T shirts. A staple make for me, cos that’s what I wear day in day out, but I tend to make the same ones all the time, because I’ve adjusted the pattern for me and lets face it, how different can a t shirt be?
Then I saw the Chai t-shirt pattern by Liesl and Co, and not only do the pleats stand out, but the sleeves are different from the t-shirt patterns I have too, plus it has A/B, C and D cup size options, so I thought I might be able to get away with not doing a Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) and I decided to give it a go.
Looking through my fabric to make a test one, I found this burgundy knit, with not much stretch, that I thought would do. I didn’t think there would be enough, so I pulled out a remnant of black jersey with a styilised dandelion print and thought I’d have to use it for the yokes and sleeves. In the end, I had enough to cut everything in the burgundy, but I had the idea in my head then so I cut the yokes and neckband in the dandelions.
Then one night whilst noodling on the internet I saw someone painting dandelions with a toilet roll tube. It looked so easy (this gives you the idea) and I thought, “I know, I’ll put a couple of dandelions onto the shirt front using some of my screenprint dye”.
Needless to say it did not come out as well as the internet suggested it would. Luckily I tried it on a scrap bit of fabric. But LSH liked the seeds flying off that I’d done with the glue spreader.
So I tried again using my glue spreader, working lines around in a circle and then adding them inwards and that worked much better and I decided to go for it on my real fabric. (Obviously they didn’t come out quite as good as my test, but hey). Painting a flat piece of fabric that isn’t sewn up yet is definitely easier than painting a t shirt, a definite sewing perk.
So, after faffing around with printing the fabric and setting the dye, the t shirt came together really quickly. I attached the neckband my usual way rather than as the instructions.
Oops, ignore the damp mark at the front, I’d just been washing up!
The yokes and sleeves are size L, the main pieces are L graded to XL at the waist and the side seams are sewn in a slightly smaller seam allowance than the 1/2″ in the pattern because I was worried it would be a bit tight having had it over my head. I chose the D cup. The fit is alright, but I think maybe I could use a little more room in the chest, the pleats hide what’s going on a little but I think there’s fabric pooling at the top due to it being a bit tight around my, err, chest apex.
So, as test garments go this is pretty wearable and I’m really chuffed with how the dandelions came out, it turns it from a “using up the oddments” garment into something special. Now to decide what to do next time, do I size up, or try and work out how to do an FBA on the front (which is a different shape to your average t shirt, cos pleats). Any thoughts on top tips?