Turning Out T shirts.

Recently I have stayed in my comfort zone and made lots of T shirts, which makes sense as I wear a t shirt nearly every day. I stayed well within my comfort zone and have mainly been using tried and tested Maria Denmark patterns that I have already adjusted.  I have considered several new to me patterns, but at the end of the day, how different are t shirt patterns?  So I have stuck to the ones I know work but snuck a few tweaks in to change things up.

Dorsal Fin Indications

First up a Happy Holiday/Easter/Birthday present to myself of this Kirsten Kimono T shirt (already adjusted for full bust and sway back). A simple design, perfect to showcase some loverly holiday splurge shopping fish fabric. Bonus knickers and headscarfbandthingies made from the remnants (the latter of which my kids nicked).

I have more of this fabric in the green colourway earmarked for The Girl and I nicked a bit! There was some debate on the correct way up for this fabric, and we decided the bulge on the fishes indicated a dorsal fin and therefore went at the top.

Knit one purl one

Couldn’t resist this fabric in some of my fav colours and a knit stitch pattern. As a bonus it feels slinky and my family gave me lots of hugs wearing it. This is a hacked Birgitte Basic Tee (that I apparently only have dodgy phone photos of, sorry).


As per usual, I forgot to save the link to the tutorial I found. Basically, place centre of pattern piece at an angle to the fold instead of along the fold line. I think I added about 5cm each side (so 10cm) overall at the top, tapering to nothing at the bottom. Then I marked out double that length either side of the centre front and gathered it with clear elastic, that later ended up in the seam allowance (until I cut it out as it itched like crazy). Then I sewed on the neckband as normal, but couldn’t do my usual zig zag to sitch the seam allowance down so I did a stitch in the ditch with the stretch straight stitch instead, which didn’t look as neat as I’d like (the photo is pre stitching).

I eeked a toddler t shirt out of the left overs (spot the extra seam on the back) for the daughter of a knitting friend who was in the area. I used a pattern I made ages ago. The neckband looked to small once on though, and I know from experience that things that are tight getting taken on and off dont get worn, so I cut it off, thereby enlarging the hole, and added a new one. It also has a pocket on the front purely so I had an excuse to incorporate this sheep ribbon that I had a little of in my stash.

Feeling Blue

Sometimes you just need basics. This is another Birgitte, this time I raised the neckline slightly. I also lowered the armhole half an inch to try and get rid of the creases radiating from my armpit. This only had a negligable effect on the length of the armscyth so I left the sleevehead as it was. It does feel a little more comfy I think, but the creases are still there.

Irony Warning

And sometimes you need to make a statement. Another Birgitte, same armhole adjustment as last time, neckline moved even higher. My first time using iron on decoration which I bought online, they are really glittery 🙂 (and the fabric is more lush stuff from Kitschy Coo like the last two t’s, that this selfie really doesn’t do justice to).

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I feel I need to explain as this is not a comment on the latest Dr Who casting (that’s a fortuitous coincidence). Neither is it me pretending to be a gynecologist.

As a Quaker I would like to live in a world where titles aren’t used (George Fox famously greeted the King “Good Day to thee Charles Stuart”, which was a very radical thing to do). As a realist I know this isn’t happening any time soon (I tried leaving boxes unticked on forms as a teenager. They just assumed I was a Mr. These days digital forms wont even submit if you leave boxes unticked). As a feminist I object to the fact that my title changes with my marital status but this isn’t true for men. As someone who studied hard for 4 years, I’m proud of my PhD. So as a preference I use no title (my qualification is rarely relevant to the conversation), but if people insist, I like them to use my hard won “Dr”.  After all, with aspie traits running int he family it’s important to get things right 😉

So when a family member called me Mrs, LSH pulled them up on it, and the reply was “isn’t it techically Mrs Dr if you’re a woman”. No. No it isn’t. Unless, apparently, you’re German, but they use Mr Dr too. (Or more accurately Frau/Herr Dr.)

Bonus Item

When I bought the “Mrs Dr” I noticed they had Alicorns too (I am adamantly informed that is the proper term for winged unicorns, who am I to argue with a 9 year old on such matters). So I let my daughter chose one (this is the rainbow holograph option). They must’ve printed it out the wrong size or something cos we got a second smaller one free.

The resulting AdvTee is now in heavy rotation, even if I’m slightly annoyed that I got a bubble at the centre front when adding the v neckline.

