Saturday, 11 January 2014

The T-Shirt Project -Part 3 . The Cross Your Heart KnipMode T .

KnipMode Feb 2012 - pattern  27.

This is by far the best of a bad bunch of photos . My photographer charges by the nanosecond so you have to be quick. But it is clear and does show off the style lines of the T shirt ( and my double chin ).
When I set out to replace my sad Tshirts  I wanted to try sew something different to what you can buy and to what I already have (  which are basically large and boxy and shapeless ) .
I also wanted to actually use some of my knipmode magazines rather than just look at them  so I found this pattern in the  February 2012 issue. It was actually a dress (jurk) pattern but certainly different to anything I have and a bit of a challenge as well .
In my stash I have some remainder of a mid blue soft , fine , drapey knit which is what this design needs . Anything too firm or beefy and the pleats and gathered cross over pieces would not work.

 This T shirt was a challenge though . I started this in late November and finished on about the last day of December last year . I procrastinated at different points and went and did some xmas pressie sewing ( aprons ) and then later the easiest thing in the world to sew , new short PJs , for my newly arrived back at home from 9 months OS eldest DD ) . I have previously used google translate with my first Knipmode make but it is sooo slooow and the translations do not always make sense anyway and this  make  seemed to have a lot of instructions. So I just sewed intuitively and it worked out . I have to say Knipmode has very clear fabric  layouts which was incredibly helpful and the patterns are much easier to  trace out than  Burda because they have fewer patterns per sheet and nice thick differently coloured lines  .

So I started  by making the pleats along the square neckline which are clearly  marked so you don`t need to read Dutch to work this out. Then I added the square facing as seen as above ( but I later overlocked over the wider horizontal part to even out the facing width. There was a rather um interesting discussion on Stitches and Seams about knit facings and also what stitches to use on knits . I have never used a facing on a knit top before but could not see what the alternative was with this unusual neckline. Anyway this all turned out well.

The next step was to gather the shaped cross over pieces , turn under the wide facings along the long edges ( after overlocking them )and attach them to the sides and armscyes . This was the point that confused me because I actually thought they might attach along the neck line but in the end I worked it out ( and actually got my xmas sewing done - so all`s well that ends well ). After this the sewing was easy. I attached the narrow binding strip to finish off the back neckline , sewed the back and front together , attached the sleeves and then sewed the sleeve and side seams in one go. However the neckline facing kept on flipping out as it is in their job description to do so I tempted fate and stitched them down using a lightning stitch. I used a slight zigzag for the  rest of the seams and overlocked  the edges because I find with time that straight stitches tend to break.

Despite my expression on the photo I am happy with the finished top . What can I say but this top is great for us ladies who get high marks in the bust department ( if you know what I mean ) and the gentle pleats in the front make it quite comfy.  Once I adjust the cross over pieces after putting on the T they generally stay put( they are only attached at the sides , not on the neckline) . They do not feel binding like the photo suggests. The sleeves are firm fitting but not uncomfortable because the knit is soft and stretchy. I did elevate the neckline by an inch but apart from shortening the pattern from a dress to a top I did not alter the pattern.

And thus concludes my T shirt Project for now. Ciao !

Sunday, 5 January 2014

The T-Shirt Project - Part 2. The Cross Your Eyes T . New

New Look 6405.

 The second of the Ts as a result of the T Shirt Marathon Project .
New Look 6405 combined with what I call the hypnotist* fabric or the I am going cross eyed fabric.
I have wanted to sew this pattern for a while - obviously quite a  long while because this pattern is 10 years old ( and here I thought I was sewing up a modern pattern and being trendy for a change )
Whatever - I really like the result .

I used some poly knit from the opshop , a scrap of red ribbed knit and to tart it up a bit and use up some of my BABLE ( Button Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy )5 black buttons at the left neckline .
According to other reviews of this T shirt it is very close fitting and short so I went up one size and added 6 cm to the length after comparing the pattern pieces to my other Ts. Thankyou so much to people who do reviews of patterns otherwise I would have ended up with another fail .
I reckon the fit and length are just right . I like the little cap sleeves and high cross over style. It is a very easy project to sew as well.

Verdict- SUCCESS - complete. ( And I will definitely sew this pattern again ) .
(* I have an evil plan to wear this top   frequently thus hypnotizing my family into doing whatever , probably I will only end up tormenting them though. )

Saturday, 4 January 2014

The T-Shirt Project - Part One . Burda Feb 2013.

One thing I really do need are T shirts - I have a sparse collection and all have stains or holes except one ( which is only about 15 years old ! )  so the situation was getting a little desperate hence the T shirt project  was born. And since I have fabric and patterns stashed I got the sewing machines buzzing .
I started with a popular pattern from Burda magazine  February 2013 - the gathered raglan sleeve top.
Fact- this is the only pattern I sewed in 2013 from a pattern dated 2013 !
Fact - I only bought one ready to wear top in 2013 - and it was exactly the same pattern as this , in blue !

This is a very easy pattern but I managed to muck it up by sewing the back of the sleeve to the front bodice piece . Simple  enough to unpick though.
I sewed a size 38 but it was too small through the abdomen area. I have sewed just shy of a dozen projects from Burda over the years and size 38 has always served me well so I think this pattern may run small. However it may also have been my fabric choice - a good quality cotton lycra knit but quite hefty so perhaps a lighter weight fabric would have worked better?? It did fit well around the arms and bust though  . I found the neckline gaped a bit even though I shortened the neck band as advised by others who have made this up. Finally I do not think the horizontal stripes are doing me any favours  .I did manage to match the stripes but in the completely opposite way !

Verdict - FAIL- sort of.  (  given to my eldest daughter who likes it , fits her better  and has worn it )

PS - The T-Shirt project also refers to a book called The Rosie Project - highly recommended if you want to read a laugh out loud book to cheer you up - it is also set in Melbourne- a little nostalgic bonus for me .