To put it simply, I made this. . .
I spent last Saturday drafting the pattern and yesterday I sewed it up. Did all of this happen in just two days? It doesn't feel like it.
Let me walk you through the details. . .
The T-shirt's Features: This tee has a comfortable, round neckline, short sleeves, and a long torso. Just the way I like it!
The Fabric: This gray jersey knit has an interesting fiber content. It is 70% modal and 30% acrylic. Modal has been a very popular fiber as of late (according to fellow bloggers and I've been seeing it included by big name brands like JCP). Modal is a subset of rayon and as I gather from different sources, it is smooth, extremely absorbent, resists pills, shrinkage, and fading, and most important to me, it is breathable. Sounds like the perfect fiber, doesn't it? We'll see if it lives up to the hipe. I bought this jersey from Fabric.com and it went by the name "Modal Blend Jersey." Sadly, they are not selling it at the moment which is a real shame; it feels so soft and lightweight! I did order the same jersey in a light pink color, thankfully!
The Pattern: If you have been reading Sunni's blog, A Fashionable Stitch, you would be acquainted with the term "rub off" by now. That is what I did to make this t-shirt pattern. For those not in the know, a rub off is a pattern making technique where you copy an existing ready-to-wear garment by laying the garment flat on a padded surface lined with paper and pinning through the seams and along hems. "Rub off" is the term Sunni uses; I'm unsure if she coined it or if it has been a circulating term for the masses. If anyone knows some background information on this, please let me know! When I told my brother about this rub off technique he said, "You could also call it reverse engineering." That's a pretty cool way of looking at it!
The garment that I rubbed off from was a t-shirt I bought from JCP:
I like almost everything about this tee--length to neckline--except I'm not real fond of the sleeves. So I copied a different shirt of mine for that part. I used my blocking board, packing paper, and loads of pins to make the rub off. And this is what I made:
|[ the JCP tee ]|
The Construction Process: Figuring out how to put a t-shirt together is a no-brainer. But figuring out those little things, like serger tension and hem and neckline finishes, is what causes the trouble. Especially the neckline. Haven't done much knits before so I had to figure out how to make and insert binding for the neckline. To figure out the width of the binding piece to cut I followed Dixie's tutorial on how to make a v-neck tee, and I watched this video to figure out how to insert it.
|[ my tee ]|
I used a very narrow zigzag stitch (known as a wobble stitch), to do all the topstitching. I believe it was 3.0 stitch length and 1.0 stitch width.
|[ the neckline ]|
I used a four-thread overlock stitch on my serger. Used black thread for the loopers and gray thread for the needles; makes it easier for me to remove stitches if need be. Which I eventually did!
|[ the hem ]|
I know a lot of sewers reach for that clear elastic to stabilize the shoulder seams, and yes, I do own some, but for the life of me I can't get it to work. I tried and tried to stitch the elastic in while I'm making my seam, but all it ever does is make gathers. It just never lies flat. Don't have a clue on what I'm doing wrong, any suggestions?
|[ close up of serger stitches ]|
I went on to use seam binding and it is actually doing the job well!
So can you believe the great results of this rub off? I sure can't! Now I have two ideas spiraling around in my head: make a pink shirt that has jersey flower embellishments, similar to designs of DownEast Basics
, and a long-sleeved tee that has a generous cowl neckline similar to Tasia's Renfrew Top
. Ah, ideas never seem to stop!