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).


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).

Starting our February Scrap Busting Challenge

Stashbusting Sewalong Challenge Button 2016 (1).png

So, this month the theme over at the Stashbusting Sewalong (2016) group on facebook is Scrapbusting. Anyone is welcome to join in, if you’re in the Stashbusting group or not (and if you fancy joining, just fire off a request, we’re a friendly bunch). I am co-hosting in February, with my sewing Fairy Godmother, who is usually too busy sewing to blog, so we’re going to do some joint posts for you.  So, without further ado, I hand you over to Crystal…

Admit it, how many did NOT look at the scrap bin when we followed Judy in January to organize our Stash? I don’t know about you, but mine takes up way too much space. Pull out your scrap bin and sort with us.

BE RUTHLESS! You will feel freed and more inspired when you can see the treasures buried there.

Before you start, decide what is the minimum size that you need to do something with. If you’re not into paper piecing it may well be the size of a pocket. Now, remember that size and when you’re going through your heap, throw out anything that smaller than your designated minimum straight away. Right, lets get looking.


  • Did I love or hate working with this fabric? Did it pill? Did it fray?
  • Do I really have enough to cut something out of, or is it just a weird puzzle shape? (I had way too many of these)
  • Can I find the grain?
  • Was this fabric cheap/easily replaced?
  • Is it worth my time/space to keep this?
  • How soon do I see myself using this scrap?
  • Can I imagine a project it would work in?

I have my scraps tagged in my Evernote database as Remnant= More than ¼ yard, but less than 1 yard from selvage to selvage. I have 40 such pieces of fabric totalling 20.66 yards of my stash total. For math geeks: 7% of my stash is less than 1 yard scraps.

After sorting my scrap bin, I decided I had to be able to see them, if I was going to be inspired use them. So I made a place for them amongst the rest of my stash, where I can see it and think about what I want to do with each piece. So far it’s helping, because I’ve got plans to sew some of it this month for our Stashbusting Scrapbusting Theme.

What about the rest? Truth is, some of it is going to be trash. If it’s sat there for years and nothing has come of it, let it go. Don’t let yourself be bogged down. If you are lucky, you might have a place to recycle some of the more usable scraps. The timing worked out for me and I have an acquaintance who’s 10yr old daughter received a sewing machine from Santa. One of the bags above is trash. The second bag is for the budding sewer. I feel very good about giving her a big bag stuffed with pieces I won’t use. She’ll have the opportunity to play around with lots of different fabrics from denim to knits to silk.

I like to off load my scraps onto school for their junk modelling pile, it makes a change from all the egg boxes they get normally. I also have a new route, the print workshop where I’m taking a course is always on the lookout for scrap of fabric to clean up with.

Then I have this:

broken dreams.jpg

I call it my Box of Broken Dreams. At first glance, it looks like a box of UFOs or failed projects. It is, in a way, but this box is not about the garments that didn’t work out, it’s about the fabric used in those failures. That beautiful, expensive, treasured fabric that I absolutely ruined and now I can’t bear to get rid of the poor mutilated pieces. How many of you have something like this stashed away? My challenge to you and to myself this week is to open it up, and be real. Pull out and place with the stash what is usable and part with what’s used up.

Right, that’s it, homework set, we’ll leave you in peace until Friday when we’ll post some ideas of what you can do with your fabric that survived the cull!


In the mean time if you really can’t wait, this months theme for the Sew-A-Long and Sewing Contests Group (again, just send a request should you want to join) is for a Table runner with matching table mats, a perfect link up with our theme!)