Steely Seamstress

Sewing for life


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IPM2017 Hack It contest – Tonic Tee

After finishing my zip-tastic hack for the Grainline Moss, I moved onto my  second garment for the Hack It contest at The Monthly Stitch.

My top is based on the Tonic Tee from SBCC patterns. I’ve never tried a pattern from this company before. I find it really helpful when a designer has a free pattern that I can try before I buy another pattern. The Tonic Tee is free as a PDF when you sign up for their email newsletter.

The pattern itself is a classic t-shirt with a scoop neck. The Tonic Tee pattern comes in lots of sizes, which is fantastic – ranging from XXS to 3XL. They are specifically designed for petites, so the patterns are for those that are short in stature. I’ve never really thought that I’m “petite”. I’m at the taller end of the range that SBCC state for their designs, but I do have a short body. After consulting the sizing chart and comparing this to my body measurements, I didn’t alter the pattern at all; must be a first for me.

The fabric is a purple cotton-spandex Art Gallery jersey. I do love the Art Gallery jerseys, but they are a bit pricey, so I immediately snapped up some when I saw that Fabric HQ had a sale.

I made two modifications to the design to fit in with the Hack It contest. First, I changed the neckline to a V-neck. Second, I altered the hemline of the t-shirt so that it is curved rather than straight.

I’ve been avoiding v-necks for years; when I bought clothes I always found them too revealing. Now that I make clothes all the time, I can decide how low-cut I want that V. I basically followed this tutorial on the Colette Seamwork website for the Aberdeen t-shirt, to draft the new neckline and also to sew it.

I did have some problems in the construction stages though. It took me a couple of hours to get to the point where I was happy with the way the v-neck looked. I also don’t think I have been less chilled during a sewing session for years – there was lots of swearing involved too! The problem was that I just couldn’t get that v-neck as tidy as I would have liked. I pinned, tacked, sewed and then unpicked numerous times. I just wasn’t happy with the way the neckline sat. I’m still not sure whether I nailed it or not, I defer to you, my readers, for that verdict. Rest assured I’m not making another v-neck anytime soon; I just couldn’t handle the stress!

I do like the construction method, even if not entirely happy with my execution of it. I had a good look at my lone RTW t-shirt which is a v-neck and noted that the manufacturer had literally sewn a standard neckline and just sewn the neck band at the V across to made a triangle – this construction technique looks rubbish to me. I’m such a critic of RTW clothes these days!

I finished the hems with a zig-zag. I sometimes wish that I could brave a twin needle, but with a sewing machine of the vintage mine is, I’m not sure that I can. Although, I think a good zig-zag does still look good, even if it isn’t the finish we are used to seeing in shop-bought t-shirts.

Overall, apart from my problems with the v-neck construction, I like my t-shirt. It is close-fitting, but that is definitely the intention with this design. Looking at the photos with the skirt,  I think that the t-shirt does accentuate my sticky-out belly (not good). However, I’m much more likely to wear t-shirts untucked with jeans. I took some more photos with the t-shirt paired with jeans.  I think that the gentle curve that I made on the hem looks good when the t-shirt is untucked.

 


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Just a basic t-shirt but in lime green!

This is my second make with the viscose-lycra blend jersey.  I actually sewed this before the infamous cowl-collared horror, but didn’t get around to taking photos until this last weekend.

I think the colour is fantastic and a bit of a departure for me. It is loud! I think I was attracted to it mainly because it was just a bright sunny day when I bought the fabric and seemed like a great colour to celebrate the changing season. I think it goes well with my new jeans, although I’m really wishing I had a pair of black skinny jeans / jeggings to wear with it.

The t-shirt is just a basic loose-fitting t-shirt made with the Laurie Striped Tee pattern from Named Clothing. I have made this particular t-shirt before, and like my previous version, I again omitted the stripes.

I suppose it isn’t really possible to get very excited by basics like this, but I’m very glad that I put this t-shirt together as I am rather short on t-shirts and short-sleeved tops in general.

