Tuesday, May 11, 2004

T-shirts Part II

The ugly floral rib fabric in the Kwik Sew pattern didn't work either. Same stretched out neckline as the Jalie. I really think it's the fabric because I've made a few nightshirts using Kwik Sew and didn't have problems with two of them but the third, using the same exact pattern, was a dud and I blame the fabric on that one too. It was also a knit with poor recovery. So I turned to my stash to look for other knits to use for the elusive t-shirt. Fortunately I spent loads of time cutting swatches of all my fabric and taping or stapling them to index cards, along with yardage and box number, so I only had to browse the cards and not wade through many boxes of fabric (and get depressed doing it). I found numerous potential candidates and removed them from their rings (they're organized by box number). I finally settled on a blue stripe cotton lycra that I purchased a few years ago from fabric.com. The stripes are about 1/4" wide in shades of light grayish blue, navy and white. I tossed the fabric in the washer and dryer and set about cutting out the Jalie pattern in one size smaller than I had tried before. I'm hoping the extra stretch of the fabric, plus my desire for a closer fitting t-shirt will work with the smaller size. I fussed way too much over the pattern layout. The front and back are cut on the fold so I periodically pinned along a stripe through both layers to ensure the fabric was lined up. Despite my perfectionism, the top of one shoulder is just a tiny bit off from the other. This fabric rolls like crazy so I really doubt I'll be all that accurate in my stitching anyway. After I'd cut it out, I checked a few books to see what they say about knits that roll and at least one suggested increasing the seam allowances if the pattern calls for 1/4". Too late. I'll have to make due. I was really thrifty with the layout and managed to cut out the pattern in about 1 yard, leaving at least a yard, if not more, for a second shirt if I mess it up. It helped that the fabric was 64 inches wide. I also paused when it came time to cut the neck banding. Crossgrain or not? Crossgrain is stretchier, which may be overkill with this fabric, and the stripes run crossgrain so the neck edge will be either one solid color if I'm really careful with my stitching, or a stripe. It could look really nice or really bad depending on my ability to sew it on. Along the grain still has stretch but would result in a striped band. I wasn't sure that it would match the striping at the neck and thus would look really awful. I tried it with a scrap but couldn't tell. While taking a break I flipped through Sunday circulars and spied a RTW striped shirt with a band that was of the same fabric and cut on the cross grain. So there was my answer. I think. I'm anxious to see how this turns out but nervous to try it. The story of my sewing, really.

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