Tag Archives: kirsten kimono tee

TNT Tee Slashed

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

 

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Plain Grey Tee

What to do when I want to make some tees and don’t have any knit fabric in my stash?  Find a tee shirt in a thrift store, the bigger the better, and use the fabric.  A men’s 3X size certainly fit the bill.  It was massive!

I partly used the pattern and instructions for the  Kirsten Kimono tee, (free when you subscribe to the newsletter), but I also used an existing tee to get the right fit and I cut the same neckline as that tee.  I was going to make the size M but it turns out I’m more of a size L.  I added a 1/2 inch inch seam allowance to the pattern.

cutting out from 3X tee

I used the original bottom hem of the tee, and double needle hemmed the kimono sleeves.  I unpicked the ribbed neck from the original tee, shortened it, and sewed it to my new tee.

Grey tee on hanger

This might become my new favorite tee.

Close up of Grey Tee

I didn’t have any twill tape or knit tape to reinforce the neckline or shoulders, so I might have a problem with these areas getting stretched out of shape.

Grey Tee with shorts

 

I also experimented with a thrifted big white tee.  I made the fit relaxed but not oversized.  Again, I unpicked the original ribbed neck, resized it, and stitched it to my new neckline.  The join is a bit awkward at the back of the neck.  Maybe I should try to reposition it next time.

white tee on hanger

This time I also unpicked and reused the long reinforcing strip made from the same knit fabric as the shirt by sewing it to the neck and shoulders.

reinforced neck and shoulder

I tried out a different technique and made a wavy lettuce hem.  I sewed a very close, wide zigzag on a double thickness of fabric while stretching the fabric, and then trimmed close to the stitching on the inside.  I used this tutorial on lettuce hems published on Craftsy.

wavy lettuce hem

White Lettuce Tee

If you’d like more information and ideas on sewing knits take a look at my “learn to sew knits” board on Pinterest.

More experimenting with thrifted tees to follow!

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