Inspired by Tanit-Isis, like so many others, I decided to try something out of my comfort zone. For me, this was knits.
I wear a lot of long-sleeve T-shirts, so I thought this would be the place to start. It also has the benefit of being a bit of a stash-buster: I had the same bright idea a number of years ago but didn’t get beyond “step 1. buy some fabric on sale”.
I was looking for plain, long-sleeve, crew-neck, fitted. View B of Butterick 5386 (leopard) was the closest I got, and the only thing missing is the crew neck. This one is more of a scoop. And it was cheap.
I traced the pattern pieces, shortened the torso by an inch, and redrew the neckline smaller. The shoulders looked way too sloped, especially compared to the T-shirt I have that I was using for inspiration, but I figured I should at least try to make it according to the pattern, so I left it as is. I sewed the shoulder seams, tried it on, and ended up with flaps near my ears. Then I angled the shoulders down so they looked right. And they were. Lesson learned: I have a fairly good eye for proportion and angles; I should learn to trust it.
I then cut the neckline (having just cut straight across at first). I’ve actually done a number of simple necklines, so getting the right shape wasn’t too hard. I was extra pleased when, after I’d already cut it out, I folded the shirt-to-be in half along the CF-CB line and found that the two sides matched pretty much perfectly.
I didn’t want to finish it according to the instructions. In fact, I’m doing very little by way of assembly according to the instructions. It calls for the neckline to simply be turned under and stitched. At first I was going to attach a band (so that the folded edge of the band is the inside circumference of the neck), but then I decided to bind the edge the way my inspiration T-shirt is done. (This is basically the same as binding with bias tape, only because it’s a stretch you don’t need to cut the tape on the bias.)
I stitched the band to the wrong side using a shallow zigzag for some stretch. For the right side, I couldn’t figure out what stitch, if any, I had on my simple machine that would look decent and maintain the stretch. So I decided to hand stitch it. Looks not bad. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to be able to get my head through it now.
This will slow things down a bit. Some possible ways of getting past this issue:
- give up on my method and do it according to the instructions
- use a double needle (which involves walking 20 min to the fabric store, buying a double needle, 20 min back [for a total of 40 min of winter] and figuring out how to use it)
- go with my first thought of how to apply the band
However, I’m busy with work these days (and teaching my first dance class tonight!), so it’ll have to wait.