Silver Tucked Shirt

No Pattern Required
holds glasses, iPod or phone, and more   

I love crisp white cotton shirts and this is my latest. Use your favorite shirt pattern to copy it.  Mine is McCalls 5781. I’ve had it for years and often use it as the basis for inventing other shirt pattern styles. I created the tucks with my serger machine and metallic silver thread, then completed the look with silver metal buttons. I also serged the hem of the sleeve in silver. You can turn any pattern into this silver studded shirt by following the directions below.


step 1 - For a size 12 shirt pattern, cut two fabric rectangles to measure 15.5” wide. (If your shirt size is larger than 12 it will be wider through the shoulders, so you will need another 1/4” for each additional tuck you add. The opposite holds true for a shirt smaller than size 12.) To cut the rectangle’s length, use your pattern as a guide.

step 2 - Write down the precise width you start with. You will need this information later.

step 3 - Using a disappearing ink pen, draw a line on your rectangle from top to bottom, 1/4” away from the long edge. This 1/4” line will be the center front of your shirt.

step 4 - Draw your first of 9 tuck guide lines. Starting at the top of the fabric, draw the line 13” long. Place the line 3/4” away from the center front line.

step 5 - To the right of the tuck guide line, make marks at the top of the rectangle one inch apart.

step 6 - Draw the 9th line. Make sure it is straight. It should be 10.5” long.

step 7 - Place a strip of painters tape at the end of the first and ninth line to create a diagonal guide. 

step 8 - Mark the other 7 lines, one inch apart, stopping each vertical line at the tape. This will later tell you where to stop sewing each tuck. When all the lines are drawn, remove the tape.

step 9 - Fold a crease on each line. Disengage your serger’s cutting blade. Set the stitch to fine and use the rolled hem feature. This should create a 1/8 inch wide seam. Sew on the first folded line, from the top of the fabric to the end of the guideline.  Repeat for all lines.  

step 10 & 11

step 10 & 11

step 10 - Look at the number you wrote down in step #2. Measure the tucked rectangle width and subtract the second number from the first. The difference should be approximately 2.25”.  Pin one or two pleats in the bottom of the rectangle to eliminate that amount of fabric. This will now make the bottom and the top the same width.

step 11 - You’re ready to cut out your shirt front.  Place your pattern piece on the tucked rectangle.  Position the center front line marked on the pattern, over the first line you drew on the rectangle (1/4” from the long edge). Smooth out the rest of the fabric as much as possible.

step 12 - Cut out your pattern piece. Once cut, you can remove the pins holding the 2.25” of material.

step 13 - Repeat these steps for the opposite shirt front, remembering to make it a mirror image of the one you just completed.


At Fabric Shop

  • sewing notions
  • cotton shirt fabric(as marked on your pattern plus extra 3” width for each front piece)
  • silver metallic thread
  • serger machine
  • painter’s tape

Recommended Books