How to Sew a Structured Tee
I'm started this tutorial with a little back story--
The structured tee was one of my favorite designs for my fall/winter wardrobe. I've been obsessed with understated details and the design was intended to be just that. Below is the design I sketched and mentioned in this post.
The first challenge with this tee was finding the fabric I wanted. Finding just plain black knit fabric I liked was incredibly difficult. I ended up finding some that kind of worked (I still don't love the fabric which is why I'm not linking to it) at Joann's and used a Flocked Black Scuba Knit for the structured shoulders.
I ended up not liking the scuba knit as part of the sleeve-- it looked like a mix between a raglan shirt and a structured tee. So, I redid the sleeves and kept those just plain black knit.
I had also intended to use the scuba knit on the collar, but it simply didn't have enough stretch to lay flat.
I started sewing this structured tee in September and threw it in the closet out of frustration a time or two. It was definitely one of those projects that felt like I was fighting it every time I worked on it.
Lastly, St. Louis (and most of the US) has been having crazy weather making it impossible to get a good picture of this shirt. I don't have any indoor lighting equipment and the lights I do have aren't strong enough.
So, I can't even tell you how excited I am to finally just be done with this shirt! Although, I am still holding out hope I can get a better picture of this shirt soon... I'm not holding my breath though.
The final design is actually a pretty easy tee to sew. I used a modified version of the the shift dress pattern of course.
- 1.5 yard of of plain black knit
- 1/2 yard of Scuba Knit
- Standard Sewing Tools
How to Sew a Structured Tee Tutorial
1. Download our free shift dress pattern.
Download our free shift dress pattern. Determine what size will fit you best and sew a test shirt to see if you need to make any adjustments to the base pattern.
2. Modify the pattern for the structured shoulders
On a large piece of paper trace the front pattern. Match the back pattern to the traced front pattern on the paper-- trace the back pattern.
Now draw the slanted lines on your traced pattern as illustrated below. Don't forget to calculate seam allowance on both the shoulder pattern and the front and back pattern.
3. Sew your shirt!
Use our shift dress sewing tutorial to sew the rest of the shirt. And that's it!