I’ve been wanting to tackle knits for a while, and, specifically, I’ve wanted to try to make some of my own t-shirts. I’ve seen so many cute tutorials for t-shirt embellishments that require buying two shirts, and I wanted to see if I could just do the whole thing from scratch. Found out: I can!
First of all, I took a Target t-shirt that fits me well and traced it. Then I added 1/4″ seam allowances and bigger allowances for hemming the bottom and the sleeves.
(Sorry. I can’t get some of these pictures to rotate properly. Grrr……) I tried making a t-shirt last summer, but the under-arms were too tight, and I finally realized why. Notice how the sleeve needs to extend beyond the armpit. This is key to making a shirt that fits properly.
I made bias tape out of the same fabric and put that around the neck to form a neckband.
The embellishment I was trying to do was this one from Make It And Love It. I used less flowers than she did since it was something new I was trying and I didn’t want to overdo it on something brand new and untried. At first, I tried using my darning foot and sewing the swirls with a free motion, but the thick fabric would not move, and I kept getting error messages and knotted-up thread. Finally, I tried using a regular foot and just pivoting every few stitches to make the swirl. That worked, but I had a hard time keeping the points of the flower in the center. After I finished each one, there was an empty space in the middle of each flower where the points were supposed to meet, and that looked kind of stupid. I’ve taught my kids that whenever an art project goes sour, we just need to take what we’ve got and make it work, rather than giving up and getting frustrated. So…that’s what I tried to do. I needed to think of something to put in the center of each flower to cover that bare spot. Then I thought of Sachiko’s embellished t-shirt, and I took one circle for each flower, folded it into thirds, and then, while holding the point, tried to kind of open it up and tack it down on the center of each of the flowers. I think it worked. It’s a totally different look that I was originally going for, but I think it turned out pretty well, considering the frustrations I faced.
The verdict on making my own t-shirt: Win! Remember to use a ball point needle and a longer stitch length. If your machine has a stretch stitch, use that on the inner seams.
The verdict on Ashley’s flower embellishment: Don’t try this embellishment at home unless you’re a tough cookie who handles stress well.