I had been really very worried about the pilling that I experienced with the cowl-necked t-shirt, but weirdly this particular t-shirt hasn’t suffered as badly. Could it be that being looser and being worn under a cardigan it doesn’t experience the same friction as my previous make, or could it be that my eyes are deceiving me and it is harder to spot the pilling on the lime green without going cross-eyed. Either way, I am feeling happier, because I still have another length of this fabric, and it’s possible it may not pill.

I’m not sure that my learning process with knit fabrics is going as planned though. I’m still having difficulties with wavy hems. I’m tried my Swiss zig-zagger and really it can’t cope with the extra thickness. I’ve tried making the seam more stable with knit interfacing. The only thing that really helps is giving the garment a wash. The waviness is nearly eliminated (hence no photo to share here – I’ve already washed the t-shirt). I’ve watched a few youtube videos where people manage make non-wavy hems without the aid anything, but a standard foot. So sadly, my conclusion, is that perhaps my old Singer is just not up to doing this job any better. Can any of you shed any light on this? Is there something else I could try?


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Excitement followed by disappointment – KwikSew K4028

For a long time I’ve realised that knits are my nemesis and I have wanted to change this. I thought that perhaps a extended practice with these fabrics might cure me. But buying knits via the internet can be a hit and miss affair. Often it is difficult to tell the weight and the drape without handling the fabric. Anyway, imagine my delight when I entered Fashion Fabrics a few weeks ago and found that they had a fantastic selection of fine viscose-lycra knits which draped deliciously. I immediately bought a few metres in different colours – a lime green, a beige and a burgundy. I pondered possible makes and I’ve now sewn the first two of my t-shirts.

The first garment I made was a fairly straight-forward t-shirt. I’ll model that one another day; it’s a bit chilly today. For the second make, I chose a pattern that would show off the drape of the fabric. The blurb describes K4028 as pullover tops with extended shoulder seams. Version A has a cowl collar and short sleeves. Version B has a draped collar and long sleeves.

Although it doesn’t say this is possible on the pattern, the two front pieces of the top are interchangeable (i.e. the circumference of the short sleeves are the same – I measured this), therefore it is possible to make the two designs either with short or long sleeves. I decided to make View A, the cowl collar version, but with long sleeves.

I don’t as a general rule tend to buy paper patterns, unless it is picked up at a charity shop. I’ve never sewn a Kwik Sew pattern before. I’m not sure why that is, perhaps I just never found a pattern that inspired me before. So, I was quite surprised by the quality of the paper in the pattern; it definitely didn’t feel as flimsy as the usual paper in modern patterns. Actually it felt more like my vintage patterns in this respect, consequently it was a pleasure to trace it according to my size (which is what I usually do).I did make one adjustment up-front on the pattern. Based on my experiences with RTW clothes, I find that low cut tops tend to be waaaaay too low cut, so I did a quick measurement on the top front and decided to raise the cleavage by about two inches. It seems I wasn’t the only person to do this, the Mahogany stylist found this too. I then whizzed the top up on my overlocker. It was very easy to put together. Apparently, Kwik Sew pattern are renowned for their instructions and I will agree that they were easy to follow, with very decent drawings. As suggested, I used strips of stretch interfacing on the shoulder seams. After standing in front of the mirror, I concluded that the arms were a little floppy. I skimmed an extra couple of centimetres off their width. Next, figured out the ideal length for the sleeves and body. I kept these quite long intentionally. They are certainly longer than on the pattern envelope, where the top finishes at hip level, but I like the idea of a cosy tunic length top.

