I’m in the midst of a crisis. Despite sewing plenty of things for myself over the winter, I’m still seriously lacking in the separates department. What I need in my life is more basic tanks and t-shirts. Recently I ordered several yards of rayon spandex from Simply By Ti with this need in mind. Two of those yards was graciously provided by Simply By Ti for this post. For this project I picked a floral print that contains navy, coral, blue, and peach.
I knew the perfect project for this rayon spandex would be a slightly loose-fitting shirt. The drape of a fabric like this is great for keeping loose t-shirts from looking too bulky and the rayon spandex from Simply By Ti is not so thin that the shirt would turn into a clingy mess. It also seemed like a great fit for the knot tee hack I’ve been wanting to do forever. I’ve been seeing knot shirts all over the place and I am obsessed!
My guinea pig pattern for this project is the Blanc T-shirt by Blank Slate Patterns. I’ve been meaning to give this pattern a try ever since it was first released. The no-nonsense design seemed like a crazy quick sew and the pattern can be obtained for FREE if you follow the instructions in the pattern listing. How can you not love a quick, stylish, and FREE pattern? It is pretty easy to hack just about ANY t-shirt pattern, including the Blanc T-shirt like I did, to have ties. Since this project was very fly by the seat (seam?) of my pants, I did not take photos of the process, BUT I did put together some crappy doodles to help you get an idea how simple this really is.
First you will need to trace your entire front shirt pattern piece, if it is cut on the fold you’ll mirror the piece in order to create the full shirt. Draw a tie shape on the side or center, pretty much wherever you like. How long you make your ties is really up to you. The “slash” for the tie section will extend 3-4″ beyond the edge of the shirt. I added a slight curve to the top of my slash figuring I could get a cleaner hem that way vs fiddling around with folding a peak. At this stage I also scooped out the neckline a bit more. Which has nothing to do with make a knot tee but it explains why the neckline on my Blanc T-shirt is a bit different.
If there is no “wrong” side to your fabric, you can stop right here and assemble your shirt as normal with the exception sewing a narrow hem on the ties, “slash” opening, and bottom of the shirt. This could be 1/4″ and 1/4″ folded twice or serge the edge and fold once. Since the nature of tying up part of your shirt shortens the length slightly, I would not worry if your pattern calls for a larger seam allowance.
The fabric I was using in my example had a definite wrong side and I made my ties self-facing. I doubled the length of my ties, folded it in half right sides together, sewed up the sides, sewed across at a slight angle, and then flipped the whole thing right side out.
A neater way to do this would be to create a separate facing for the tie and add that. I say “neater” because my opening does not have a facing and if I make the knot too tight, then the wrong side of the fabric still peaks out. If the whole thing had a facing then this would not be a potential issue.
No matter how you hack your knot tee, the end result will definitely be pretty cute! Simply By Ti has huge selection of rayon spandex that would be great for both knot tee hacks and all sorts of other t-shirt projects. Remember that t-shirt season is just around the corner! Unless you live in a place like California or Texas, then it probably has already started… or if you live in Australia where t-shirt season is probably almost over… The great thing about t-shirts is that they can rock solo and layered, so there is no reason not to make one right now.