It has also prompted much discussion. Are Alicorns a species in their own right or the result of cross breeding between Unicorns and Pegasi? Are they born with a horn?  With Wings? Do they have nests? Are they mammals? Hours of fun for all the family (and innocent passers by, like the assistants in the sewing machine shop, and an old work colleague we bumped into).

Visible Mend for the Win

Take one smart, shop bought cardigan.

Give it to your child to wear.

Get cardigan returned with large hole now in it. (caught on branch whilst tree climbing or some other such commendable activity).

Ponder how to fix it without loosing it’s smartness.  (Fine knitted fabric, too big a hole to darn, patch would look scruffy).

Decide to embrace the hole.

Neaten edges of hole.

Find multicouloured thread that you inherited from your grandmother in law.

Go around hole with blanket stitch.

Add petals, freehand with chain stitch.

Host impromptu workshop when camping with friends curious as to what you’re doing how.

Bring now mended cardy back from folk festival.

Leave for several weeks lost in a pile of your husbands clothes over the end of the bed.

Find cardigan, reunite with daughter, blog.

Et Voila.

Triplets

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Production line sewing, three bags, made from three canvas remnants from my “bag stash” that were bought from my local fabric shop.  Two to be gifted this week and one spare.

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The broad stripes lead nicely to a little playing (and you gotta have a pocket, right?).

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These totes are pretty roomy and have nice thick straps to help spread the load.

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Plus the ubiquitous mitred corner. Oh and solid colour base, cos white would not be practical!

Hopefully they will all gets lots of use.

#mendsomejeans

Take one tired projectstarter, feeling two urgh to start a new project right now and reduced to surfing the web instead.

Add the inspirational Kelly Hogaboom to invite me to a Kickin Jeans sew a long.

Hide the jeans I have that I’m half way through fixing.

Find some outgrown purple jeans on the mending pile instead with a hole in the knee.

Unpick side seam (the side that isn’t flat felled so no stitching is visible from the outside).

Add some Twill tape to cover up the hole in a decorative manner.

Sew up side seam and finish raw edges.

And what do you have

#mendsomejeans

#menditmoday (ok, techincally it was Sunday, but you’ll give me some lee way on that right)

 

The Placket of Doom

(On the Sorry You’re Feeling Ill T-Shirt with Get Better Faster Stripes)

So, the Boy got a tummy bug and got sent home from school. My children have a combined age of approx 20, so needless to say I have dealt with a few tummy bugs in my time. Never have I seen someone laid so low with one though. It wasn’t the typical symptoms so much that were extreme, more his general demeanor, listlessness, staring into space-ness, asking for help to sit up, not reading and barely talking. On Day 5, when he still wasn’t eating at all or showing any signs of improvement, I consulted our GP, which led to him being sent to the hospital to rule out appendicitis. It wasn’t appendicitis (the official diagnosis in the end was viral gastroenteritis), but he did end up getting admitted for 3 nights and put on a drip to counteract the dehydration.

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It was a busy week. Sitting around doing nothing at the hospital is surprisingly exhausting. Taking my turn being the parent at home with The Girl was surprisingly stressful too. So I decided to make the Boy a t shirt. Ostentatiously that was to cheer him up in the hospital, but really, it was to take my mind of things, which is good, as I didn’t finish it until several days after he got home from the hospital.

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Being unwell brings out the Aspergers side in my son, and as well as being the exact opposite of his normal chatty self at the hospital (one member of staff commented on how shy he was and I had to explain that he’s actually very outgoing usually, which is one of the reasons I knew he felt so ill), it also seemed to ramp up his sensory sensitivity and he kept complaining that his t shirt was too restrictive around his throat. By the time he was admitted to the ward, he’d stripped of his t shirt and covered himself up in a blanket instead and after that he couldn’t have put a tshirt on if he wanted as by then he had a line in his arm. We took some shirts in to the hospital so that he could wear them as unbuttoned as he liked, but mainly he rocked the bare chested “look you can see even more of my ribs than normal” look.

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Hence I chose to make no 37 from Ottobre 03/2016 , a raglan Henly style t shirt with stripes up the side, because I thought he could undo the placket and it would feel less restrictive.  Great plan. The downside of the plan turned out to be that I had to make a placket.

Tracing and cutting went well. I made it in a size I was pretty sure had some growing room (as he wasn’t there to measure), but cut it to the length of the pattern 2 sizes up, for my string bean. At this point I was still delusional that I would finish it in an evening and take it with me to the hospital the next day. Ha.