K4028

K4028

 

At first, I must admit I was quite proud of my make. It certainly looks like one of my more successful knit garments, but when I stopped just wearing it in front of the mirror and actually wore it for a full day, I started to get worried about that cowl collar. It still seems a bit too low cut and revealing for my liking. I think I can see why I made the error with this. When the top sits as it is supposed to, it looks fine. But in everyday life we move (well of course we do!) and that neck aperture is wide and the cowl just slips further forward than I had originally thought would be acceptable. This all made me ponder. I looked at the model on the envelope. I think the cowl looks in a similar place on her as it does on me. But, is my neck unduly thin? Thinner than the model’s neck? Or is it that the model simply doesn’t move, unlike real people?

 

If the neck hole was smaller, I reckon the cowl would stay in place better. The seam at the back of the cowl, where it attaches to the body of the top does seem to sit a bit low too. Perhaps if the back of the cowl was closer to the neck the cowl wouldn’t shift forward when I lean over. You can see how deep it is at the back in the photo below. Actually the back view looks super cool. Is there any otehr way I could stop the collar flopping forward? Deep sigh, perhaps I should have anticipated all the problems with the cowl.

The other thing I am worried about is the sheer weight of the cowl. Will this induce stretching in the neck hole? I really hope not! Is this likely? I can’t say in my experience I have come across t-shirts stretching from the shoulder, even if they don’t have any extra support there, so perhaps it will be fine. Do other patterns recommend perhaps some clear elastic here, for support?

The next problem that I can see with the top, and it is pretty obvious on the photos, is the thinness of the fabric. Sorry, about this folks, but I’m suffering from that thin fabric, cold day problem. Yep, there are two prominent points of interest showing…you know what I mean! If I’m going to wear this I seriously need to think about layering, to make it more respectable. I’m not sure what would look best – perhaps a camisole underneath (similar to how the other version of the pattern is modelled, see below), or a long floppy cardigan on top. Neither of which I have…..

The final disappointment, came today, after I’ve been wearing my top for a second day. Pilling, that bobbling effect that you can sometimes get on fabric. The pilling appears to be at the hip, perhaps where the fabric rubs against my coat. I’m gutted, I hope that the pilling is just localised and doesn’t get worse. After all, I have bought three lots of this fabric and I haven’t made the third top.

 

As I’m typing this up, I’m feeling sad about the whole experience and I still feel thwarted in my efforts to get to grip with sewing knits. It does seem that every time I sew with a knit fabric, I’m confronted with more variables that throw me off course. However, the top itself is actually comfortable to wear (bar the frequent adjustments to stop flashing too much flesh). I think I would definitely nail the fit of this top next time I make it, so that is probably the only plus from this fiasco. But, what fabric should I use? I don’t want to use more of this fabric if it is just going to pill. Is it possible to figure out what fabric is likely to pill and avoid it? I have a couple of viscose-lycra knits that are thicker and they don’t suffer from this. Likewise a bamboo viscose t-shirt doesn’t suffer from this problem. Perhaps I could purchase some more of that.  I just have to put this all down to experience, persevere with the third knit garment I’m going to sew and then choose a woven fabric for my next garment to get over the disappointment!

 


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A little Tee with Cherries

I bought a fabric remnant at Guthrie and Ghani‘s when I was with Sew Brum. It is only 0.6 metres, although the fabric is plenty wide (1.5 m). I decided to try to squeeze a t-shirt out of it.

I used the pattern I made from La Mia Moda magazine, which I used for this t-shirt. It did require quite a bit of imagination to get my pattern pieces arranged onto this small scrap of fabric, but eventually I got the sleeves to fit, although they are rather short (just over 20 cms from the top of the shoulder). Still a success, I think, to use so little fabric so well!

The construction was very simple. I just seamed with my overlocker and then constructed bands to finish the neck and sleeves. Yes, I even had enough for the neck and sleeve bands. I think I would have preferred to have the sleeve bands a bit thicker; I was hoping to get a bit more arm coverage, but these will have to do.

Cherry Top

I do worry when I sew my zig-zag topstitch, as I do get some waviness (technical term!) going on. But judging by all the top-stitching I have done on knits so far, this seems to disappear with the first wash or after a good iron. So, I’m not going to get overwrought, I’m just going to trust it will “come out in the wash”, although the situation on the sleeves is rather more than I have seen before.

