20 February, 2012

I Sewed Myself A Top

It is very easy for me to get derailed from bigger projects by the allure of smaller projects.
Sewing clothing for myself is a big project. I might as well call it a huge project.
From determining the best size, to cutting out large pieces of fabric, to determining the best way to sew them with my Singer, my Serger, and/or the Coverstitch machine. A lot of thought goes into a garment.
I sat down yesterday and traced out the t-shirt with a 'U' shaped neckline from Ottobre 303.
This pattern is not for beginners although if you had someone telling you the order of tracing, cutting, and construction then, yes, of course, a beginner could make this t-shirt.

Last fall, I sat down and traced out the v-neck version of this tee and made a muslin out of some thin knit. I'm a size 16. Some knits drape well over the girls and the 'rolls' but other knits cling in all the wrong places.

My friend, Pencil Girl, and I met up last fall at the NW Quilting Expo and she found this fabric for me. I was suffering under the delusion that I had entirely too many knit fabrics and not enough pressure to sew them up. She held the fabric up to my face and it was a fantastic match for my hair and skin color.

This pattern, because you take multiple measurements, fit me with no alterations. The pattern sheet folds out into a bedsheet size and all the patterns pieces are a puzzle maze of lines. They are done in heavy lines so it is easy to take the swedish tracing paper and lay everything out on the kitchen island and puzzle trace out a pattern. -- if you know what the pattern piece might look like than it's that much easier - lol.
This time I used the "U" neckline. I had a vision of something I wanted to do for embellishment in my mind but found out after I made the tee that it would be too busy for this pretty fabric.

Sherril's Sewing saga. Beautiful Flower embellishment.

The Beautiful flower embellishment is gorgeous but maybe next time on a solid color. Sherril tells how to make the flowers here. Her other pattern reviews are here.
It's always nice to see a tee made up on somebody similar in size.

For the neckline, I used the binding pattern piece from the Ottobre 303 and divided it into quarters and pin-stretched it into place. I placed the right side of the binding against the right side of the neckline. I sewed with my reg. machine a 1/4" seam and then wrapped the binding up and over the neckline. I pinned it into place and also decided to hand-baste it to cut down on the number of pins coming into contact with my coverstitch machine. Then I sewed the band down from the front side of the garment - like top-stitching. This caught the back side of the binding.
I don't own any binders (neckline banding) yet, nor do I own the clear foot for the coverstitch. My stitching wanders a tad but only I would ever notice.

I made the sleeves 3/4 length. I have always run a little warm but this last year or two - when my auto-immune is kicking up, I get cold. I am always pushing long sleeves up so 3/4 is a good compromise.
This pattern has you hemming the sleeves right away but I waited until I attached them to the body pieces so I could see how much I needed to cut off. Which was nothing, surprisingly. Either I have longer arms than I thought or the long sleeves Ottobre drafted are short. They sit about 3 inches above my wrist which turned out perfect.

Side view with sleeve.

I used my coverstitch machine to hem the sleeves and the front and back sections before I sewed the side seam from the tip of the sleeve on down to the hem. My little problem is that I don't own enough cones of black thread yet to thread both my serger and the coverstitch. I did deviate a little from the instructions in order to keep from re-threading more than I had to. I think more thread cones will go on the birthday list (hint, hint).

This fabric is from some unknown vendor and it was labeled as 1 1/2 yds @10.95 ($16.40), 60"  wide , Slinky Acetate.

Beautiful colors, gorgeous drape. This tee is on me as I write this.
I am so pleased with how this material worked for me.
It was fairly easy to sew with no curling and only a smidge of slippage.

I love how this Ottobre pattern fits me as well. The vee-neck  muslin that I sewed  - the vee is a little on the high side but that's easy to adjust on the pattern piece. The "U" neckline is perfect for me. It sits just above the cleavage.
Ottobre also drafted the pattern so the front side seam is longer than the back. This is so you can baste some ease where the girls sit.  This is a great fitting sewing pattern for women.


  1. The second I saw it, I thought those colors would really complement you. I know it must look lovely on. Great job!

  2. I love your t-shirt!!! It looks like an expensive one from a fancy boutique. Way to go!!!

  3. I do plan on taking a photo and posting it. I have no idea if my digital camera has a timer so I'll need to have someone take the photo. Which means I have to do my hair and possibly put make-up on.
    Do people sew with their make-up on?

  4. Beautiful tee! Can't wait to see you model it.


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