In the spirit of getting better at sewing this year and of course reducing those piles of fabric round the place, I decided to try a sewing class at Made Marion. I enrolled in “Intro to Knits: The Perfect T-Shirt” run by Leimomi Oakes of the Dreamstress fame. If you get the chance to do one of her classes grab it, she’s amazing and you get to hang out at Made Marion which for someone with chronic “magpie eye” like me, is very dangerous. I had never really sewn much with knits and with very little success. But look what I produced in the class – a wearable T-shirt!
The fabric is a light weight light blue merino that has been sitting in my stash waiting for me to get brave. Of the patterns recommended in the course notes I chose the Blank Canvas Tee from 3 Hours Past the edge of the World. I picked this one mostly because it was free and I’d never downloaded a PDF pattern before so was curious to see what they would be like to use. Also it’s kimono sleeves which means two less seams to worry about. I like my first effort and have been wearing it, but did think I’d made it a bit short and the neckline a little too high. I’m also not completely sold on the baby blue colour on me – shades of school uniform.
In addition to really excellent tips on how to work with knit fabrics, the course covered how to alter necklines, sides and length and really helped me to start to overcome my fear of altering patterns. I mean obviously I know how to work a sewing machine and make up a basic pattern, my big lack of skill is in terms of Fit, making something look good on my body. So the class was great to give me the confidence to simply adjust the paper pattern and not worry if I stuffed up as I could always print it again. A huge bonus of the PDF pattern over buying a printed tissue pattern.
Feeling confident I made a second version, which I absolutely love and wear all the time. Another piece of fabric from the stash, I think I bought it for about $5 at the same Plunket fundraiser auction as the green silk I used for my skirt. With this one I lowered the neckline slightly to more of a scoop and added 10cm to the length. What I did forget was Leimomi’s instruction to stretch the neckband when attaching it to the body to avoid the gapey neckline – d’oh!
Still on a knit and free PDF pattern high I downloaded the Deer and Doe Plantain T-shirt and made up yet another long term stash resident this one’s origins forgotten in the mists of time (and my dodgy memory).
This pattern I really like, it’s very simple, fits me beautifully (hides most of the belly) and is my favourite 3/4 sleeve length. Because the fabric is a very light sheer knit I decided to leave the sleeves raw which makes them feel very delicate on my arms.
Three new T-shirts, improved sewing skills and new pattern confidence? The course was well worth the money, plus three pieces out of the stash whoop whoop!