Cherry Top Neck

Not sure when this t-shirt is going to be worn next. It does seem that I am making another out-of-season garments; I’ll have a great wardrobe by Summer if I carry on like this! I’m definitely going to go for a warm long-sleeved garment next, though – just to make the photography less cold!

Cherry Top

Cherry Top

Cherry Top


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Jenna Cardigan in Petrol

Even by my standards I have been making heavy work of sewing in the last month. With a couple of short breaks, an “intense” time at work and the school summer break, I’ve only just finished my cardigan. If any of you have noted from my previous participation in Me-Made-May, I have a serious cardigan problem. I wear cardigans to work a lot in the summer and have been relying on three old ready-to-wear cardigans that have seen better days. I have been planning to make myself a cardigan for ages, but somehow it just didn’t happen. For ages I couldn’t decide on a pattern or style. Anyway, I received the Jenna pattern from Muse in a pattern swap through The Monthly Stitch and I suddenly had no more excuses.

Jenna_01

I chose a cotton and lycra jersey fabric from Ditto Fabrics.  The fabric is described as “a good quality cotton and lycra jersey that’s slightly heavier than a normal T shirt weight” on the website. I thought this would be a good choice for a cardigan. Unfortunately, the fabric has more curl than an eighties perm and as soon as the support from the pattern pieces came off, it was trying to curve. It certainly was a challenging fabric. I’ve never sewn with a jersey fabric that curled so much (perhaps I’ve just been lucky before), is there any particular reason why jersey curls like that?

Jenna_03

The first thing I like about the Jenna Cardi pattern is the different pattern choices. I chose to make the long-sleeved, hem-length option without the shoulder yokes. Lately, I have been getting a bit frustrated with my fabric stash as I don’t have much storage space. I have been looking to pare it down. For this reason, I’m currently trying to order as little fabric as possible. In the past I’ve often used whatever fabric length was suggested by the pattern, but I usually end up with loads left over, usually about a 1/2 metre which really isn’t big enough for another project in its own right. I ordered just 1 metre of fabric for the cardigan and with some radical tessellation managed to eke out enough fabric for all the required pieces. There was hardly any fabric left over, so thankfully I’m not adding to the growing stash. The pattern suggests a whopping 1.8 metres for the long-sleeved, hem-length option, so I’m very glad I didn’t have all that left over fabric. Although I do think Kat at Muse is quite tall and I did reduce the arm length and body length a little.

The garment came together quite easily, but I did slow down considerably when it got to the buttons. There were 8 buttonholes to do and I usually only manage a couple each evening! I had expected to find buttonholes on knit fabric to be tricky, but I stabilised the fabric with some iron-on, wash-off stabiliser and the buttonholes look good. I’m very fond of the combination of those buttons in that acqua shade with the darker teal of the fabric. The only thing that was a real problem in the whole make was the top-stitching. My fabric is quite thick and with three layers to sew through where the top-stitching is needed, my zig-zagger thingy (which I use as a walking foot) wouldn’t work and the fabric went a little wavy and stretched out around the neckline.

Jenna Neckline

This didn’t bother me too much, because when you wear it the neckline stretches anyway and the problem doesn’t show. However, I didn’t want to risk this happening on the button / buttonhole bands. I settled for hand-sewing these in place, but I’m not happy with the finish. Although it is tidy, whoever heard of hand-sewing on a knit fabric cardigan? I’m not sure how this could be overcome really, at least not with the sewing machines I have.

