FO: Boxy Cuffed Tee + Tutorial

I’ll begin by apologising for the image quality in this post. I am having some serious photography woes at the moment. Doesn’t seem to matter what I do. Winter light levels have kicked in and I have some work to do to try and counteract this. I have a total mental block when it comes to the technicalities of camera settings but am TRYING to get my head around compensating for low light conditions. Right now…it just ain’t happening. And short of discontinuing blog posts until I sort it (not an option) I’m having to suck it up and make do with what I can muster photography wise for now. So basically….sorry for the s*** photos…

That said…I am pretty pleased with this top…BOXY CUFFED TEE (2)


Still exploring the boxy loose shape which, when combined with a decent drape,  is becoming a favourite of mine…BOXY CUFFED TEE

This one is comprised of 2 squares of fabric with cuffed bands applied to the sleeves and hem and a standard neckband finish to the neckline…

The fabric is from Girl Charlee. It’s the red orange and heather grey colourway. Lovely drape and softness against the skin and easy to work with.  I prewashed the fabric as I would be doing during normal use. Then again after I made the top at which time there was further shrinkage. Not massive amounts, but enough to slightly skew my sleeve and hem bands. SO…prewash…at least twice IMHO. 30 degrees and hang to dry rather than tumble…BOXY CUFFED TEE TUTORIAL (1)

BOXY CUFFED TEE TUTORIAL (7)I had to employ the differential feed on this too. Only a teeny bit. But worth swatching first with this one to limit stretching or shifting of layers whilst serging.

The top I made is 2 squares of fabric 28″ by 28″….BOXY CUFFED TEE

Pin along the outside edges to keep the stripes aligned….

Then serge straight across the top (where the neckline will be)…BOXY CUFFED TEE

We’ll come back to the neckline in a moment…

Measure approx 8″ down and snip a notch into the side seam…BOXY CUFFED TEE

This marks the armhole opening and provides a starting point for the serger…

Simply peel back the layers above the notch and line the innermost part of the cut/notch up with your needles…BOXY CUFFED TEE

Serge the side seams together.

Create a band to fit the armhole opening…BOXY CUFFED TEE TUTORIAL (8)

Pin that the the opening RS together and raw edges aligned…

Serge together…BOXY CUFFED TEE

Then cut out a neck opening your desired width…

Measure the opening …BOXY CUFFED TEE

Then cut a band from your remaining fabric to fit. Cutting the neckband marginally smaller than the measurement of the neckline opening  (about 5/8″) helps the neckband to turn inwards and sit flat once it’s applied.

Apply the band to the neck opening…BOXY CUFFED TEE

Press seam allowance down and top stitch if desired.

For the bottom hem the treatment is pretty much the same as the sleeves…BOXY CUFFED TEE

I cut off the bottom 6″ of the hem…

And folded it in half to create a band…BOXY CUFFED TEE

Then simply applied that to the hem.


Super easy. Super quick. Super comfy. 🙂


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  1. Jane October 26, 2015

    Great top, I love that stripe. If you think these photos are s*** I hate to think what mine are!! There seems to be some masking tape in use – did you learn nothing from Pat!!

  2. Dawn October 26, 2015

    Love the stripes, looks really soft! The photos look good to me.

  3. nina October 26, 2015

    I love it. Thanks for the tutorial!!

  4. Seamsoddlouise October 26, 2015

    Does look great and super comfy

  5. Anne October 27, 2015

    I love this! I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for later today that features your tutorial: –Anne

  6. Claudia Sneade October 28, 2015

    Love this

  7. Lauren October 28, 2015

    Hi! LOVE the shirt! Would you mind going into a little more detail about the neckline? Do you have to cut it into an arc, picking the length and depth? I apologize for my naivete, I’m a new sewer. Thanks so much!

    • portia October 29, 2015

      Yes exactly that Lauren. Kind of a half moon shape as pictured. Start the cut at right angles to the shoulder seams then scoop it down and round. Width and depth of the neckline are a personal preference teally. Mine is approx 8″ wide by about 1.5″ deep if that helps!

  8. Deirdre October 31, 2015

    Making this right now, going well so far. But I have a question. When I attach the arm band to the arm hole and line up the raw edges, I have a notch at the arm pit from the cut 8 inches down to allow the serger to sew the side seams. Should I sew a large seam allowance, about half an inch to enclose the hole?

    • Deirdre October 31, 2015

      Or do I trim the side piece down to eliminate the L shaped gap?

      • portia November 1, 2015

        Either works Deidre. I trimmed mine slightly ?

  9. cathy December 3, 2015

    Was wondering how to make this into a plus size

    • portia December 3, 2015

      Make your squares half your bust measurement plus about 6 to 8 inches depending on how much ease you want. Try on to check the fit and length, adjust/take in if necessary then add the cuffs and finish the hem and neckline 🙂 Px

  10. Gene Judge December 3, 2015

    Portia, thanks for your fine tutorial. I have been looking for projects for my new Bernina 450 serger. Have avoided sewing with knits for YEARS because I was afraid to use my standard machine. Now that I have a serger, I can do all those projects I have put off for so long. Because I have avoided buying knits, I am not sure what kind of knit to buy for this beautiful shirt. Double knit? Jersey knit? Please give me a hint or two about what to look for in the fabric shop, Portia. Thanks again for the terrific tutorial.

    • portia December 3, 2015

      Any good quality standard t shirt jersey would be fine. Recommend buying from a shop to begin with so you can feel the fabric. Px

  11. cheryl April 9, 2016

    Love this t-shrit pattern but can you tell me how much fabric l will need please, l have looked at most of your tutorials and l think they are brilliant thanks.

    • Portia Lawrie April 9, 2016

      1.5m and you’ll have plenty Cheryl. You could squeeze it out of 1m depending on the width of the fabric though 🙂

  12. cheryl April 10, 2016

    Thanks l will give it a try looking at fabric now can’t Waite to try it x

  13. Kathryn April 18, 2016

    Hi, thanks for this tutorial, it’s great! Will it work if I just turn the neckline under and (zig-zag) stitch? I’d prefer not to have an attached neckband… Thanks again.

    • Portia Lawrie April 18, 2016

      Hi Kathryn. It WILL work. The neckline will be a little less stable though. As long as you can live with that then go for it. 🙂

      • Kathryn April 18, 2016

        Great, thanks. I might try hemming tape to help.

  14. Lanie June 11, 2017

    Any tips if you don’t have a serger? I’m a novice as well and the one time I tried sewing a knit fabric I realized it needed special treatment!

    • Portia Lawrie July 4, 2017

      It all depends on your machine. Some machines handle knits well. Some hate them! Use a specific jersey needle and try sewing with a shallow zig zag stitch for starters and see how you get on. Sometimes sandwiching the seam between tissue paper can help the machine to cope while stitching (and then tear away afterwards). If you have old unuseable tissue patterns (of off cuts from patterns you’ve cut out)….that can be helpful. Also invest in a walking foot. Handy for many things!

  15. Diana September 16, 2017

    Love, love, love this top! I made one in a similar fabric and the drape is great. I wonder though how I could make a similar one only with long sleeves. Do you recommend just making a long band to attach to the arm slit? If so, should it be tapered or left boxy? Thank you for any suggestions!

    • Portia Lawrie September 25, 2017

      Hi Diana! That rather depends on your style preference for sleeves. The main thing is that the top of the sleeve fits the armhole and go from there 🙂


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