Wednesday, October 20, 2010

T-shirts for Taya

First and foremost I would like to thank everyone who has found their way to my blog.  I LOVE getting comments!  It now feels that I am not simply sending this into thin air.

Secondly - mea culpa.  I ranted about there being no A-cup size in the new multi-cup sized patterns (well, there isn't in the patterns I've bought), but Ann's lovely dress is from a pattern with an A-cup front.  I will definitely have to acquire that one and try it out!  I promise to do better research the next time I decide that I have to spout off about something.

With my daughter's (23rd) birthday coming up, I wanted to make her some things.  She's very far away, and she does like mama to make her things.  Last year it was a fuzzy robe and matching socks.  This year I really couldn't think what.  We're not the same size.  She isn't the size that she was when I last saw her.  She refuses to send me measurements until she loses some weight.  Well, t-shirts seemed to fit the bill.  Stretchy - forgiving in size.  I had been looking at all sorts of wonderful ideas of how to jazz up a shirt and I had all sorts of plans, but for some reason things just didn't work out quite as well as I had wanted.  My designer muse was failing me.  Add to that, the fact that anything bigger than what I wear looks huge to me, and then nothing looks right.  Then there was the pressure to hurry up and get all this done, pack it (and various other assorted things that she needed from her room) and get it to the post office.  I'm not thrilled, but here are the results.

One black t-shirt.  I used an old Kwiksew pattern (sorry, I just don't feel like running to the other room to look up the number - it's an old pattern - used many times before) - it does have more "shape" than what it looks like in the picture (bad styling on my part).  I lowered the neckline and I raised the armholes.  (I find that Kwiksew has impossibly large armholes and sleeves.)  This is a cotton knit, fairly stable and easy to sew.

Two black t-shirts.  This one is a rayon knit - very soft, very comfy-feeling, and not the easiest thing to sew.  I still have some of this fabric left for me, so you might see it again soon in an other version.

I had problems uploading the pictures, so they didn't happen in the most logical of orders here, but this is my sad attempt at a pleated ruffle.  I just serged around the neck edge, turned it under and stitched, then stitched on the ruffle.  The flower is just pinned on - something I made for a demonstration at the store a while ago, and it seemed to work on this shirt.  She can unpin it and wear it on something else if she wants, or not.

For the ruffle I just cut a width of fabric and started pleating.  It actually took 2 widths of fabric to have enough to go around the neck.  I pinned and basted, and when the two ends met, I joined them together and fudged the last few pleats.  I don't do mathematical calculations very well.

For this neckline I used a piece of black knit and applied it as you would do with ribbing.  The flower is the same black that I cut a narrow strip of, stretched and steamed it into floppy spaghetti, then looped, tacked and added a button.

And then there were scarves ...

This burned-out velvet I bought a few years back, with visions of a twenties-style evening dress.  Well, the dress hasn't happened yet, I really have no need to be dreaming up evening dresses, and I needed something for a scarf.  May-be I need a velvet scarf, too.  And may-be there could be a few Christmas presents in that one piece of fabric.  This was so easy - this stuff rips so well - no cutting!  I think I ripped off about a 24" piece, stitched with right sides together, turned right-side out and sewed up the "hole".  One downside - the fingers took some abuse from steam when I was "pressing".   

Then I had to use up the end of the flowered fabric for something, because I couldn't just toss it, and I didn't want to put it back on the shelf, so I made a neckring.  Nowhere near as elegant as Sharon's, but it is soft and cuddly.  If you want directions - visit Sharon.  There are also instructions in the last Vogue Patterns magazine (that's October/November 2010).

And now I really must go get some sleep.  I really do need to start these writing exercises a little earlier in the evening!


  1. I like the way you customised the necklines on all the tshirts. They are super cute!

  2. You are such a good mother! I'm sure your daughter will love these tops, they look so nice!

  3. I think you did awesome on the ruffle! I have a fashion design degree and love, love, love seeing people using their mad sewing skills and putting them to work. Very nice job.
    Kristina J.

  4. I especially like the pleating on that last tee! Happy Blogging Irene!

  5. You made your daughter lovely gifts and love the t-shirts and like the detail on the necklines.

    Thanks for the lovely compliment on my cardigan. There is a cd-rom by Coats & Clark: Crochet Made Easy and will have you crocheting in no time.