Thursday, June 14, 2012

To a Tee

Not to be a broken record, but whenever I sew something from a knit, I talk about how knits scare me.  They're slippery and stretchy and unpredictable, and for the most part, I avoid them.  But paging through pattern books, I am always drawn to a few designs for knits, and I promise myself I will keep trying until I get more comfortable and can sew knits with impunity!  I've also been wanting more printed tops, so when I saw this fabric, I grabbed some and went looking for an easy tee shirt pattern.  Practice!

I settled on New Look 6856.  It looked extremely easy (no sleeves to set in!), three pattern pieces, and I like a boatneck.  First things first:  What stitch do I use?  My mom always says to use a shallow zigzag.  I've done so successfully in the past, but when I started to read through the directions, I noticed a line about "stretch stitches built into many conventional machines."  Hmm.  Might I have a strech stitch and not even realize it?

Turns out I have a jersey stitch.  I tried it on a scrap of my fabric and liked how it behaved, so that's what I used for constructing the tee.  I also read about overlock seams, but that requires a foot I don't have yet. 

For the most part, sewing the tee was a cinch.  The side seams and the hems took about ten minutes.  The neck, though, that gave me trouble.  I understand the concept--you have to stretch the neck band without stretching the body of the shirt--but I haven't mastered the skill.  After much ado, I finally managed to do a respectable job.  The back isn't as smooth as I'd like, but it will do. 

I don't think the top turned out to have as much of a boatneck as I first thought it would be.  I checked photos of other finished tees on Pattern Review and had to laugh, because no two necklines look the same!  I think there was some improvising going on!

One important thing to note is that I didn't add even a smidge of length to this top.  It is designed to be a generous length.  Hooray for New Look!


Anonymous said...

Your sewing always looks very professional--obviously you've been taught the proper techniques. I *love* sewing with knits, t-shirt knits in particular. I make all my tops. I am long through the torso, so I make my own. I use the same t-shirt pattern from stretch-n-sew that I bought many moons ago. It's about all I wear. I know, boring. But, I work at a camp, and basically wear jeans in the winter and jeans shorts in the summer, both with t-shirts. I have no problem with my wardrobe. I have my work shirts and my other shirts. It's do-able :O)


oklyous said...

I like this top. cool that you can make your own tops, must be satisfying.
And practice makes perfect:)
I still got a way to go before I get to that point. So I will practice some more..

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