HACK || Basic Origami Tee

February 03, 2021

 

The design of the Origami Sweater goes way back - I designed the first version of this sweater back in 2010 as part of my handmade business - and I still love the folded look of the collar and V-shaped colorblock. It's a challenging sew, but oh so satisfying! But even though we're still officially in winter, I already find myself longing for quick spring projects. Also, the corona lockdown isn't helping my productivity. So I've been brewing on a simpler, quicker, spring-worthy version of the Origami Sweater - and the basic Origami Tee was born! 

This tutorial will explain how to make minor adjustments to some of the pattern pieces of the Origami pattern and combine it with 2 newly drafted neckband pattern pieces to create your own Basic Origami Tee. You can download the FREE, tiled & layered A4/letter pattern containing the new t-shirt neckband pattern pieces here

 

SUPPLIES & PREP

 

Step 1 - To create your own Basic Origami Tee, you only need to print out the front bodice (1A), Back Bodice (2A), the V-colorblock pieces (6,7,8 & 9) and the short sleeves (12) from the Origami Sweater pattern. Also print out the new neckband pattern pieces! Collect your desired fabrics and sewing tools.

 

LENGTHENING THE BODICES & SLEEVES

Step 2 - Lengthening the bodice - The original Origami sweater is finished with a bottom band. So to create a t-shirt with a folded hem finish, you need to lengthen the front & back bodice. I lengthened my bodices by 8cm (3,25"), which is half the height of the bottom band + 2cm hem allowance. 

 

Step 3 - Except from adding length to the sleeves (see step 4), in my version I didn't change the width of the sleeve. My son absolutely loves it this way - loose and roomy - but for a next version I'd prefer a more tailored sleeve. If you're going to use the sleeve as is, you can skip to step 4. But if you'd like a slimmer sleeve, here's how to do it: mark the seam allowance and cut the sleeve vertically in half. Overlap the bottom by 1cm (3/8"), pivoting from the stitch line (red x). Draw a horizontal line between the lower corners, creating the new seam line. Adjust the bottom seam allowance to the new seam line.

 

Step 4 - Like we did with the bodices, you need to add length to the sleeve. First, I lengthened my sleeve by 3cm (1,25"), which is half the height of the sleeve bottom band. Next, I added 2cm hem allowance. 

 

ADJUSTING THE V PATTERN PIECES

The main objective for this hack was to simplify the design, so it would be quicker to sew up. I decided to combine the 4 V-pieces, this way eliminating the trickiest seams to line up. This might take away from the folded look a bit and it does not eliminate the corners (which are the most challenging part to sew....) but all in all, it really is much easier to sew up!

Combining V-part 1 & V-part 2 - Start with V-part 1 (pattern piece 8) and V-part 2 (pattern piece 9). Remove the lower seam allowance from V-part 1. Taking the seam allowance into account, overlap V-part1 with V-part 2 and tape in place. This new "small" V-pattern piece is part of the front bodice and only needs to be cut once from the fabric.

 

Combining right shoulder & left shoulder - Repeat the same adjustments from the previous steps, removing the seam allowance and overlapping the 2 pattern pieces. The original pattern pieces are cut on the fold - the big V wraps around the body connecting with a seam at the center front & back.  Since we just removed those seams, we have to make up for it at the shoulders by adding a 1cm (3/8") seam allowance to both sides of the "cut on fold" lines. This new "big" V-pattern piece needs to be cut twice from the fabric. 

Now you can go ahead and cut your fabric. I went with a tonal, denim look, light weight french terry. For the neckband you can either use your main fabric or a rib knit. You need to cut both neckband pattern pieces twice and mirrored from the fabric. Draw guide lines on the wrong side of your new V-pieces.

 

SEWING CORNERS

If you're new to sewing corners, it might seem very daunting! I totally understand! But let me talk you through some tips & tricks, methods and other resources to help you master those corners! 