Buttons close-up

Plus, I do think that if you wear the cardigan undone, the overlocker seam on the inside of the button / buttonhole bands can be quite visible. I would like to see a nicer finish there. Any suggestions? Has anyone else used a different finish for this part of the cardigan? My buttonholes still have a bit of the stabiliser attached as I haven’t washed the cardigan yet.

jenna_06

I’ve worn this cardigan quite a few times in the last week and I’m very pleased with the fit and style of it. The main problem though is the colour. It’s an unusual colour. It’s called “petrol’ on the website, although I’ve never seen any petrol that colour. I’m not really sure what possessed me to go with this colour. Sure, I like it, but it goes with hardly anything in my wardrobe. I have lots of black, white and grey, but can I wear it with anything else? The terracotta corduroy trousers are a challenging combination with my new cardigan!

Jenna_02

I thought I’d do a little colour experimentation. Perhaps I could make something else that would work well with this top? Playing around with the Adobe Colour site, I managed to get a few more colour options.

Colour Wheel

Using the Create function, it’s possible to pick colours from a photograph.

 

Colour Wheel

The select a Colour Rule and see what comes up. That colour to the right of my “petrol” colour, looks suspiciously like the colour of my cords. How about the colour on the far right, that seems to be all the rage in shops at the moment. Would that make an interesting colour combination?

 

Colour Wheel

Quite like the purple colour to the left, not so sure about those swampy yellows though….

What do you think, what colour would you go with? Do you have any clothes that you struggle to integrate into your wardrobe because of their colour?


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Burda 11/2011 Knit Wrap Top #114A – The Top with an Identity Crisis

About this time last year, which seems a very long time ago now, I purchased a beautiful tissue knit in Britex Fabrics in San Francisco. At the time I was very inexperienced with sewing with knit fabrics and I left it in my stash and decided to tackle it only once I felt confident that I wouldn’t ruin it.

Sadly, this isn’t a post about using that fabric, because I still haven’t plucked up courage. I decided to do a dummy run first. I bought some lovely soft black jersey from The Sewing Studio in Bath and selected a pattern. I really wanted a pattern that would work well with the draping look that a tissue knit would give. I came across this top – Burda 11/2011 Knit Wrap Top #114A. I must admit I fell in love with the way this pattern is modelled. Great fabrics can really show off a simple pattern to great effect and this pattern really looks great in what I think is a gauzy cotton knit or a linen knit. I really am a sucker for the locations and aesthetic of the Burda photoshoots too, I wish my photography looked like that! Anyway, aspirations aside, I thought this would work well with the Britex fabric and the soft black jersey would be a good test for the pattern.

I transferred my pattern from the PDF (tracing size 38 ). I didn’t make any adjustments, at first. The reason for this is that I did a whole lot of measurements and placed my waist, bust and hips on the pattern. I decided that these corresponded pretty much where the pattern intended them to be. I did discard a considerable part of the length – Burda patterns are always so long. I thought it was a little odd that my shoulder to bust measurement fitted with the pattern. I’ve adjusted this particular measurement so many times on patterns, I was a little suspicious that this seemed to fit my dimensions.

I was reassured sufficiently though and went ahead and cut out my fabric. I decided though that I was sufficiently suspicious about the placement of the wrap edge that I would tack everything together on the bodice and see how it looked before the machine sewing. I’m glad I did because I wasn’t that happy with how the wrap appeared. It didn’t seem to work where it was; I just wasn’t sure whether it was supposed to go below the bust where it attaches to the side seam or above. I then looked at the pattern again –#114A definitely places the wrap below the bust, but how about this photo from the Burda website, #114B, this looks above like it wraps over the bust to me:

114b_flat_large

And then, I truly confused myself looking at other blogged versions of this top.  Here are some of my other favourites:

Sewing Sveta’s green jumper

Frogs in a Bucket’s houndstooth version

A sheer knit version

A Bright orange version with an extra band for the hem

As you’ll see, it’s a confusing picture with the placement of the wrap varying wildly. Hence, I’ve nicknamed this top as “The top with an identity Crisis”. I think the look works well either way.

However, after much deliberation, I made up my mind about the placement of the wrap. I played it safe and the wrap goes over the bust. I’m going for the warm boobies version! I made the changes on my garment and machine stitched it. I’m hoping I made the right choice. What do you think? Does the wrap placement look fine?

