Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pin 106

I've got the sewing bug right now. I keep digging through my fabric stash and pulling out things to make. I bought this fabric months ago out of the remnants bin with this exact shirt in mind. I had planned in my head, after checking out this style on the rack a few times, that this was exactly how to make this shirt. This week, I came across this pin that confirmed my plan.

Original pin:
Pinned Image

This link isn't in English. I couldn't even guess which language it is because I know absolutely nothing about foreign languages other than a little Spanish. The picture is pretty self explanatory though.  It looks like the original shirt is made out of jersey knit and it would probably take about 5 minutes to make this from a shirt several sizes too big. Just cut from the shoulders where the sleeves meet the shirt and then stitch up the side seams.

But why would I want to make it that easy on myself?? Because I pulled this out of the remnant bin, I am not sure exactly what type of fabric it is, but it is very thin and fragile with a one-way stretch. When I bought it, I didn't know it had stretch to it. Once I started sewing it, I realized the stretch was only one way. I had tested some stitches out on a scrap to see which would work best for this fragile fabric.  Apparently I sewed along the non-stretch so when the fabric turned and my stitches started sliding all over the place, I figured this helpful information out.

I placed my fabric on my cutting mat and cut the width across the shoulders I wanted so that I had a large, doubled over rectangle, with the fold to be over my shoulders.

Next, I folded it in half again and cut the curved edges.

I knew I wanted a boat neck so I measured from my sternal notch to where I wanted the shirt to fall on my shoulders. This was six inches for me, so I measured this out and made a shallow, curved cut.

I tried it on to make sure the neck was right and the bottom was appropriate, then I went to work. I will spare you all the details about the ridiculousness that ensued as I tried to figure out the perfect stitch for this fabric. It involved a lot of curse words under my breath, a few holes (!) and a lot of patience.

Recently, I read this quote about sewing and it has stuck in my mind ever since. "Things should look hand made, not home made." I get so excited about finishing a project, I have a tendency to say, eh, no one will notice that, and move along to the next step. However, this time. I kept going back until I got it right. Either this fabric was going to be mangled, falling apart, lesson-learned garbage, or it was going to be the shirt I saw in it originally. Finally, finally, finally, I got the sides, bottom, and neck hemmed up, without holes, straight stitches with a narrow hem. The fabric was too delicate for a large hem. I just kept thinking, "If only I had a serger. . . "  I am too darn stubborn to let it go. I was going to make this work on my basic machine with my ball point needle and a whole lot of patience.

Stitching up the side seams was easy and without trouble.

In the end, I lost a little bit of length, due to some torn fabric and such. Because it is sheer, I would have worn a tank underneath anyway, so if it is a little short on the sides that is no problem. I am pretty happy with it. What do you think?

Total cost: $3

Total time: (sigh...) 2 hours.

Final verdict. I think it is lovely. It is a great mom shirt because the fitted sides give the appearance of a thin waist but the billowy front just hides my mommy tummy. Next time I must choose a fabric that is not quite so cantankerous and this thing will be done in 15 minutes.

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