Monday, December 20, 2010

T-shirt overkill

I've been sewing a few Christmas gifts, just like everyone else, but I'm not showing until the gifts have reached their recipients.   I've been sewing "home decor" - I'll share that with you later when I've put everything in place.  In between, I've been sewing some "instant gratification" projects - namely t-shirts.  I've come to realize that I tend to run out of layers to wear before I actually accumulate enough dirty laundry to make it worthwhile to run the washing machine.  

 First I made a turtle neck using the leftovers from my daughter's t-shirt.  I used an ancient Kwiksew pattern for a t-shirt, but I have sliced and diced it so that it no longer resembles its original self.  Namely, I raised the armholes considerably and narrowed the sleeves and body, and I think I got a fairly decent fit without it being skin tight.  This fabric is very soft and drapey, and quite fine - excellent for layering under a sweater.  I used the width of the neckband, but cut it 12 inches long, to then fold in half to make the turtle neck.  I never fold my turtle necks in half, like normal people - I just scrunch them up on my neck.  Guess I should also work on the "what-to-do-with-my-face-while-waiting-for-the-timer-to-click".  I was looking out the window.  Don't remember what caught my attention.

While I was all set up with black thread in the sewing machine and the serger, I decided to make more black tops.  I bought all that was left on the bolt of this knit ("unknown fibres" - Fabricland's favourite designation, it sometimes seems).  I think that it's rayon with lycra.  It's very fine (is that what they call tissue weight?), very soft, and an absolute horror to sew.  After all that you will see here, I still have over 6 metres left, so I felt that I had to get comfortable sewing it, and having slowed down a bit, taken my time, it turned out fairly well.

Another t-shirt (regular neck) using the same pattern as the previous turtleneck.  I stole Eugenia's idea (thank-you Eugenia!) for a removable cowl neck, and made an endless scarf.


Next I  used my well-used Vogue 7799, one in the same black, using the turtleneck view.  I cut the front on a fold, to omit the front seam, and I have narrowed the neck considerably.  (It was way too floppy in the original.)  It looks somewhat like the Burda turtlenecks that a lot of people have been sewing up.

Then I finally switched to brown (not than anyone can tell with the weird way the colours turned out in the pics).  This is (obviously) the view with the collar.
It's a fairly fine knit, but with a bit more body than the black, so much, much easier to handle.  I like this style for winter.  It's high enough on the neck to feel cozy and to keep the itchy wool sweaters at bay, but it's not a turtleneck, which can get overly boring at times.
I know - boring, boring boring.  Sometimes, though you just have to bite the bullet.  I still figure it takes a lot less time for me to sew these, than to attempt venturing out to the mall to buy.  Besides, I'd more than likely have to make alterations, and in that case it definitely is saner to just sew from scratch.  I admire all the lovely knit tops that everyone else is sewing, and I know that I should branch out in my knit sewing, but at this point in time my only thought is whether something will work in endless layering to keep me warm. 


  1. You do have what looks to be an excellent fit on your turtleneck. Way to go getting these basics made up. Even though they may not be exciting to sew, I know I am always happy to have them to reach for and I certainly need to add some more t-shirts here. I should follow your lead!

  2. Love all your tops and they are an excellent fit. I like the idea of the neck ring and have read about them on other blogs so I will try making some, come winter. Such a sensible idea and added warmth around the neck. That Vogue pattern is lovely, I've seen that made up by a friend.

  3. I agree with MushyWear and Sue, you have an excellent fit. Basics aren't exciting, but having a closet full of good basics does make life nice!

    I can't wait to see what gifts you've been sewing. I am always looking for homemade gift ideas. I have a few small gifts, I haven't posted either, out of fear the recipients might see them. My mom was on the plane when I posted about her quilt.

    Merry Christmas!

  4. Irene the turtleneck looks very good. Like you I've been making a lot of staples to beef up the wardrobe.

    I'll be back to see the gifts.

  5. I think the staples you are making are wonderful, and it's brilliant that you are able to knock them out so easily! I find knit quite challenging to work with, and often end up either handstitching hems, or serging on a long folded tube to finish... Do you have any tips for hemming knits?
    That Vogue pattern does look really useful. It looks by the cover illustration to have a centre front seam on two views, is this the case? Would it be easy to cut on the fold, to eliminate this seam?
    You look tres stylish and chic in your picture!

  6. You got a lot of basic tees to meet the needs of a winter, rewarding! I love the brown shirt, definitely ... maybe I should use your idea.

  7. Wow. You have been super productive making so many NOT BORING AT ALL very cute tops. And how nice to have basics to choose from. The separate infinity scarf is a great idea... It really dresses up a plain neckline, yet you can wear it with other garments as well... I look forward to seeing your Xmas gifts... Have a Merry One.

  8. I have made the wrap version of the Vogue and really love it, it is very cozy in the winter. Great collection of ts, I like Eugenia's idea too.

  9. Perfect job you've done with the knit fabric!
    Sewing basics may sound boring, but I don't think it's the case. I think basics are usually the most rewarding pieces of clothes and your Ts look very elegant and stylish.

  10. Great idea. I know my wife would love these custom t-shirts . Keep up the great work!

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