BurdaWrapTop2

Burda Wrap Top 1

I did have one problem with the instructions. As usual, being Burda, they have a spelling mistake (slef-facing) and at least one instruction which is utter gobbledegook. So, I looked online and found some great photos of the step on the Slapdash Sewist‘s website:

The worse thing about this rubbish instruction is that they published this pattern in the BurdaStyle Modern Sewing: Wardrobe Essentials book and the instructions here come with pictures. Why on earth don’t you get these instructions with the PDF pattern? (Deep sigh, Burda, tell me why?)

I’m probably overthinking this, but I’m slightly concerned that the neckline might droop after lots of wear and I explored other posts on this top for opinions. There are some bloggers who have made this top repeatedly. Clearly, they regarded it as a success. And others have been less happy with it. I noticed Amy at Sew-well made this top, but then it became a refashion in a later blog post.

At the moment the top is going through an extended period of evaluation. Normally RTW tops styled like this are way too revealing, therefore it isn’t a style that I normally wear.Perhaps I just need to get used to this loose type of neckline? I think the sleeves are too long too. They are deliberately cut long in the pattern and perhaps with a lighter knit fabric it would be easy to bunch up the extra fabric up the arms, but in this fabric that doesn’t seem to happen.

I’m not convince yet whether this is the pattern I’ll use for my treasured tissue knit fabric from Britex. Are there other tops that would look good in a sheer knit with a lot of drape?

BurdaWrapTop3

 


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My First T-Shirt

Why it has taken me so long to make a simple t-shirt? I bought my overlocker earlier this year and I have been using it for finishing raw edges, but I hadn’t plunged into making knit fabric garments. The primary reason for my reluctance is that I began to get “knit-phobia”. I’d read so much about how tricky knits are, that I failed to put it in proper context. After all I spend much of my time sewing with tricky fabrics like silk and doing tricky techniques (think, top-stitching here), knits are just tricky in a different way. The other reason I have been staying away from t-shirts is that for years I wore nothing but t-shirts (nothing else fitted), so I really do have a lot of them. In truth, I probably don’t need another t-shirt now, but it was definitely time to confront my phobia!

I bought this La Mia Moda magazine in Italy last year. It seems to be a translation of a German magazine called Diana-something. It has lots of patterns for knit fabrics. Lucie of Love, Lucie had received this magazine as part of a prize and had tried one of the patterns. She’d been quite disappointed with the results so I approached this project with a degree of trepidation. Sorry, Lucie – hope you don’t mind me referencing your post?

La Mia Moda front cover

I chose the pattern known uninspiringly as “Modello 3P Maglia” – Pattern 3P t-shirt. It is a fairly straightforward t-shirt design with long-sleeves. Admittedly in the photo the model is wearing a t-shirt with the body and sleeves made from two different fabrics, but I thought I could easily make the t-shirt from the same fabric.

Maglia 3P

The magazine suggested 0.8m fabric for the body and a further 0.7m for the sleeves. I guessed that I could probably get away with 1 metre fabric. I bought an elasticated viscose fabric from Fashion Fabrics. I must admit that viscose isn’t my usual choice, but I wanted to use something I didn’t care too much about as my first attempt. The fabric is relatively thick and doesn’t curl as the edges. I hoped it would be an amenable fabric for my first foray into knits.

Next, I created a pattern that fitted me from the magazine. This is where I was confronted with the biggest load of “spaghetti” ever. It was quite a challenge finding my pattern pieces on the pattern sheets. In the end I decided to use a highlighter to make tracing the pattern easier.

