Hi Kristi here, from SweetKM. It's fun to sew fancy dress up clothes for the kids, but they rarely choose to wear them on their own. My son would wear a t-shirt and track pants every day if he could. I've decided to embrace his preferences and give him a good supply of mama-made tees.
Today let's revisit my favorite sewing staple, the knit t-shirt. A few months ago I altered a basic tee pattern to create three different garments for my daughter. This time we're going to try the same thing, and make 3 different pieces for my son. The best part about this is you can use the same base pattern for a boy or a girl. That means 6 unique garments from one very simple sewing pattern! I'm using the the School Bus Tee from Oliver + S. It comes with 3 sleeve lengths, is well sized, and is already a staple of my sewing pattern collection. I made a tank top, a color blocked t-shirt, and a banded sweatshirt. The simple modifications can be used to make a mini wardrobe for your kids with most any t-shirt pattern.
For the tank top I made the neck opening bigger by 1/2" on the sides, and 1" at the front. I made the arm holes deeper by 1/2" at top and bottom. Both of these openings are banded using a lengthened version of the standard neck band pattern piece. I drafted a simple pocket.
The tee is the simplest modification. I simply cut the front and back pattern pieces just under the arm opening. I added a seam allowance to each piece, and sewed them back together using two different fabrics. I added the same simple self drafted pocket.
For the sweatshirt, I cut one size bigger to accommodate the bulkier fabric. I cut 2" off of the arm and hem of the long sleeve option, then used a jersey knit to make 2" cuffs for the sleeve opening and hem.
The limited color palette allows these pieces to be mixed and matched depending on the weather this summer. The orange stripe is a men's XXL t-shirt from the Old Navy clearance rack. The white cotton jersey, blue heather jersey, and navy sweat shirting are all from Fleishman's Fabric and Supply on Fabric Row in Philadelphia, my favorite local fabric store.