Easy Peasy Shirt From Lemon Squeezy Home

Today is SUCH a cute and easy tutorial you will have no excuse to make one for yourself right after reading!! Our guest with said tutorial is Christie from Lemon Squeezy Home.
What I love about Christie is how absolutely genuine she is. She is one of those bloggers you adore because she always leaves sweet comments. How often do you leave a comment on another blog (if you are a blogger) or at all (if you are not)? I swear I see Christie’s sweet comments all the time and come on who doesn’t love a comment?
Add to her sweet personality her mean crafting skills and watch out my friends!
I love that she broke the mold of stark white backgrounds with fantastic suggestions to spice things up a bit:
You are going to love her tutorial today! I JUST saw this fabric at Joanns so if you want to make this exact shirt you TOTALLY could!!
Hello SINML fans!  I’m Christie from A Lemon Squeezy Home and I’m really excited to be a part of the Sewing for Me series!  I’m also honored to be on this fabulous blog of the super talented Kelly and Elizabeth!
I admit that when it comes to sewing, I whip out about 10 projects for my kids to every one project for me!  So it was nice to think about what I might do for me!  With spring just around the corner, I thought I’d make a new top.
Made from a fun knit fabric (from Joann), this shirt is comfortable and light.  It’s also perfect alone, belted, or for layering.  And it’s SO easy to make!
You’ll need:
-a form fitting shirt (mine is a modbe shirt)
-about a yard of stretch or knit fabric (more or less depending on size you are making and length of the shirt)
-elastic (measure around the part of the waist you want the shirt gathered at, adding just about a half inch, and that’s how much elastic you’ll want)
-twin needle (mine is a 4/80)
*Please note that you will see my edges are serged as the tutorial progresses. You in no way need a serger to complete this shirt, and I’ve not included that step anywhere in the tutorial.  In fact, I don’t think it helped any because the twin needle does a fine job finishing your garment—I suppose it was more for the inside seams but since this fabric doesn’t fray, I didn’t need to serge the edges at all. Just personal preference—you could zig-zag the unfinished inside seams if you want them polished.
*Also, don’t be afraid of using a twin needle.  They are so easy to use and have such professional results!  I love mine and will be using it much more often now that I’ve gotten over my fear of them!  See HERE, HERE, and HERE for great sources on using a twin needle.  The only thing I saw different is one says make sure the thread is coming off the spool the same direction, and the other says the opposite—they both said because it will prevent the thread from twisting.  I tried it both ways and both times I had mine twist together once, so I’m not sure which is the correct way.
Lay out your shirt on your fabric, double layered.
Measure about 4” out from the bottom hem and cut a square or rectangle, if you would like more length.  I cut a 24” x 24” square, but wish I had added about 3” to the bottom and made mine 24” x 27”.  You can learn from my mistakes and make your shirt longer if you want ;).
Now take one layer at a time, fold in half, and cut the same neckline using your fitted shirt as the guide (if you like the neckline of course—change it if you would like!).  The front is normally lower than the back, of course.
Lay the layers on top of each other again, matching up the corners.  Fold in half.DSC_0092
If you want to give your shirt a bit more shape, you can cut off a small slant as pictured below:
Next, measure about 10” down from the corner of the shoulder.
Cut a tiny 1/4” snip or make some type of mark by that 10”.
Starting from the lower corner (all the layers still matched at corners and folded in half), cut a curve from the bottom corner to the 10” mark as pictured.  I’m obviously no pattern drafter!
Unfold shirt and match corners, right sides together.  Starting where the scissors are pointing, pin and sew ONE side seam together, using a 1/4” seam, leaving the armhole open.
Open your shirt at the side seam so you’ll have one long strip of fabric, but not sewn at the armholes.
Try the shirt on as best as you can and get a feel as to where you want the gathered portion of the shirt to fall on your torso.  Measure out enough elastic to fit around that portion of you.  I marked where mine should be gathered and it ended up about 5” down from the curve of the armhole.  Mark that at each side of the shirt and connect the marking with a line in chalk or other non-permanent marking device, across the shirt.  You’ll have drawn one long line where you will sew your elastic onto.  Hopefully the pictures will help that make more sense if that is confusing.
Making sure you measured the elastic for where you want it to be on your body, start in the middle of the elastic at the sewn side seam, and sew the elastic along the line you just marked above, stretching the elastic to make sure it will make it to the other end of the shirt.  This will gather the shirt as you stretch the elastic.
After you reach one end, start again with the sewn side seam and sew that elastic towards the other end, following the same steps for stretching the elastic.  With right sides together, sew the other side seam together.
Now for the finishing touches.  Swap your single needle for the twin needle.  If you don’t have another matching spool of thread, wind a bobbin and put both on the spool.  Thread the machine as if you only had one thread, but holding both strands.  Once you get down to the needle, untwist the strands and thread each needle.  Again, refer to the sources at the beginning of the post for a more thorough explanation of using a twin needle.
We’ll start with the neckline and fold under the fabric about a 1/2”, but pin on the top, not the bottom.
Starting at one of the seams, start sewing, making sure to backstitch at the start and finish.  I just followed the edge of my presser foot. DSC_0116
See?  Beautiful!  DSC_0120DSC_0121DSC_0123
After the neckline is complete, hem the sleeves and the bottom the same way.  You can choose to use a larger hem on the bottom if you want. Since I made mine shorter than I had wanted, I just used a 1/2” there as well.  DSC_0124
Ta-Da!  All done!  It really is SUCH a non-complicated shirt to sew, and finished in very little time!
Thanks so much for having me today!  Feel free to stop by and say hello!
Isn’t that awesome!!! Thank you so much Christie! Hop on over and check out all the goodness over at Lemon Squeezy Home.


  1. 1


    I really like that! I will have to make it this summer to fit my post baby body. I love shirts that you don’t have to set sleeves into! :)

  2. 2


    I love this fabric! It is actually from the designer April from Project Runway Allstars! I’ve been drooling over this fabric and now seeing your tutorial really really makes me want to buy it! :)


  3. 4


    Thanx for sharing this tutorial! I have a bit of a fear for stretch fabric, I keep pulling to hard at the fabric so the end result is all wonky. So: great job! (I need more practise)

  4. 5


    That turned out super cute!! I’ve been eyeing a couple stretch knits, but needed some inspiration for something to do with them! I have one question, though, on the twin needle – can you purchase ball-point twin needles – is there a distinction? Was yours ballpoint or did it not matter? Thanks so much for the simple, cute project, Christie!!

  5. 10


    This looks so do-able! Another project that I may have to try! Just found your site tonight, think I am going to have to look around some more!

  6. 15


    Love this top. I have seen this fabric in Jo-Ann fabrics and definitely lusted after it, but it was a little too expensive for me. Hoping it goes on sale so I can make this top, it’s adorable!


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