La Mia Moda spaghetti

I traced the smallest size, but soon realised that this was going to be enormous on me and like a previous Burda pattern I had used, I ended up making many adjustments. (Is this something about German patterns, perhaps they are for particularly tall people?) In fact, I’m not really sure that I could claim I was actually “using this pattern” after all these adjustments:

  • Shortened length of both front and back
  • Reduced height between shoulders and bust
  • Re-shaped armscyes so that were smaller and the shoulders were less wide
  • Re-shaped neckline on both front and back
  • Made front and back pieces less wide
  • Re-drew bust dart to account for new width of front
  • Re-drew back darts so that they were shorter and correctly positioned with the new width and length.

Was there anything unchanged? Yes, the sleeves were pretty much unchanged, just slightly trimmed to fit the new armscyes. However, I found that I couldn’t quite make long sleeves with my 1 metre of fabric, so I shortened them to make 3/4 length sleeves. So actually no, there wasn’t anything that I didn’t change!

Next, the construction. The instructions in the magazine are fairly minimal so I did a fair bit of online research to help me.

Maglia 3P instructions

1. Sew the shoulder seams

I made two small strips of knit interfacing (in place of using stay tape). I used these to prevent stretching at the shoulder seams, as recommended in Deby’s blog and stitched the front and back pieces together at the shoulders

2. Add the neck band

I wasn’t exactly sure how long I needed to make the neck band as I had made some changes to the size of the neckline. I measured the neckline circumference and cut a strip a little smaller than this. I stitched the neckline in a similar way to this post on the Indie Sew website using the overlocker to attach the neck band and then top-stitching with a zig-zag stitch.

3. Attach the sleeves

Here, I just simply overlocked the body section to the sleeve at the shoulder with right-sides together.

4. Sew the side-seams and sleeve seams as one

Again, using the overlocker, with right-sides together, I stitched the sleeves seam and then the side seam of the t-shirt body in one go. I then repeated this for the other side of the t-shirt.

5. Sew the body and sleeve hems

First, I overlocked the raw edges of the fabric. Then I used the knit interfacing again. I cut 1.5 cm strips of this and fused this to the wrong sides of the bottom edges of the body and the sleeves. I then folded up 1.5cm to the wrong side and sewed a zig-zag stitch to form a hem on the body and on each sleeve.

3P close-up hem

3P top 1

I have worn this t-shirt now and have found it very comfortable – well knits are generally anyway, so no surprises here! This, however, is the first time that I have worn a t-shirt with darts in it. It’s a little unusual to have darts in a knit garment. I suppose they aren’t needed as the fabric stretches around the body’s curves. It generally seems to be the rule of thumb that darts aren’t used. I assume they may be used in these patterns as they may be plus size patterns (although it doesn’t explicitly say so). But, I do wonder whether it helps make the garment extra flattering even for a smaller bust. I did always find with RTW t-shirts that they cut rather too high under my arms and tended to leave some unsightly creases emanating from my armpits. I’ve just been looking through a few photos and this photo below ably illustrates exactly what I mean. With the darts (and a better fitting armscye) I just don’t get that problem, although that is harder to see with the busy fabric.

Blue skirt

All in all, this project wasn’t too bad. I think actually sewing something knits was the least difficult part of the whole process, considering the pattern adjustments. However, I could improve my technique where the neck bands are concerned. To insert the neck band I had made a neck band strip slightly smaller than the circumference of the neckline and stretched it gently as a sewed it into place. I hoped this would make sure that the neckline didn’t stick out at all. It didn’t, but the neckline did appear to make the fabric wavy. There is a great article on Craftsy website on how to sew hems and my neckline does look a lot like the “non-interfaced” hem shown. What would be the best way to over come this?

3P close-up neckline 2

 

3P finished

3P finished 3

As for the magazine, I was really using it as a guide rather than strictly following the pattern or the instructions. I think I may have ended up with something horrid and shapeless if I hadn’t spent overly long customising the pattern (4 evenings). This is extreme even by my standards and I do generally trace my patterns and adapt them anyway.

I think I will give this magazine another go, as there are a few more patterns that I like in here, which are more adventurous than the plain t-shirt.