Tag Archives: sewing knits

Racer Shorts

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Racer Shorts

Yes this is another KCW post 🙂

One of the projects was racer shorts for Mr. K. the inspiration comes from Made, and Dana’s tutorial on new school takes on racer shorts form the 70’s. I had planned to whip up more than 1 pair of these….however one pair with this material was quite enough!

lemons are for licking

The material was a nightmare ! I picked it up in a discount bin, its a athlenctic type knit. Its such a shame really that it is a grumpy material to work with, because its a bright happy blue, really light weight and so it will be comfortable to wear  Its the kind of knit that just skips stitches like crazy,

I stated with a zig-zag…no luck…and then went to my stretch stitches, well my thread kept breaking ! So I switched over to the  serger. It was still a pain 😦   the overlock part was fine, but the main seam needle thread kept breaking. Ugg !

lemons are for licking

 The saving grace on them was the bias tape that makes them a racer short. It totally stabilized the fabric so its the one part of the project that wasn’t at all frustrating. The detail it adds is nice, Mr. K got to choose the colour. And bonus not hemming 😀  I’m already looking at the fabric stash and trying to decide what to make into more bias tape so that I can make more racer shorts.

racer_posed2

I will mention and let you all see the horror of the waistband, and what I tried there. E has a pair of swim trunks that have a boxer like waist with 3 seams all gathered. I attempted it even though I knew the fabric was horrid to sew (stubborn when I get a design idea i guess.) It looks pretty ruff !

lemons are for licking

Good news is they stay up on his trim waistline and he has been wearing them all week.

PS: just realized I forgot to say the pattern is self drafted from a pair of his shorts

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Little Black Shirt

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I seem to have this on again off again flow to my sewing in the last while, and right now its on again. I have been puttering away at a few new shirts for myself. This one is another self drafted T-shirt, its a copy of a favorite of my wardrobe that is really looking worse for the wear.

the original

the original

new lil' black shirt

new lil’ black shirt

 

The material is made from a yummy knit I found in a remnant bin., It feels like a bamboo or cotton with spandex blend, or something oober soft and has a tun of stretch. I tell ya the Sundrop Studio in my town had got the best stuff in the discount bin, a lot of the fabrics are from really wide bolts too so there is a lot to work with.

The design is really basic a T-shirt with a cap sleeve and a bit of flair in the neckline. What I loved about the mother shirt is the neckline and colours. I tried to copy the cute neckline but it didn’t turn out 😦 so instead I tacked it up and made a keyhole neck line. The result is cute but not planned. I guess we call those things ‘happy acidents.’ And its part of my sewing adventure these things that go a bit wonky.

There is nothing to do about coping the colours though, black material was calling from the fabric stash, so its a black shirt lol. It needed a little something to add a bit of interest, enter contrasting thread.  I sort of have this thing with contrasting threads and the funny stitches all our machines have that no one uses. Using green thread I over stitched the shoulder seams. And then another stitch for the sleeve and hem.

blshirt

oooo contrast thread

 

As always since I’m long I added length so that the shirt hits where I like it, however I had a not so happy accident along the hemline. Serging the hem was a mess, the stretch of the fabric (i think?) made the stitching go all wonky, the tension was all wrong so the over-loops were all loose, I realigned the fabric and tried again…the result was no better. I mussed with it got frustrated, well when I looked at it it was all crooked and worse I had eaten up the nice long waistline. See I wanted this a little touch of contrasting thread in the hemline with the serger, and instead I ended up with a shirt that is few inches shorter than I like. In the attempt to salvage the shirt, I did a basic fold over hem, it is not strait at all, and really quite sad. Instead of a contrasting serged edge it is over stitched like the sleeve hem, and it looks fine done like that. Wished I had stopped my war with the serger sooner…sigh…then the hem would at least be strait.

the wiggly hem..at leadt it has cute green over-stitching

the wiggly hem..at leadt it has cute green over-stitching

So here is to honest sewing and learning as we go. I’ll still wear my imperfect creation, the hem can be camouflaged, the neckline is cute.

blshirt5

New Shirts

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As Rainy January slipped in to rainy February I found a few days to sit and sew. I was able to finish 2 projects for myself, both of them are great every day shirts. It seems like a small feat but its has been tricky lately to carve out the time to sew. When I make the time for my crafty side it pays off on many levels, I’m more relaxed and can take things in stride a bit better and I have new stuff !

