Dandelion Tea

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.

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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”.

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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.

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?

T shirt twins.

Question, what to do with the rest of the fabric from the Halfblood Headbands?

Answer, dig out a t shirt pattern, cut out the parts for a red and a black t shirt, and mix them up!

If you happen to have misfiled the instructions for said pattern, search out a handy v neck tutorial and maybe Kelly’s thumbhole cuff tutorial too.  Oh and add a hem band too.

Use any left over fabric to facilitate some more Cabin 9 themed reverse applique, et voila. (You have to imagine the black thumbhole cuffs, they would’ve been great, but I fluffed it up, and when I tried to unpick them the fabric ripped and I didn’t have a big enough piece left to recut).

Two matching, yet different, t shirts. For two friends.  (No, this one didn’t end up with thumbhole cuffs either, I was interrupted by arguing children so many times whilst trying to cut them out that I accidentally forgot to cut the pattern piece on the fold and didn’t have enough fabric left to recut, so you’ll have to imagine the red cuffs.)

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With thanks to LSH for his design input and drafting help.

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One to give away.  (Apparently the t-shirt is just his style. The headband was a bit more of an alien concept. )

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And one to keep.

When someone is having a rough time…

… what better way to go than to make them a Cactus T shirt?

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Kimono T-shirt pattern free from Maria Denmark

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With added length for the beanpole it’s made for

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beautiful fabric from Kitschy Coo, perfect for the succulent growing recipient.

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Much better than flowers, don’t you think?

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It’s winging its way to her as I type.

Generation Gap

It’s official, I am now an Old Fogey who doesn’t understand modern fashion. Namely, the trend of wearing leggings as outerwear. The Girl now prefers to wear leggings and t shirts to the dresses with leggings that she lived in for so long. Cue lots of arguments between me and The Girl about the need for her to cover her bum before she goes out.

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She does have a couple of long t shirts that I let her get away with, so I made her another one. This is an Adv Tee, age 11, with 4 1/2″ added length.

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I just extended the sides straight, so I put 4″ slits at the bottom for ease of movement.

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I changed the front neckline from a v neck to a round neck, just cutting it by eye. The neckband came out rather narrow, but I like it. And to show which is the front, I sewed on 3 of these handmade Stuttgart buttons that I got for Christmas from a lovely friend who lives in Germany.

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And look, decency is preserved. (Well kind of, it runs up a bit cos it’s quite a fitting t shirt).

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Speaking of bum coverage, I made a little something for myself out of the remnants.

Starry pj’s

I spent most of December being ill. Bleugh. Not to be recommended. Just before I got ill I had a little flurry of sewing. These are the pj’s I made for the girl that provided the remnants for the first babygown. My local fabric shop has really upped their jersey game recently. Which is nice. And dangerous.

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The idea is that they have cuffs on the trousers and the t shirt can be unfolded to provide growing room…

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but I kind of screwed up on the trousers, they’re a bit tight and the pockets don’t stay inside yet the yoga band is on the loose side. Ho hum. She doesn’t seem to have noticed.

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Anyway, they solved the “mum I haven’t got any winter pj’s” crisis, along with the judicious mending of two of her other pairs of (me made) pj’s. Phew.  Next time stick to the Adv tee pattern for the top (and work on my v neck application) but try something new for the bottoms (I hacked a legging pattern I think).

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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.

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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).

Hello Goodbye

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This week the wonderful Jewel is hosting a pop up sew a long over on the Sew Alongs & Sewing Contests Facebook Page to encourage us to finish up some UFO’s (Un Finished Objects, aka abandoned projects). Her enthusiasm is infectious and my 3rd finished UFO this week is this Jalie 3132 .

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Scuse the wet hair, this was a rather rushed “while you’re on your way to work could you just take a pic of this” photo shoot this morning, the reason being so that I could take it with me to a coffee date to donate to a friend.

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This top is just too tight for my liking (see concertina effect on my inner elbow). Yes, I can wear it, but I don’t find it comfy or flattering and rather than keeping it in the hope it’ll fit better at some stage in the future, or to wear as a base layer, I’m liberating it so that it can find a forever home where it is loved and appreciated.

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I got this fabric about 2 and a half years ago on a tourist visit to Guthrie and Ghani thinking I’d make something for my then 6 year old with it, but when I got the pattern from Katrin in a CSC sewing swap I decided to use it for that instead. I got as far as tracing the pattern and doing a FBA but only cut out the back. The reason being that this fabric is thin and shifty and I was struggling to match the stripes up. Well, this week I commenced Operation Lower Your Standards and Get On With It and the top was duly cut out. The make itself was fairly straight forward, I even managed the binding on the V neck as per the instructions without any tears.

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With such a big gap between tracing the pattern and doing most of the cutting out and sewing up, I can’t really comment on if the sizing issue was my fault in choosing the wrong size, the pattern drafting, or my shape changing in the meantime. The pattern came together nicely and had a sensible amount of notches for matching up. It’s drafted with a 2″ hem, wider than the markings on my sewing machine, so I had to use masking tape to help me line it up for sewing! The sleeve is cut on the fold, which is slightly unusual and I must admit as someone used to asymmetric sleeves I’m a little skeptical that this is the best way to go. My main conclusion about this top is that pretty as it is, I don’t like working with this fabric. It’s a bit see through and not that fun to work with. However, I think it’s made up into a lovely top and I hope it gets lots of wear with my friend.

Hello Goodbye it is then.