I always had a hard time finding the right T-shirt, mostly because my arms are too short. Now with my renewed interest I sewing, I can alter it, but then why not making it from scratch? I can use much better fabrics than ready-to-wears. Very often, my ready-to-wear T-shirt worn out from the waist, as belt or jean buttons rubs the belly area. Probably, just probably, I mightbe able to make a longer lasting T-shirt by higher quality fabric.
So I started out. I chose Angela Wolf’s Ruched-T patternngela Wolf’s Ruched-T pattern. She always wears it in her Craftsy classes and it looked great. Based on my bust measurement, I was kind of between size L and XL. If I inhale, I’m XL but if I exhale, I’m L. So I picked size XL and traced pattern (I never cut out the pattern. I simply hate it.). I realized that 3/4 sleeve length is just perfect as my long sleeve, so I used that pattern instead.
Like I learned recently, I needed to make a muslin before I cut the fashion, $8-10 per yard fabric. I went to local fabric store and bought a cheapest Lycra/polyester knit. It was $3 per yd!
First I leaned a lesson: Use a large enough cutting mat if you are using rotary cutter!
I had 24″ x 18″ mat and that was far from enough. In the middle of the cutting, I had to move the mat, shifting everything. But I found rotary cutting easier and most knit sewing sites and classes recommends it over shears. I bought a larger mat, though it costed a fortune, even after 40% off coupon.
Then I did stay stitch. This was the hard one. I couldn’t keep it from stretching, even though I used a walking foot. I think I need more practice or some sort of stabilizer underneath.
The next step was shoulder. For this muslin, I used stretched out selvage. I think it was fine.
Then I sewed on sleeve.this was easier than I thought. I didn’t need to have a gathering stitch as the fabric stretched.
The next instruction was…for whatever reason, press the hems. Well I did.
Then sew the sleeve and side seams in one stitch. Again, this wasn’t too hard. I’m getting better at slightly stretching while sewing.
Then I tried on. It looked good, actually, except for sleeve hem. It looked too wide. Of course, it was for 3/4 sleeve!
So the second lesson: Don’t use 3/4 sleeve as long sleeve end. I need to correct the sleeve seam line.
Here comes the ruching. I set the stitch length at 5 mm and sewed as instructed. I couldn’t pull. Though it wasn’t in the instruction, I should have changed the tension, as I always do for gathering. Anyway, after additional stitch. I set the length. At first attempt it was hard to keep the length right. But second attempt I got better.
Then time to stitch the hem. I found it too hard and after all it was muslin. Later I learned that it is indeed really hard.
I attached the tall collar and tried it on!
Well, doesn’t look too bad but found loads of problems. Bust area is okay. Shoulder looks okay, too. But torso is too loose. Way too lose that I can’t see the ruching! The whole point of ruching is to hide my prominent belly by having horizontal folds. Not it doesn’t. And sleeve is too loose, too.
I think not just hems, but overall sleeve should be tighter.
Since shoulder had enough room, I decided to go one side down to size L. I ran to the fabric store and bought another cheap knit. This time total (1 3/4 yds) costed $9, so I was hoping I can finish wearable one.
To be continued. B.