 

  • Practice makes perfect - do a few trial runs (with some of the methods mentioned below) to get a feel for those corners. What method works best for you? 
  • Fabrics - use a more stable knit like French terry or a medium jersey. Try to avoid jersey fabrics with a lot of drape. Also try to avoid striped fabrics - when sewing corners in a striped fabric it's really hard to keep the stripes going straight - any error will show!
  • Optional: interface your corners with a fusible stretchable interfacing on the wrong side of the fabric - this will stabilise the corner.
  • Draw guidelines on the wrong side of your fabric, on all pattern pieces that are part of a corner. In this case this means, the front & back bodice, the sleeves, the V-pieces and neckband pattern pieces.
  • Carefully read the Origami Sweater tutorial before sewing - I know it's tempting to just go ahead! But the tutorial is pretty extensive on this topic!
  • Check out the "How to conquer sewing corners" blogpost I did for OneThimble (where the Origami sweater was first released...)
  • Finally, check out the 2 (alternative) methods I discuss below! I've used the first method to sew the "small" front bodice V and the second method to sew the "big" V, going around the front & back bodice and sleeves.

 

 

CORNERS - CONTINUOUS METHOD

This method is all about slow continuous sewing - at every corner the needle of the sewing machine is kept in place, with your project rotating around the needle. This is also the method described in the tutorial. Here I use it in assembling the front bodice.

 

Step 1 - With the right sides together, place your V pattern piece (the front bodice one!) on the front bodice. Match the corner of the front bodice with the corner of the V pattern piece. Place a pin in the corner to ensure that the seams don't shift while sewing.

 

Step 2 - Sew the seam, ensuring to stop exactly in the corner! Lift the presser foot up, but keep the needle down. With the needle still down, lift the V-piece up a bit and cut a notch in the front bodice towards the needle. Make sure not to cut through the seam allowance. (Something to consider: in the tutorial of the Origami sweater I've placed the bodice on top of the V-piece, which obviously gives a better view of where to cut your notch.)

 

Step 3 - Below the V-piece, pivot the front bodice around the needle to meet up with the other side of the V-piece. Keep turning until you've lined up the raw edges of the seams. Pin in place. Make sure you've pushed all fabric out of the way - the bodice should lay flat behind the pressure foot. Rotate the entire bodice until you've lined up the seam in front of the presser foot in the correct position to sew. Put the presser foot down and finish sewing the seam.

 

Step 4 - Finish the seam with a serger and press the seam down. Isn't this satisfying?!?

 

CORNERS - START/STOP METHOD

This method starts and stops at every corner, taking the needle of your sewing machine out of your fabric so you can remove your project away from the sewing machine. This way you have a clear view of your project - you can notch your fabric and pin everything in place without the restriction of your sewing machine's needle. In using this method, the biggest challenge is to place the needle back in the exact same spot where you previously stopped. Here I've used this method to attach the big V-pieces around the bodice and sleeves.

 

Step 1 - First I attached the sleeves to the front and back bodice as instructed in the Origami sweater tutorial. 

 

Step 2 - Next, collect your 2 "big V-pattern pieces. Finish all 4 shoulder seams with a serger or big zigzag stitch. With the right sides together, close the shoulder seams. Press the seams open.

 

Step 3 - With the right sides together, place your V pattern piece on the front bodice. Line up the shoulder seam with the corner of the sleeve. Match the corner of the front bodice with the corner of the V pattern piece. Place a pin in the corner to ensure that the seams don't shift while sewing. Starting at one of the corners ( I started at the shoulder corner), sew the seam ensuring to stop exactly in the other corner (In my case the front bodice corner). End stitch and remove the tee from your sewing machine. 

 

Step 4 - Now turn your work with the wrong side out, so you have a good view of your corner. Cut a notch in the corner towards the end stitches.

 

Step 5 - Pivot the front bodice to meet up with the other side of the V-piece. Keep turning until you've lined up the raw edges of the seams. Pin in place. 

 

Step 6 - Place your needle in the exact place you've previously stopped. Continue sewing the seam until the next corner. Repeat the previous steps until you've made your way around the bodice & sleeves. Finish the seams with a serger or a big zigzag stitch. Press the seams down. 

