Throwback Football Tee

Throwback Football Tee by OnceUponaSewingMachine

In celebration of a Packer playoff win, I sewed up a football tee for my little guy. You can use this tutorial to add a fun stripe detail to any of your little guy’s (or girl’s) shirts. Depending on the application, you can use it to make something more sporty or preppy, whatever your preference.

I FINALLY ordered a copy of Sewing for Boys. It was a little like Christmas morning when it got here. I sewed up this shirt using the Raw Edge Raglan pattern size 4/5.

A common boy sewing complaint (and I’ve made it too) is that boy sewing is just so much more involved then girl sewing. You can whip up a cute girl’s dress in no time, but boy sewing involves more waistbands and other techniques without as much wow factor at the end. May I suggest to you the raglan tee? The sewing technique is very similar to a girl’s peasant dress. It sews up just as fast and is really easy to add fun details to.

Adding Stripes to Sleeves

I knew I wasn’t in Wisconsin anymore when I laid these two knits down on the cutting table and the response was, “That’s a pretty green.”

green bay fabric

Having passed all the clearance Vikings material and yarn on the way over, I didn’t have the heart to tell her its end destination.

The color in these pictures is a little funky because I was sewing late at night, and it was rather dark.

Step 1:

Cut out your pattern pieces as instructed. Pull out your sleeves.  I was working with a knit and knew the right and wrong side would be hard to tell apart once I started moving pieces around.

I marked the right side with a pin like this-

marking fabric

Decide where on your sleeve you want your stripes to go and measure across.

diy raglan sleeve

Step 2:

Cut your stripes. I’m sewing three stripes a sleeve. I cut six stripes total. I decided I wanted them to be an inch thick. Because I’m sewing the “raw edge raglan” I won’t be turning the edge under.

If you want a cleaner more finished look, add 1/2″ to the height measurement. Turn your top and bottom under 1/4″ and press before attaching.

Step 3:

Layout your stripes and pin. I eyeballed it, but measure feel free to measure. I also just pinned my stripes in place before sewing. If you want to make sure your stripe doesn’t move while you stitch it, you can use a heat bond.

adding stripes to sleeve

Step 4:

Sew down the stripes on both sleeves. Your pieces now look like this.

diy football tshirtI trimmed down my stripes to match my seam allowances after I sewed my sleeves together. You will now construct your top as your pattern instructs.

Keep in mind by stitching these stripes down across your knit sleeve you are limiting the stretch of your fabric. If the shirt is a close fit you may want to size up to compensate.

My finished top now looked like this.

finished stripe sleeveI showed my husband and waited for the applause. After all, I had made a FOOTBALL shirt. That was sewing he could get behind, right? He tipped his head and said, “It reminds of the retro jerseys, you know it just needs a circle and a number.”

Sigh. Yes, I knew. I had thought the same thing. Determined to finish that night, I pressed on. He was referring to this throwback jersey that the Packers wore in 2011. It was a reference to a 1920s uniform.

Now there was some discussion when these debuted that they were hideously ugly a little too retro for some. While the navy threw me a bit, I can’t say I felt that strongly about them, and they work for great inspiration for us.

Adding your Number

I cut my yellow circle out from tracing a bowl. I hopped on the internet and did a search for “line drawings 3” and found one that looked about right.

diy toddler football shirt

Trace and cut out your three. Fold your piece and make a snip to cut out the inside. Like this-

cut 3

It was getting rather late, so I went straight to stitching. I would NOT recommend that. Use heat bond. Sewing the knit in a circle onto a knit I really had to work to not pull it into a really wonky shape. As it was, the sewing gods were with me and I got this on the first go.

throwback football tee

toddler packers shirtI think the raw edges really add to the “throwback” vibe.  Do you sew your kids football gear?

In Case You Missed It: We’ll be starting Sew You Had a Boy: Sewing Projects for Boys in February. Hop on our email list to catch features of other great blogs that sew for boys, boy sewing tutorials and pattern reviews!

Happy Sewing,

Rachel and Donna



{ 24 comments… add one }
  • Cindy January 7, 2013, 2:01 pm

    Go Pack, Go!hehe Love the shirt!

    • onceuponasewingmachine January 7, 2013, 6:16 pm

      Woot Woot! haha thanks!

  • Pam January 7, 2013, 10:57 pm

    The yellow looks great added to the green!!!

  • Heather Feather January 8, 2013, 9:07 pm

    This is awesome! I love that it’s inspired by a vintage jersey! It’s great tutorial!
    Thanks for linking up!

    • onceuponasewingmachine January 8, 2013, 9:21 pm

      Thanks Heather!

  • Rikka @ Ricochet and Away! January 8, 2013, 9:22 pm

    I love the big impact a few stripes and number add to a plain tee. Bravo!

    • onceuponasewingmachine January 8, 2013, 10:34 pm

      Agreed! We are looking for easy ways to get impact on boys clothes, I think the stripe is a winner in our book 🙂

  • Christine January 9, 2013, 5:49 am

    OH WOW! The shirt is AMAZING! I wonder if someday I’ll be able to sew clothing too..

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer… From Dream To Reality!

    • onceuponasewingmachine January 9, 2013, 8:58 am

      You’ll get there! You’ve got a great compilation of 101s on your site. Good luck!

  • lisa January 9, 2013, 8:04 am

    Looks great! Always love new ideas for boys too!

    • onceuponasewingmachine January 9, 2013, 8:55 am

      Thank you!

  • Stacie January 9, 2013, 8:16 am

    Love the vintage feel! Your sewing inspires me to get started for my little girl.

    • onceuponasewingmachine January 9, 2013, 8:54 am

      What a great compliment. She is really darling!

  • Kilee January 9, 2013, 9:26 pm

    Such a great top for a little guy. I love the raw edges on the details. I would totally put my boys in this…maybe I should consider whipping one up. Great job!

    I’d love you to link up to What Kids Wore Wednesday this week!


  • Kilee January 9, 2013, 9:32 pm

    Gah! I totally was scoping out other link parties before my own! So funny! I’m so glad you linked up already! Beat me to the punch!!! 😉

    • onceuponasewingmachine January 9, 2013, 9:34 pm

      lol! No worries Kilee thanks for hosting!

  • Janice January 10, 2013, 12:13 am

    What a great shirt! I love the retro feel and the tutorial is great. I will need to check out the Sewing For Boys Book, since I have a 3 year old son and I think he gets jealous that his sister gets handmade clothing.
    Thanks for linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday!

    • onceuponasewingmachine January 10, 2013, 8:56 am

      It has some nice boy choices in it, and a bunch of patterns that I think will serve for good jumping off points.

  • Katrine January 10, 2013, 2:46 pm

    He looks adorable in it! You are very talented!

    • onceuponasewingmachine January 10, 2013, 4:46 pm

      Thank you!

  • Mariel January 12, 2013, 10:10 pm

    So adorable! I’d love for you to share this or any of your great ideas at the link party going on now (and every Saturday through Tuesday) at ‘Or so she says …’ Hope to see you there!

  • martha.anne January 15, 2013, 7:18 am

    ADORABLE!!! Oh I hope we have boys someday so I can make this… my husband is a huge football fan… and for a Canadian… he should like hockey more 🙂 Definitely pinning! 🙂

    • onceuponasewingmachine January 15, 2013, 7:24 am

      Thanks Martha! We moved to a more hockey friendly state, so we did watch a little, but football is our first love around here too!

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