Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sewing Project #1 T-Shirt

This morning I realized that I am completely delusional.

I am not a seamstress.  I am a clothing project parts hoarder.  These 6 tubs and the wire drawers in the photo represent about 70% of the items I have accumulated over the past 20 years with the intent to sew clothing for myself.

 Last summer I committed to making some clothing for myself and realized that my adult curvy self needs a "muslin" test drive of patterns before I sew the real deal.  This version shows that I seem to be able to fix waist/hip sizing, but not torso.

 My previous attempts at sewing for myself were either when I was a stick thin teen, or maternity clothes.  I am SO out of my comfort zone, it isn't funny.

I was able to fine tune the dress above to a tank style dress pictured here.  I apparently have no shots of the upper body section that was only so-so.

Enough's today.

I decided to make a basic, perfect T-shirt.
Butterick 5215.

I had a couple yards of thrift store Looney Toon fabric that seemed perfect for a trial.

I was foolishly optimistic as the pattern sizing perfectly described me as a "large".  Bust 40-41 (my measurements with the help of Victoria's Secret projection equipment), waist 31-32 (pretty close...depending on the day), and hip 41-42.

I was also encouraged by a pattern that actually showed body curves.

I was excited about using the same fabric as a bias binding neck treatment since, as a quilter, I'm a pro at bias bindings. I thought the print would look weird so I dashed to the fabric store for some plain black.

I did think that the proportion seemed a bit small.  But I did commit to following directions exactly (not one of my normal skills).
Some might argue that I have a big head.

But I'm pretty sure no one else's noggin would fit in this 17" opening.   Even after I popped the stitches in an attempt to get it over my head, I was not successful.

The fact that it was a good proportion for my moderate sized bicept may be a clue.

I pulled out several of my ready to wear t-shirts to compare.  Even the most modest option shows far more space.
I cut out the 3/8 wide binding.

I split the difference between the 2 ready to wear options and drew a new neckline.

As a point of interest, the original back bias strip was 17".  The replacement bias piece was 24".

Here's the fixed neckline.

I had not yet added the hems on the sleeves and bodice when this pic was taken ( I was taking advantage of  a moment when a photographer was available.)

It doesn't look bad, but it is super-duper tight.

I was very careful about keeping any character from being centered on a nipple.  That could be bad.
The circles are pretty well balanced down the center.

I would totally wear this T, but it would be more comfortable about 1/2" bigger.

LOVE how this pic makes me look like a supermodel.
Although this is a knit, it had very little flexibility.

Often times a knit fabric will give you a "give" ratio.
Sewing pros need to weigh in to teach me the appropriate lingo.
This knit was pretty tight.  10" only gave 2" of flex.
The  ready to wear samples in my closet give 5" for every 10".

Think sports-bra....I have some mono-boob action happening here.

Mostly a good fit.

And here we are with the arm and bottom hems done.

My standard T will need more length fore sure.

This ate up FAR more time than I expected.  But time well spent if I figure out the ULTIMATE T-shirt pattern.

And this is my first installment in the sewing commitment posts.


Miriam said...

Hehe, you sound so much like me with the years of accumulated dressmaking boxes!!! :)

Well done on stitcking with the pattern! The next one will be perfect!

Judith said...

LOL! That headhole was made for a Pygmy for sure! Good on you for sticking with it and not popping it on a wadder to have a peek around your blog...J

Nanna said...

well I think you handled that very well lol! my first tee was way & I mean way to low lol!I'm going to work with it & hopefully wear it to the dentist tomarrow, this is what this challenge is all about, shareing, learning & laughing with friends all around the world~

L said...

"Oh. This makes me very angry!" I love Marvin. =)

I tried this top a few years ago and remember the neckline being rather snug, though I hadn't attached the neckband at the time. I think the pattern has potential, but the sizing is deceptive. Have you tried the Jalie crew-neck T? It's my fave so far. Watch out for the long sleeves, though. They' =)

SarahLizSewStyle said...

Hi, at least the neck was too small, and not too large - you can always take away, but really hard to add back - a trap I have fallen into. The result is gorgeous, and the next will be Perfect! :-)

Bobbi Antonucci said...

I am surprised you had a problem with a Connie Crawford pattern. I have about a dozen of her pattersn, both from her directly and from Butterick. All have worked up well and fit beautifully. I am a round woman. Connie perfects her patterns at a size 22 and then drafts up or down from there. I am very close to her base size and have had lots of luck with her designs.

Lynne said...

You've done very well! Taz is my DD's favourite cartoon character and Marvin is my husband's!

I gave up sewing my own clothes back in the early eighties after I became increasingly frustrated with how good they looked on the pattern packets and how bad they looked on me!

quiltermom said...

Long ago patterns for knits used to have a "stretch " guide on the envelope, so you could make sure your fabric had enough give. Printed knits don't stretch as much as plain colors. And quilts are never too snug, that's why I stick to them.

BeaJay said...

Loved your post - you are so funny!! I have had troubles like you and love reading other people's trials (makes me feel better that I am not the only one struggling along!!).

I think the fit you achieved will be great with slightly more stretch - get rid of that mono boob happening.

Anonymous said...

You're hilarious! I love your post; isn't the journey fun. It has to be worth it just to have the stories to tell. I think the fabric is adorable. Mono boob...character on a nipple...buaaahhhahahaahhaah!!!! Love it!!

Dot said...

What a great post. I totally relate. I'm also an appliqué addict with a very large garment fabric stash. Haven't touched it in years but have had a hankering to get back to it this past few weeks. I'm enjoying your blog immensely. Think I might also tackle the T. Cheers!

Dot said...

What a great post. I totally relate. I'm also an appliqué addict with a very large garment fabric stash. Haven't touched it in years but have had a hankering to get back to it this past few weeks. I'm enjoying your blog immensely. Think I might also tackle the T. Cheers!

Kia said...

Great job