This was a new attempt for me, a reglan T that is my size. I have done the reglan thing with a super style hoodie for my boy, (check it out here) but never for me. I don’t even have one to copy 😛 what is a girl to do ? Well search blogs of course. I found a free one size reglan style T-shirt over at Dixie DIY (check it out here.) I have sewn one of her patterns before (click again … lots of clicking today) the perfect concert T and liked her easy to follow straight forward design.

sooper silly selfie, with an effect on the phone

sooper silly selfie, with an effect on the phone

The free pattern was not going to fit me, and was not really the fit I had in mind, so I frankenstiened up a pattern mix of Dixie DIY’s free pattern and a self drafted pattern I made up last year and loved (once more… you can see it here.) Starting with her original free reglan shirt, I placed my self draft pattern over top matching the armpits, I adjusted the length and shape of the pattern. Then I made adjustments for my smaller bust line and narrow build. I cut the pattern in half down the middle of the shoulder seam and overlapped it to take out about an inch. This step translates into about 2 inches since it comes off each side. Now that I’m trying to post and explain this I wish I had thought to take some quick snapshots. I was really worried that this step would muck up the way that the sleeves fit, but in the end it was ok.

reglan5

You can see here that there is a bit of an odd thing going on at this in between stage with out the neckline.The sleeves are higher and odd, I just trimmed it off rounding it all out. In hindsight I should’ve taken a wee bit out of the middle on the ‘fold’ say about a half-inch to help the neckline, it’s a bit too wide n’ scoopy. The oversight was easily camouflaged with a wide neckband.

bunchy armpit fit

bunchy armpit fit

And there is a weird fit thing going on in the armpits…its like the arm hole is a bit too long? So most of the photos the shirt wrinkles up in the chest all weird (the best shot was the bad effect selfie, my photgrapher today is only 3’8″) Again I put it up to the adjusting, next time I will possibly make the armpit shorter. With a few more tweaks I’ll have a good reglan pattern 🙂 it is a great style to quickly whip up.

The other mistake is that I underestimated the length of my arms, the arms were too short. There was a moment of panic when I thought it would have to be a 3/4 length sleeve, not my favorite, instead I added longer cuffs. Looks alright almost like it was planned that way.  In the name of quick sewing I didn’t finish the bottom hem, here is a good shot of the long cuffs and raw serged hem.

reglan3
I think it is important to include all these imperfections, we put way to much pressure on ourselves. This shirt is not perfect, I already love how comfy it is. It has animal print and it fits long enough on my lanky frame, I know i will wear it imperfections and all. Its mostly why I don’t often finish the hem on jersey knit shirts…I can’t wait 10 more minutes to have them done!

see no one can tell its not perfect :)

see no one can tell its not perfect 🙂

 

A striped shirt for me

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Once again I’m posting long after a project has been done, worn and washed. So its not really a spring top sew along project, but this is as good a time as any to blog it don’t ya think will all the shirts posts going on. Any way I guess the good thing is that I can talk honestly about weather or not the garment works as real wearable clothing. This time its a shirt for me. I drafted the pattern off a store bought T-shirt that I love the fit of.  And it turned out great (Yes the original is long sleeved too) I often alter or smoosh 2 patterns together so it was nice to see that I can do a straight copy and have it fit all yummy like the original.Its not too tight with a slight tapering in the waist area. This creates a easy fit that is still flattering to my curves.

stripeT2

I got this fabric during the knit sale this past summer at my local store. Click here here and here to see other projects that have come out of the same sale. I am also not letting myself buy any other knits until I’ve sew threw a bunch of my stash. Sew many plans sew little time. 🙂

stripeT1

Anyway the fabric is great,  its a ribbed knit with lots of  stretch, so I used a zig-zag stitch and the serger.  The bottom hem is not hemmed at all, its a strait serge left raw. It looks finished and its fast. I do tend to cut a few corners in the name of ease and speed. And on this project I cut where ever I could. I’m kinda short on long sleeved shirts in the wardrobe this winter. (told ya it was a long gone sew, its spring already)

stripeT5I chose not to hem at all, it the name of ease and speed. Instead on the cuffs and neckline I used some leftover Fold Over Elastic (FOE.) I had it kicking around from when I had made some cloth diapers. I have used it before on the boys pant legs and what not. It’s like bias tape but stretchy, and can be a great way to make something look finished with little time.  Awesome right?

the circulation in my arm it cutting off aaaahhh

the circulation in my arm it cutting off aaaahhh

Wrong ! It was great for the neckline and solves some if the fussiness of broken stitches and ironing. However I made the wrists too tight, the elastic gets annoying when you push em’ up. And I do tend to push em’ up when I wash dishes, wipe up a mess…. um…. constantly. I may rip it out and hem up the sleeves regular style. In the mean time I’ve been stretching at them, hoping to relax the elastic a bit.

All in all I wear this shirt frequently, and still love it after a whole season. I plan on making a summer shirt project out of this fabric too.