This is actually the second t-Shirt – the first was a disaster (too big and too long – the culprit was the light weight black and white knit I bought in San Francisco – too loosely knit, I think). It went into the trash pile.
I bought the fabric for this shirt at my nearby Pfaff dealer who stocked some very nice stretch cotton knit this summer. This red stripe was the only one of those fabrics that suited my colouring, too bad. 0.8m (60″ wide) was enough for a t-shirt for me. The fabric sewed easily – didn’t have to fight it.
Red Stripe t-Shirt
Given my floppy upper arms, I like a sleeve that comes almost to my elbow so I lengthened the short sleeves. The pattern also uses a facing for the neck edge – nobody finishes a t-Shirt neck with a facing – I serged a doubled (24″ x 1 1/4″) strip to the neck edge (1 1/2″ shorter than the length of the neck so I could ease the neck edge into the seam). I also cut 1 1/4″ from the bottom edge – I’m short, and didn’t need the shirt to come below mid-stomach.
I cut out the shirt a couple of days ago. I was able to sew it up in under 2 hours this morning. I pressed the neck band toward the body and top stitched it 1.5mm from the seam to keep it flat. Cover-stitched the sleeve and bottom hems.
The Pattern is a Burda pattern I’ve had for ages (I tried finding some hint online about when the pattern was first released but came up empty although many people have made it – lots of photos of finished shirts). The size 14 fits me reasonably well. It’s easy to make with the 1/4″ seam allowances included in the pattern – makes fitting sleeve curves straightforward because you don’t have to fight the excess fabric in a 5/8″ allowance.
Burda 3197 Pattern (Vintage)
Now I need to go through my fabric stash and see if I can find another suitable knit to make at least one more of these shirts (then I’ll be able to cull some of the older ones in my closet).
This is the last of the t-Shirts, made from recutting a man’s XL shirt I picked up at Value Village. I constructed it using my serger, but I hadn’t used ball-point needles, just regular universal sharps. On all the other t-Shirts that wasn’t a problem, but it turned out to be on this one! The universal needle, instead of pushing aside the knit stitches of the fabric, cut the cotton fibre – you could see the beginnings of holes along the seams. I had to resew all the seams (less than 1/8th away from the serged seam) on my regular sewing machine using a ball-point needle. The difference in the appearance of the seam is dramatic.
Now the question is, do I want to add embroidered embellishment to some of these t-Shirts?
I’ve stepped up the t-shirt makeover a notch. I have been buying men’s t-shirts so I can have longer sleeves than women’s shirts have, but I don’t like the crew neck. So I decided to try renovating a couple of the men’s shirts I bought last year. I cut off the ribbing around the neck and since I didn’t have any knit fabric to use for the neck edge I took a couple of fat quarters from my quilting stash and decided to try a bias strip. It worked! The complementary neck edge looks just fine, and it lays flat. After I tried the shirts on I thought it would also be a good idea to put some shape in the sides – they look better slightly fitted. So these two t-shirts have become keepers.
It’s hard finding t-shirt fabric here in Halifax. The color choices are very limited and what’s available is often the wrong weight. So, the other day when I took three large bags of clothing to Value Village (I’d gone through closets and drawers) I took a look at the men’s large t-shirts they had – I found three in solids (red, black, blue). I cut the shirts apart – there was enough fabric there for a t-shirt for me! This is one of them. Final cost – $4. I can’t buy fabric at that price!
Just finished a second t-shirt this morning. A light weight rayon knit (reminds me of the prints used by Desigual) – a bit easier to work with than the polyester I worked on yesterday. Pleased with the fit.
This is a third shirt finished as well – to wear with white or the pink pants I have.
Back to some garment sewing. Today a t-Shirt. I had some knit fabric I’m about to discard because it was difficult to work with, however, I thought I’d give the t-Shirt a try. Rather than a facing, I decided to use a simple binding, instead.
I made some modifications to the pattern – lengthened the sleeves, shortened the body length an inch. I was surprised this has turned out to be a wearable garment! I was expecting to chuck it out after I was done, but it fits quite well.
So I’ve just cut out another one from a rayon knit which I will assemble tomorrow. I’ve been wanting some t-Shirts with longer sleeves and a wee bit longer in the body than the ones I have. I have fabric for a half a dozen. I expect to busy for the next week on these.