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Mistake no 1: The t shirt was made on a whim so I used scrap fabric that I had in. The grey knots was the only thing really suitable that I had to hand, and I decided to brighten it up a bit with the red (after all what is the point of a faffing around with an extra pattern piece for a side stripe if you never notice it). This was my first mistake as I think the red is a 4 way stretch and it shifted like billy o when I tried to wrangle it into shape and sew it down. Particularly troublesome on that placket. Which brings me to….

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Mistake no 2: I tried to follow the Ottobre Minimalist Diagrams Are For Wimps Instructions when inserting the placket. This didn’t go well and I ended up with the hot mess you see above. After sleeping on it I decided to recut the front and try again.

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Second time around I used the Thread Theory placket tutorial for their Strathcona henly t shirt. To make this work I cut the placket piece on the fold, rather than as two separate pieces. I didn’t quite follow the instructions to the word, but it went sooo much better this time again. Definitely still room for improvement but liveable with.  The sharp eyed may notice that this placket is the “wrong” way around, that’s because despite tacking the other side, it stretched as I was sewing it and has little tucks in. Grr.

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Mistake no 3:  Prym poppers. Past experience shows that no matter how many times I reread the instructions or do trial runs on scrap fabric (ok, actually I did 0 trial runs this time), at least one of them always screws up on the real garment. I’ve never had the inserty applicator thingy jam onto the popper before though. Turned out it was due to the popper front and back being misalinged. Another sleep on it moment, before then taking apart with pliers and carefully lining up the replacement popper through the holes it’s predecessor left behind before attaching it.

Mistake no 4: I then sewed the original front with the awful placket to the rest of the t shirt and had to unpick the triple stretch lightening stitch raglan seems. Urgh.

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The neckband isn’t technically a mistake, but I did follow the Strathcona instructions and tried the slanty edge look and it’s not entirely successful. In particular I’m not happy with the scruffy insides showing when it’s worn open.  However I am now officially past caring.

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Because tis done now.  And it looks ok, although I wouldn’t want to subject it to close inspection from someone who knows how to sew. I think it has a bit of a cycling top vibe to it.  But most importantly The Boy is now home and on the mend. He hasn’t really passed comment on the new t shirt, but he did chose to wear it.

 

Mendathon

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Ahh, Mend it May, I had such a great vision of mending something everyday for a month. Before yesterday I had managed to mend one measley hanging loop on my coat.  Oh and a dog lead for a friend that I forget to take an after photo of. She was apparently singing my praises at work after coming home to find out that not only had I walked her dog as usual, I’d also taken her broken lead home, replaced the clip (with one from my bag of bits salvaged from deceased bags) and brought it back (she is a good friend). However, in the process of describing how amazed she was she described the lead as “leathery” (there’s definitely something sturdy inside that webbing) and raised doubts about her ability to handsew something so tough (although my mend includes hand sewing). So now all her workmates think I have specialist leather sewing equipment (actually I just used a denim needle) and have leaped to the conclusion that I make leather fetish wear. Sigh.

So as May is nearly over I decided to crack on and though I’m not averaging one mend a day now, no where near, I did pull my finger out and make a dent in my mending pile. Three pairs of home made jogging bottoms for the boy, all with holes in the right knee, now mended, ready to fight another day. (Note to self, for the next batch, consider amending the pattern to include reinforced knees).

The zipper on this hoodie had broken and a while ago (no idea how long now) I managed to buy the same type of zip I used to make it with so that I only had to replace one side. I’d unpicked the broken side, yesterday I tacked in and sewed up the replacement, reminding myself in the process what a pig to work with bold wiggly designs are on a fabric.  Luckily the hoodie was huge to start with so even after a while in mending purgatory it’s still a little baggy on him now.

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The same can’t be said for the three pairs of (shop bought) leggings that I tackled, one got mended, the other two with large holes in the knee’s got turned into shorts (the kind of thing my daughter wears under he school dress).  These all go on the pass on pile as they won’t fit The Girl anymore.

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Lastly, a five minute job resewing the cuffs on LSH hoodie, which some pillock (err, that’d be me then) sewed them on with a regular straight stitch which unsurprisingly popped. Now they are both resewn in a stretch stitch and the seam allowance has been zig zagged. That should last a bit better.

Do you find it easier to motivate yourself to mend things you made yourself in the first place?