The "No Pattern" One Hour Shirt

Design by ? Instructions by Diana Trupiano

This is another pattern that has been around since the dawn of seamstress time. Altered over the years to suit either man or woman, this shirt can be made in an hour - or less depending on your sewing experience. Adding long sleeves only adds about half an hour to the entire project! It is called the "No Pattern" pattern, because it literally has NO pattern.
Don't worry.....I'll talk you through it.

This pattern works best with knit fabrics, but it's great with Rayons and Cottons too.



One yard of 45" wide fabric - for a fullest bust measurement of 40" or less - OR one yard 60" wide fabric for larger sizes will make one shirt with no sleeves. To add sleeves, you need an extra 1/2 yard of fabric.

Matching thread


Sewing Machine OR Serger

Tape Measure

Tailors Chalk or Dressmaker's Disappearing Marking Pen

Yard stick or straight edge


*You may refer to a well fitting t-shirt for your measurements, if you like.

  1. Measure the fullest part of your chest, after taking a deep breath.

  2. If using a serger, add 2 1/2". If using a sewing machine, add 3 1/4". (Bear with me...)

  3. Measure the length from the center of your shoulder to the desired finished length, plus 1 1/4" for a hem.

  4. Lay fabric flat, wrong sides together, selvages even, on your cutting surface.

  5. Measure and mark the width and length of your shirt, and mark these lines on your fabric.

  6. Measure 9" down from top at each side, mark.

  7. At 9" mark, measure in 1", mark at each side.

  8. From 1" mark, draw a straight line down to the bottom edge on each side. Your pattern should look like a fat "T".

  9. With a curved line, round the underarm area. (To get an even curve, I used a drinking glass as a template.)

  10. Carefully cut out your shirt pattern. At this time, it should look like this:

  11. To form neckline, on back piece, locate and mark the center.

  12. Measure 4" to either side, and mark.

  13. Measure down from center 1", mark.

  14. Connect marks with a curved line. A dessert or dinner plate can be helpful to get an evenly curved line.

  15. On front piece, follow steps 11 and 12.

  16. Measure down from center 3", mark.

  17. Connect marks with a curved line. A dessert or dinner plate can be helpful to get an evenly curved line.

  18. Stay stitch or serge along both neck opening curves, and along arm hole openings.

  19. With right sides together, matching neck openings, stitich shoulder seams.

  20. Stitch side seams.

  21. To finish neck and arm hole openings, fold under 1/4", press. Fold 1/4" again, press. Top stitch.

  22. To finish hem, fold under 1/4", press. Fold under 1", press. Top stitch. (A blind hem stitch may also be used.)

If adding sleeves: follow steps 1 through 20, then the following:

  1. While wearing the shirt, measure from the raw edge at the shoulder to the center of the back of your hand. Cut 2 pieces of fabric, 18" by the measurment taken.

  2. Fold fabric, right sides together, so you have a piece 9" by the measurement taken. Stitch the long edge to form a tube. Turn to the right side.

  3. Turn shirt inside out. Insert sleeve (right side out) into arm hole, matching under arm seam lines and raw edges.

  4. Stitch, easing fabric to fit.

  5. Hem sleeve following steps 21 or 22.


This is a great pattern for sweatshirt feece and flannel. Make a night gown by measuring from shoulder to floor, following steps as for shirt.

Add ribbing to the neck, sleeve and about in contrasting colors?!

If serging, attach sleeves with a decorative flatlock stitch, again using a contrasting thread color.

Ready made rib knit cuffs and collars are a great addition!

How about using contrasting fabrics? (Blue with white stars for the body, and red with white stripes for the sleeves?!)

How many variations can YOU think of?

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