Tuesday 10 March 2015

My first go at a man's t-shirt (and matching mini t-shirt)

     I asked my best friend what he wanted for Christmas and he said a homemade t-shirt, which proved to be a little more than a challenge but I gave it a go anyway! First of all I had to find some decent fabric as I didn’t want to just make one with a plain design. I went on eBay and found a fun brown and turquoise dinosaur print jersey fabric. This made deciding on the other colours easy so I found plain brown and plain turquoise jersey and decided to have brown for the front and turquoise for the back and then use the dinosaur fabric as a contrast on the sleeves, patch pocket and the neckline.
Finished front

Finished back
     As normal I made my own pattern, which was relatively simple as I used an existing t-shirt as a template to get a rough idea of size and then tweaked the pieces to suit my design. I haven’t sewn jersey before so I was a little unsure about if it would need extra/less seam allowance so I added a smidge extra, just in case. I also didn’t change the needle I was using which I’ve since learnt is a big mistake but luckily my little machine handled it well.
     Cutting the jersey was relatively straight forward but stitching it together was quite hard as I was aware that it could stretch while stitching and end up looking distorted. I also didn’t know where to use zigzag stitch and ended up doing everything with a standard straight stitch – not the best idea on the neckline where a stretchy zigzag stitch would have been useful.
Sewing the edge of the sleeve
     I took my time and did two rows of stitching for security because I thought the jersey might fray with regular wearing and washing. Attaching the sleeves wasn’t as difficult as I thought it might be, which I think was largely down to careful pattern preparation because they matched up perfectly. I didn’t really have a clue on how to attach the neckline and it’s a bit of a bodge job but when the t-shirt’s being worn the dodgy stitching on the inside isn’t visible.
The dodgy neckline trim

The surprisingly well fitting sleeve

     The easiest bit was probably the patch pocket because I left it with the raw edges showing on the outside to give it a bit of an edge. I also put a turquoise trim along the top of the pocket and a matching button to bring the whole garment together stylistically.
Easy patch pocket
     All in all it was a success, it’s been proudly worn lots of times and has survived many spins in the washing machine too. The best bit is there was enough fabric left over to make a mini t-shirt for his mini me too.
Very cute matching t-shirts

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