Searching for something to keep your little one stylish AND comfortable? This DIY Toddler Tee tutorial (free pattern included!) is guaranteed to make everyone happy. These are a cinch to sew up, and you can customize them to your child’s style. Pair with leggings for the ultimate comfy and crafty outfit. Check out the video tutorial below, or jump down to follow along with the step by step guide.

The Essential Toddler Tee | Free Pattern and Video Tutorial | Spoonflower Blog
Featured designs: Arctic Boats by fabelvag, Swedish Boy on Goose by revista, Kawaii Forest Faces on Pink by cjldesigns, Strawberry Summer Party by heleen_vd_thillart

Materials You’ll Need:

The Essential Toddler Tee - materials | Spoonflower Blog

  • 1 yard of Organic Cotton Knit Ultra (you could also use Cotton Spandex Jersey, Modern Jersey or Performance Pique)
  • Free digital pattern
    • Available in sizes 2T-5T
    • Seam allowances included in the pattern and specified with each corresponding step below
  • Fabric scissors or rotary blade
  • Sewing machine
    • Optional – Serger
  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric pen 

The Essential Toddler Tee - cut your pattern out | Spoonflower Blog

Cut the pattern pieces for your preferred size. Fold your fabric in half, matching up the two selvedge edges. Trace the front and back shirt pieces on the fold and cut them out. Cut out two sleeves and one neck band on the fold from the rest of the fabric sleeves and armband pattern pieces. 

Pro tip: Neckband option 1 is for a jersey knit or ribbing. Neckband option 2 is suitable for knits with a little less stretch like the Organic Cotton Knit Ultra. 

The Essential Toddler Tee - pattern pieces | Spoonflower Blog

You should have a front and back piece, two sleeves, and one neckband.

The Essential Toddler Tee - pin your shirt pieces together | Spoonflower Blog

Pin the shirt front and shirt back pieces at the shoulder seams with right sides facing. Since we’re sewing with a knit fabric, you’ll want to use a zigzag stitch and ballpoint needle throughout. Sew the shoulder seams together using a ⅝” seam allowance. Press the seams open.  

The Essential Toddler Tee - hem your sleeves | Spoonflower Blog

Prepare the sleeves. Fold the flat edge of the sleeve in about  ¼” and again another ¼”, and stitch to hem.

The Essential Toddler Tee - finished sleeves | Spoonflower Blog

Repeat for the other sleeve.

The Essential Toddler Tee - attach the sleeves | Spoonflower Blog

Match the top center of the sleeve curve to the shoulder seam. Pin the sleeves to the shirt armholes with right sides facing. Stitch together using ¼” seam allowance.

The Essential Toddler Tee - attach the sleeves | Spoonflower Blog

The bottom of the sleeve and the sides of the shirt will still be open at this point.

The Essential Toddler Tee - pin the shirt together along the side seams | Spoonflower Blog

Sew the side seams by pinning the shirt front and back pieces together with right sides facing all the way up through the sleeve openings. Sew from the sleeve opening to the bottom of the shirt at ⅝” seam allowance. Press the seams open.  

The Essential Toddler Tee - prepare the neckband | Spoonflower Blog

Prepare the neckband by folding the fabric in half lengthwise with right sides together. Sew the raw edge with a ⅝” seam allowance.

The Essential Toddler Tee - fold the neckline | Spoonflower Blog
Featured design: French Linen Boho Adobo by Holli_Zollinger

Fold the neckband widthwise with wrong sides facing.

The Essential Toddler Tee - attach the neckband | Spoonflower Blog

To ensure your neckband lays flat, divide it into four even sections. Do the same with your T-shirt by finding the center of the front, center of the back, and shoulder seams. Pin the neckband and shirt body together, matching the four points.

The Essential Toddler Tee - attach the neckband | Spoonflower Blog

Sew the neckband to the right side of the fabric with a 1/4″ seam allowance by starting in the center back and slightly stretching the neckband to fit into the T-shirt. There should a perfect amount of stretch in between each pin.

Pro Tip: Topstitch just below the neckband for a more finished look.

The Essential Toddler Tee - hem the bottom of the shirt | Spoonflower Blog

Hem the bottom of the shirt by folding the unfinished edge in about 1/4” and again another 1/4”. Top stitch around the edge.

And you’re done! Don’t forget to sew up a coordinating pair of leggings so you can gift an adorable outfit to an adorable baby.

The essential toddler tee with free pattern and video tutorial! | Spoonflower Blog
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