 

 

THE NECKBAND

The neckband consists of 4 bands (2 for the front and 2 for the back) that each overlap, this way creating enough ease for easy head access. The way the pieces overlap is all up to you, so get creative! The back neckband piece has a higher back for more back coverage. But alternatively, you can use the front neckband also for the back - in this case you can cut the front neckband 4 times from the fabric. 

 

Step 1 - Collect your 4 neckband pattern pieces. With the wrong sides together, press the bands in half. Make sure to mark the front, back and shoulder sides clearly! 

 

Step 2 - Now, overlap the front sides and the back sides. Pin in place and stitch together 5mm (1/4") from the raw edge.  

 

Step 3 - Next, overlap the shoulder sides. I chose to place the front shoulder  on top of the back - this means the points of the front shoulders will be visible at the back. Alternatively, you can place the back shoulder sides on top of the front - in this case the points of the back shoulders wil be visible at the front. Pin the shoulder sides in place and stitch together 5mm (1/4") from the raw edge.

 

Step 4 - Determine the "wrong" side of your neckband and add guide lines. Follow the instructions in the tutorial or one of the methods mentioned previously to attach the neckband. Finish the raw edge of the neckband with a serger or a big zigzag stitch. Press the seams down.

 

FINISHING UP

From here on, the only thing you need to do is close the side seam (see Origami Sweater tutorial) and finish your hems. Finish the raw edges of your hems with a serger or with a big zigzag stitch. Fold the hem allowance up by 2cm (3/4"). Topstitch and press - DONE! There you have it - a basic Origami tee! 

Are you looking forward to take your Origami sweater into spring? If you're going to make your own version of the Basic Origami Tee, make sure to tag me @misusupatterns! 

 




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Body measurements inch

Size

Age

Chest

Waist

Hip

Height

Chest

Waist

Hip

Height

80

9-12M

50

48

52

80

19,5

19

20,5

31,5

86

12-18M

52

50

54

86

20,5

19,5

21,25

33,75

92

18-24M

54

51

55

92

21,25

20

21,5

36,25

98

2-3Y

55

52

57

98

21,75

20,5

22,5

38,5

104

3-4Y

56,5

53,5

59

104

22,25

21

23,25

41

110

4-5Y

58

55

61

110

22,75

21,5

24

43,25

116

5-6Y

60

57

64

116

23,5

22,5

25,25

45,5

122

6-7Y

62,5

58,5

67

122

24,5

23

26,5

48

128

7-8Y

65

60

70

128

25,5

23,5

27,5

50,5

134

8-9Y

67,5

61,5

73

134

26,5

24,25

28,75

52,75

140

9-10Y

70

63

76

140

27,5

24,75

30

55

146

10-11Y

73

64

79

146

28,75

25,25

31

57,5

152

11-12Y

76

66

82

152

30

26

32,25

59,75

158

12-13Y

79

68

85

158

31

26,75

33,5

62,25

164

13-14Y

82

70

88

164

32,25

27,5

34,75

64,5

WOMEN SIZE CHART

Body measurements cm

Body measurements inch

Size

High Bust

Bust

Waist

Hip

Height

High Bust

Bust

Waist

Hip

Height

AA

75

80

64

88

168

29,5

31,5

25,25

34,5

5 feet 6"

BB

79

84

68

92

168

31

33

26,75

36,25

5 feet 6"

CC

83

88

72

96

168

32,5

34,5

28,25

37,75

5 feet 6"

DD

87

92

76

100

168

34,25

36,25

30

39,5

5 feet 6"

EE

91

96

80

104

168

35,75

37,75

31,5

41

5 feet 6"

FF

95

100

84

108

168

37,5

39,5

33

42,5

5 feet 6"

GG

101

106

89

113

168

39,75

41,75

35

44,5

5 feet 6"

HH

107

112

94

118

168

42

44

37

46,5

5 feet 6"

II

113

118

99

123

168

44,5

46,5

39

48,5

5 feet 6"

JJ

119

124

104

128

168

46,75

48,75

41

50,5

5 feet 6"