Friday, April 15, 2011

The Easy Rectangle Shirt

What do you do if you have some dated, polyester, fabric with possibly the worst color scheme ever?

Quite obviously, you try that one idea you saw somewhere on the web once, but now can't find anywhere.  (Apologies for my unexcusably bad grammar)

3 rectangles and a slit gives you this:

I started with a 35"x59" rectangle and had left over.


Under bust (mine was 31 1/2) This is where you want the seam placed.

Length you want the shirt to be from underbust (12 inches)

From underbust to same point on back (mine was 27 1/2)

From elbow to elbow across the top (mine was 30)

(You can see my shirt is looser--you can make this more form fitting)

My kids LOVE when I do timed shots

Then we cut out some rectangles.  Cut out 2 rectangles 16" by 12" with the stretch going across the 16" (so it pulls to 20" or whatever).  I tapered the bottoms out by 1 inch on each side (making a trapezoid for all you geometry enthusiasts).  This is your lower torso.

Then, the big rectangle will be a square 27.5" x 30"  (The stretch goes on the 27.5" side, but it doesn't matter really, you could use a woven for this part if you wanted.)

Congratulations your cutting is almost done!

Fold the large rectangle in half, the way you would be wearing it, and in the middle cut a slit crosswise 10-11" long.  This should be large enough for your head to fit through.

Now, your cutting is done.


Mark the middle on both lower rectangles and long sides of large rectangle.  Match them up and sew, stretching smaller rectangles as you sew.

Fold, putting neck slit on top, match sides and sleeves.  Sew in one continuous seam.

Finish hems (if needed) and finish neck slit. (I just reinforced the edges of my slit and folded the edges under slightly).

Voila!  Easiest shirt ever!

You could probably complete this in half an hour, if you are a fast cutter.  Or maybe if you just aren't a slow cutter:)


  1. I love this shirt. I like how it's fitted at the bottom. So was the fabric knit?

  2. It had some stretch in it--maybe 25% stretch (is that when 4 inches stretches to 5 inches?) And nothing natural about this fabric--completely man made material.

  3. The fabric and pattern are a good match. I love the way it looks on you honey!!! Love ya!

  4. Nice! Looks comfortable and stylish at the same time.

  5. So pretty! It looks so perfect for summer and the cut is so flattering. I want to make one, too!

  6. This is wonderful! I'm going to try to make one with nursing openings! I've been looking for a nice flowy top that's still fitted enough to wear with a skirt...