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Sewing T-shirts: ABB Kid’s Tee Pattern by DIBY Club Review

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This is my first attempt at a T-shirt pattern, as a person who used to fear sewing with knits. Well, not anymore! I made Anything But Basic Kid’s Tee pattern by DIBY Club. Here’s my experience making T-shirts for all three of my kids using this free pattern.

The ABB children’s T-shirt pattern is available in 12 kids sizes (18 months to 12 years) as a PDF download. It features a crew neck, three sleeve lengths (short, 3/4, long), and an optional chest pocket.

Related: Long sleeve peasant top for little girls (free pattern) / Easy kids shorts (free pattern)

In addition, this free T-shirt pattern includes the option to remove layers so you can print only the size you need (so helpful!).

I printed out the pattern at home on A4 sheets and taped them together. To be honest, I had no trouble piecing together this pattern, and I made 3 sizes – each time everything went well and fast. It’s definitely a beginner-friendly pattern.

cut pattern pieces for DIY T-shirt

I pretty much love the neckline finish – it stays flat, it’s clean and pretty, and I did not need to buy matching ribbing. I did not have any ribbing fabric at home, and I don’t like having to source a second fabric for a simple project like this.

Related: How to turn a T-shirt into a girls’ dress in 5 simple steps

long sleeve DIY T-shirt

Making these T-shirts with self-fabric (the same jersey as the rest of the shirt) was easy, quick and convenient.

sewing kids T-shirts

Finding grainline on knit fabric

Also, I took this opportunity and learned, once and for all, how to find the grainline on knit fabrics. I made this visual, and I hope it helps everyone understand the grainline better.

knit fabric grainline

Once you see those little v stitches make columns, you can’t unsee the grainline.

Related: Free knotted headband pattern and tutorial

Sewing knit fabric on a regular sewing machine 

Sewing T-shirts can and should be fun! Here’s my best tip for sewing with knit fabric.

I hope you notice the perfect straight stitches on my T-shirts – how did I get them?

jersey T-shirt neckline finish sewing

The answer is simple: a 90/14 stretch needle. I’ve found that sometimes jersey needles don’t work with jersey fabric on my Heavy Duty Singer machine, but stretch needles always do. Skipped stitches are so annoying! And every so often adjusting the tension doesn’t help at all.

So that’s how I set myself up for success – always have jersey AND stretch needles on hand when I’m working with knit fabrics.

Kids’ T-shirt pattern by DIBY Club – review

I made these T-shirts in sizes 5, 6, and 11. All of them are a good fit, even though I made some rash decisions.

For my youngest child (aged 4), I chose a regular fit (with 3/4 sleeves) and decided to size up. As a result, her T-shirt is a bit large (no biggie here, she’ll get a lot of wear out of this cute T-shirt).

DIY sewing kids T-shirt

I loved sewing with this beautiful floral fabric!

T-shirt sewing pattern pieces

For my middle child (aged 7), I chose a slim fit and decided to size down – big mistake, I still wonder what was I thinking.

Moreover, I removed 1 – 1 ½ inches from the bodice (because he’s shorter than average, but only a bit), only to regret it 10 minutes later.

His T-shirt came out too short for my liking. Fortunately, this is something I can easily fix by adding a banded hem.

sewing boy T-shirt

He loves his camouflage T-shirt, but I can see him outgrowing it sooner than expected. Size 7 would have been a much better choice.

For my eldest daughter, I did everything alright – finally!

She is 11 years old, so I chose size 11, slim fit. Just perfect!

DIY tween T-shirt

So, from my experience, I have found that the ABB T-shirt pattern runs true to size.

From now on, I’m going to stick with the slim fit for all my makes, as I like the semi-fitted look.

I will definitely be making this pattern again.

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4 thoughts on “Sewing T-shirts: ABB Kid’s Tee Pattern by DIBY Club Review”

    • Hi Carmen,
      I used a serger, but if you don’t have one you can just use the zigzag stitch. Jersey fabric doesn’t fray, so in this case finishing the seams is mainly about the looks. Besides that, I think of it like a second line of defense, in case the main thread breaks (with kids, you never know..).

  1. Hi violet, you have done an amazing job and youve inspired me to try sewing with knits! I am also self taught and love sewing, look forward to reading your makes agan. Kind regards karen

    • Hi Karen,
      I’m so glad you liked my post, thank you for the kind words!
      Regarding sewing with knits, what I’ve found it matters most is the needle. Having jersey and stretch needles, both in 2 or 3 sizes, will do wonders!


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