Sunday, October 23, 2005

a shirt

I decided to make a shirt. I’ve used this pattern several times now and I know it works. It didn’t even need any adjustments after the first time I used it. Usually, I have to take the sleeves up a little bit (short arms) and often the body is too long (all my height, such as it is at 5’2”, is in my legs). But this shirt worked right away.
shirt pattern
It is very close-fitting with the darts and all but I have a whole bunch of loose-fitting shirts and wanted the next bunch to be different. Plus, I can leave the tail out of whatever pants or skirt I am wearing and that is an acceptable look these days. I have to say, I am glad of this “tail out” look because it hides a multitude of sins.

The pattern offers options for Western looking shirts but, as I have no desire for them, I just make it plain. And it takes very little material to make one of these skinny little shirts.

I got the fabric at Fabricland, on sale. I confess I already have the same shirt in the same fabric only with blue stripes instead of pink. It is a nice rich cotton with Lycra in it. This is a bonus because even though the shirt fits closely, it stretches and so doesn’t bind me in the arms. After the success of the blue striped shirt with Lycra, I went back to Fabricland, knowing they had had the pink stripe but not knowing if they still had any left. I figured it was fate when I found some of it on the left-over table at only $2 per metre! In fact, I bought what they had left which was about 3 metres, about 1.5 more than I needed. I will eventually make another shirt using a different pattern and probably short sleeves. Or maybe I could make one for my niece if I had a pattern in her size. We’ll see.
pink stripe unironed
As usual, I washed the fabric and put it ruthlessly in the dryer. This wrinkles it all up so then I have to iron the whole piece so it will lie flat on the table for cutting. I have noticed with the blue stripe that it wrinkles every time it is washed but it irons out nicely so I’m okay with that.
pattern laid out
Since I have made several shirts with this pattern, the pieces are well used and familiar to me. I rarely even look at the suggested layout of pattern pieces as shown in the instructions and just go with whatever works for me. Even though the stripe is even, I still almost always cut all the pieces out with the top of the pattern pieces all facing the same way (“up”). This is a good habit to get into because most fabrics have some kind of direction and it is better to err on the side of all pieces going “up” than to get one piece upside down. (The sleeve piece on the right is just sitting there, actually at a 90 degree angle from how it will get pinned, and none of the pieces are actually pinned yet - for the observant among you.)


Anonymous said...

Hello. Do you have any experience with tshirts? I simply can't find a patern or proper cotton fabricts.

JuliaR said...

Hi T Telle, welcome to my blog. I don't sew with knits at all. I think you have to have a serger to allow the knit to stretch properly after it has been sewn, as well as to finish the seams properly. I don't have a serger. I keep saying "one of these years I'll get a serger". But not having one allows me to go shopping for knits without feeling guilty that I'm not making the garment! I like to make some of my clothes but it is fun to go shopping sometimes too.