Friday, October 19, 2012

Captain Ben's Pirate Shirt Tutorial

 It's been quite some time since the last pirate costume post, but I finally got around to making Captain Ben's (the oldest of the cousins) pirate-y shirt.  It's a nice simple project, so here's the quick tutorial for it!
 **Okay... so Riley is modeling the shirt.  Disclaimer: she did not grow that beard herself. :)
white cotton or white linen look-alike fabric
1/4-yard white cord
a hole-punching doo-dad

**Use 1/2 inch seam allowance throughout**

I didn't take pics of this step, but make a basic rectangle-shaped body piece, using a well-fitting shirt.  Or, if you have the kid's measurements, make a rectangle that is 6-7 inches wides that the chest measurement.  For the length, make it however long you want it minus 1/2-inch.  Make your armhole 6 inches long by 2 inches, with that little curve at the armpit.

I did grab my camera for the sleeve step.  Fold the fabric and trace the curve of your sleeve then extend it as long as you want your sleeves (for Ben's, I went 12 inches).

When you cut the neckholes, make the one in front dip down a little lower than the back.   Here are your pieces!

Take your front body piece and cut a straight line down the center that goes three inches.

Now pin the shoulders together and sew.  Finish with a zig-zag.

Now set your machine to a tight zig-zag stitch and sew all around the neckline.  Pirates, after all, aren't always perfectly finished.  The zig-zag, however, will keep them from fraying too much. At the tip of the V, turn your stitch length to zero and do a few long zig-zags, to keep it from ever ripping all the way down the shirt.

Pin your sleeves, right sides together, onto your body pieces and sew.  Finish with a zig-zag.

Then fold the shirt, right sides together, and sew up the sides and arms.  Finish with a zig-zag.

For the "hem", I did a zig-zag stitch, just a few millimeters from the edge, to keep it from overly fraying but also allowing it to have that worn, more pirate-y look.  Do the same for the arms.

Now place marks slightly up from the bottom of the V and 1/2-inch to each side.  Make two marks, about 1.5" above that.

It'll look like this.

I have one of these tools for inserting snaps, gromets, etc, I used this to punch holes.  

Then (it's hard to see), I sewed a straight stitch around the holes, just a few millimeters from them.  

Grab your cord and weave it through.  

Ahoy, Matey!  You're ready to hit the open waters!


  1. Another great project! I nominated you for a blogging award :D Check it out.

  2. Nice tutorial - and so easy to size up for an adult as well since you have us using a tee-shirt as our base measurement....hmmm... may just have to whip one of these up for that Halloween Party I just got invited to!


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