The monthly theme for the Sewcialists blog this November is TNT patterns. TNT stands for “tried ‘n’ true”. They are the patterns that you have adjusted the fit on and can quickly make up multiple times.
I made the Kirsten Kimono Tee by Maria Denmark for the fourth time. The pattern is free when you sign up for her newsletter. It is a basic tee with an extended shoulder providing some coverage without having to insert sleeves.
I made the first three using the fabric from thrifted X-large men’s tee shirts. The white one has a curly lettuce hem on the sleeves and bottom. I made them in a size large, changed the neckline to be less wide, dropped the shoulder 1/2 inch, and added 1/2 in to the hip.
I have been wanting to try a color blocked version. I was inspired by Bust Your Scraps on Sew Everything Blog, and Shop Your Stash on Wendy Ward’s blog.
I had a thrifted piece of knit fabric I bought for 50 cents that I wanted to combine with some black knit fabric I already had. The dotted black and white fabric is a little dizzy but I thought it would be perfect as an accent fabric.
I pondered some possibilities.
I went with #2 as I was already smitten with Wendy’s striped and solid version, and had saved it in my Pinterest likes.
When I first started sewing I thought place-on-fold pattern pieces which look like half pattern pieces were weird. I wanted to draw out the other side too. Well, to make the front of my color blocked top, I did just that. Then I drew my slash line and added a 1/2 in seam allowance.
This knit fabric was harder to sew than the tee shirt jersey I had used before. It was stretchier. I don’t know but I’m guessing it may have some lycra or spandex content. At first I thought it might be interlock, but it curls. Jersey curls, and it curls to the right side of the fabric.
I didn’t know which way to orient the fabric for cutting and I didn’t have selvedges to give me a clue. I read a few refresher articles referenced below. I cut the tee out with a rotary cutter with the greatest stretch going horizontally across the body. I switched to a ballpoint needle, put on the walking foot, and sewed with a zigzag stitch of roughly 1 and 1/2 to 2 stitch length and width. I also made a binding strip which I sewed to the right side of the tee’s neckline.
So good so far.
Then I put in my stretch twin needle for the hemming and top stitching.
Yikes! The tunneling was so extreme it looked like I had a piping cord in there. I decreased my tension, but the tunneling was still noticeable. I was planning on top stitching the shoulders and the diagonal seam but decided against it. I have gotten perfect results with the twin needle hemming on previous tees, so I assume my fabric was to blame.
Still, I love it!
It looks dressier than the other tees I have made.
It’s so striking on the hanger. What do you think of the asymmetrical look?
The articles I used for reference:
The Seasoned Homemaker – Intro to sewing knits
Sewing with knits : the details
Lladybird – Conquering knits
Tilly and the buttons – How to cut knit fabric
Sewing knit fabric on a regular sewing machine
So glad my stash busting post and colour blocked t-shirt samples were inspiring!! Yours looks great.
Thank you, Wendy! That dotted piece of fabric was a lucky find – perfect for this tee.
I’m always fascinated with these posts–the way you use recycled fabric and make decisions and make everything work! The color block was the perfect way to use that dotted fabric. A whole shirt of just that would be very busy, i think.
It really did come together well. I had that piece of fabric for awhile and would hold it up to me and think about it. I had also saved the photo of my inspiration shirt, then I put 1 and 2 together. Thank you for reading along and your encouraging and insightful comments, Kerry!