep track of measurements.

We will cover the following:

  1. Video Guide
  2. Tools and Materials Needed
  3. Normal T-shirt vs 2-Seam T-shirt
  4. 2-Seam T-shirt Measurements
  5. Steps to Create a 2-Seam Tee!
  6. Download for PDF Guide

Video Guide

open video on PeerTube

You can also watch this video on YouTube

Tools and Materials Needed

Difficulty Level: beginner friendly

Project Length: around an hour

Normal T-shirt vs 2-Seam T-shirt

There are many noticeable and subtle differences between the two, let’s find out!

hand drawn comparison between a normal t-shirt and a 2 seam t-shirt
comparison of the two types of t-shirts
Normal T-shirt 2-seam T-shirt
Pattern making 3-dimentional 2-dimentional
Sleeve type set-in sleeve bat sleeve / hanfu sleeve
No. of seems 4 2
Pattern pieces 2+ (Bodice, sleeve) 1 (Bodice+sleeve in one piece)
Fit – can be more fitted
– less mobility in the arms and less fabric under armpits
– loose fit
– more mobility in the arms but more fabric under the armpit

There is no ‘the better T-shirt’, it all depends on what you want! We really like the flowy silhouette and simple construction of the 2-seam T-shirt -that’s why we are sharing this tutorial with you 🙂 we hope you will like it too!

2-Seam T-shirt Measurements

Take the following measurements and calculate them with the formulas for drafting the pattern:

  1. Shirt length = hip to hip measurement (over the shoulder) ÷ 2
hip to hip measurement goes over the shoulder vertically for calculating shirt length
hip to hip measurement

  1. Sleeve length = bicep to bicep measurement (from the back)
measure from left bicep to right bicep from back of th body wiht arms parallel to the floor extending out
measure from bicep to bicep from the back

  1. Sleeve width @ armpit = (around the shoulder measurement @ armpit + 6cm or 2½in) ÷ 2
set tape measure on the shoulder, draw it under the armpit with arm extending out take measurement with arm relaxing by body's side
measure around armpit over the shoulder

  1. Shirt width @ chest = (chest/bust measurement + 20cm or 8in) ÷ 2
take bust/chest circumference measurement with arms parallel to the floor extended straight
measure around chest or bust

  1. Shirt width @ hip = (hip measurement + 20cm or 8in) ÷ 2
circumference of hip measurement goes over the buttocks
measure hip circumference (expecially applicable for women)

  1. Collar width = (neck circumference ÷ 2) + 2cm or 0.8in
measure around the neck not holding the tape measure too tight
measure neck circumference

  1. (Optional) Sleeve width @ bicep = (bicep circumference + 10cm or 4in) ÷ 2
bicep measurement is circumference of the bicep, measure loosely
measure around bicep, measure loosely (optional)

Steps to Create a 2-Seam Tee!

Step 1

write measurements down on printout guide or a piece of paper

Take all your measurements and calculate them. Make adjustments as needed – increase sleeve length to make a long sleeve shirt; increase shirt length to make a T-shirt dress, use your imagination!

long sleeve version of the 2-seam t-shirt with indigo spiral tie dye oversized version of the 2-seam t-shirt with half length sleeves
long sleeve version dyed with indigo (left);
oversized half sleeve version (right)

You will not need to cut out a pattern piece because drawing directly onto the fabric is very straightforward, but you may if you wish!

Step 2

Choose a jersey or any preferred fabric. Size of fabric needs to be at least 2 times measurement 1 by measurement 2. Fold fabric in half on horizontal fold line.

diagram showing a regtangle fabric that has a height by width ratio of 2 by 1, with horizontal fold line divinding fabric into 3 equal parts. grainline is vertical, direction of stretch is horizontal

Step 3

Draw out measurements onto fabric – in order of 1-6. It helps to find the mid point of the fabric along the sleeve length.

Connect the dots as needed. (Add seam allowance to bottom of shirt and sleeves if hemming)

diagram showing the placements of all 7 measurements on the t-shirt
diagram of the folded fabric with measurement one going vertical, measurement 2 going horizontal
draw out measurement 3 from the fold line on the edges of the fabric
find the vertical mid line of the folded fabric, align measurement 4 centered on the fabric at the level of measurement 3
draw out the sleeves of t-shirt by connecting end points of measurement 4 to the edges of fabric (as marked out by measurment 3)
align measurement 5 centered on the fabric on the bottom, connect its end points to the end points of measurement 4
align measurement 6 centered on the fabric on the top (at the foldline), this is the collar hole.

Please reference video above if you are lost.

Step 4

Make any further adjustments to the drawn out pattern on the fabric as necessary:

where measurement 4 and 5 connect, round out the sharp angle for easier sewing
round out seam under the armpits, for easier sewing and better fit
reduce sleeve width according to measurement 7
reduce sleeve hole (optional, see measurement 7)

Step 5

Cut and sew!

the t-shirt after cutting out the pattern shape

Step 6

Try it on and make adjustments as needed

Step 7

Hem or wear as is (neck binding is also optional). If your fabric frays then you may need to hem.

And you are done!

How did it turn out for you? Do send us an email and let us know 😃

We like to dye our handmade clothing pieces with natural indigo to give it a lovely blue colour. Each fabric will result in a different shade and tone of blue. Highly recommended!

Download PDF Guide Here

sample of pdf download of 2-seam t-shirt guide

Thank you for reading! We hope you learned something new!