Then I take it off and lay a shirt on top of it that fits me WELL. This is how I know how loose or fitted I want it to be---and also how long (I love longer shirts)!Next we are going to make our cuts. Don't forget to add room for the seam allowance on the sides and sleeves, and a hem for the bottom. I fold it in half to cut the sides and sleeves, to make sure they are exactly the same. You also don't want your arm holes too tight. I love making a shirt this way, because there is definitely room for error. However, it's always better to have excess fabric then not enough. If your shirt is too loose or too long, it's an easy fix.
Since your shirt is already inside out, stitch up the sides. Usually I'd use my serger, but the great thing about jersey knit is that it won't fray. So I'm just going to use a straight stitch.
Here is the fun part! Turn your machine to a small zig-zag stitch that's close together. If you don't know what knob does what and you're too lazy to get your manual out (like me), just try it a couple different times with a piece of scrap fabric. Now your want to sew the edge of the fabric, and while you're sewing, pull the fabric tight, like this: (keep in mind that I don't have three hands)
This creates the ruffle, and you could've messed up a million times and no one can tell because of the ruffle. You are almost done!!
Here comes the elastic thread. The elastic HAS to go in the bobbin and you HAVE to winde it by hand loosely. I've also heard that it does not work in a plastic bobbin, but I really don't know. Before you start sewing, you want to make sure the elastic will appear on the INSIDE of your shirt. Now stitch about a quarter to a half an inch away from the edge on the neck and sleeves (again--doesn't have to be perfect, you won't be able to tell). When you're done, you'll want to get out your ironing board and a spray bottle with water. As you spray the elastic thread on your shirt, you'll see it shrink up. Iron it dry. As you can see....very stretchy.
HERE IS WHERE YOUR CREATIVITY COMES IN!
I purposely left the bottom for the end, because there is more then one thing you can do. You can ruffle and use elastic thread exactly like the sleeves (that is very in-style), you can have it only ruffled (which is also very cute), or you can do a classic hem (which I chose to do, because I had a ton of ruffle going on).
If there is something on the front or not enough fabric left over, then...YOU'RE DONE! If your shirt has enough fabric and doesn't have anything on the front, you can do ruffles on it. This also needs your creativity, because I've seen 4 rows on up to 8 rows of ruffle. They can also be as wide as you want and as long as you want.
For gathering----put the tension knob on your machine to the highest setting, and set your stitch to the longest length. Leave several inches of thread leftover on both ends (this gives you the option of lengthening your gather). Stitch down the middle of your strips (Just guide it through the machine, don't pull as it sews). Ta Da! Your machine gathered it for you. Gently pull fabric together to gather any way you desire. When you've figured out where and how you want to place them, stitch'em on. AND YOU'VE DONE IT!! NOW GO DO IT AGAIN...IT ONLY GETS EASIER!!!