Monday, 29 August 2011
Almost free shirts
A plain, long-sleeved t-shirt with something of a boat-neck: what could be harder to find? Since I don't want just one, but millions, it has to be almost free, too. So I hit up Burdastyle's free patterns, armed myself with several metres of cheap knit fabric, and sewed till I had a headache.
First up was the Almost Waste-less Top. I was intrigued not just by the wastelessness, but also the construction. Alas, I don't have a wrist circumference of 18cm, so the first go ended up as the short sleeved version above. I couldn't understand the neck facing instructions, so settled for sewing in 2 strips of fabric. This dreadful photo is the best I could come up with, but the construction is nice: a strip across the top that forms the sleeves as well, and rectangular front and back panels, with strips at the sides running up to form the bottom of the sleeves. Essentially princess seams (I think. I'm still learning the lingo.)
It did feel a little tight around the armholes, so I tried again, making the front and back panels narrower and the side panels wider to accommodate the wider sleeve I drew. This time I figured out the neck facings. Sewing on the sleeves with the shoulder seam at the top and the sleeve seam under the arm only gave me funny gathered sleeves, so I tried it with the sleeve seams aligned with the shoulder seams. Better, but I think I'll take them off and keep this as a short-sleeved shirt.
(A word of warning: do not try to cut this pattern out in a limited space. It's impossible. Also, do not try it if the only space you have is your bedroom floor. You will need a decent-sized table to work on.)
Next up: pull à manche 3/4 et col bénitier tout simple... And it is indeed simple, and quick. Comfortable, too. I've never owned a cowl-necked garment before, but I think I like it. I took it in about an inch on each side and under the sleeves, and about an inch down the back. Very easy to try on and adjust.
Lastly: winging it. I have a black knit top that's the first thing I grab whenever it's not in the wash. I bought it years ago, at a shop that's disappeared, and it's perfect. I traced the pattern off and sewed it up in less time than it took to make any of the other shirts. Time to make a few million of them!