This month’s Sewing Blue blog tour is called Changing Up the Tee. Hosted by Made For Little Gents and featuring a great pattern by this month’s sponsor, GYCT Designs, the challenge was to take a basic t-shirt pattern and to ‘change it up’ into something different.
This pattern is the Primary Tee and Dress Pattern by GYCT Designs. This pattern is for a basic t-shirt, with set-in sleeves, sleeve length options, t-shirt or dress options, and an optional pocket. It is the perfect blank canvas.
As a special for readers during this blog tour you can get this pattern, the Primary Tee and Dress Pattern is on sale running from July 2-July 15, you can save $2 using code “SEWBLUE”. Also, make sure to read to the end for a giveaway!
I chose a size bigger than what Jonathan measured for, I wanted some extra growing room, as I always do – its really disappointing when something only fits them for 5 minutes before they grow out of it!
Earlier this year I bought some fabric that I thought my son, Jonathan, would like, he didn’t even blink at it, but instead went straight for these stripes:
These are all DBP from Knitpop, sadly none of these are currently available, but there are some other gorgeous stripes amongst all the other beautiful fabric there. Its definitely worth a look!
I wanted to combine these 3 fabrics into a single garment, I was recently inspired by some of the looks created during the Streak, Stroke, Stripe round of the most recent season on Project Run & Play and because the mustard and forest stripes are the same width I decided to attempt to create a look where the stripe continues straight through the different colours. And I’m quite pleased with what I managed to achieve.
Colour-Blocking, A Very Quick How-To
So, this is basically, just colour-blocking! Which is so easy to do with a basic tee pattern. Here, I’m going to show you how I modified the pattern, I have drawn some simple pictures to show you what changes I made to the actual pattern (I can’t show you the actual pattern pieces to protect the designer’s IP). So, please excuse my crudely drawn diagrams, they are not exactly to scale, and don’t show all the little details of the pattern, but they do show you the simple changes that I made to achieve my desired look.
I modified only the front and back bodice pieces, not the sleeves. So I took the back and front bodice pieces. These pieces are designed to be cut with the fabric on the fold, so my first step was to trace the pieces to create a single pattern piece for each of the front and back.
Note that I have included the pattern markings for the placement of the pocket – I intend to use the pocket and want the colour blocking to run behind it, so this is my guide for where I want to divide the front pattern piece.
The red dotted line in the picture above shows where I cut the pattern pieces, I cut the back at about the same place as the front, which is approx 2/3 of the way across.
So now I have my four new pattern pieces. Note that the labelling of the pattern pieces indicates which is left and right, these pattern pieces will now need to be cut with the right side of the fabric facing up for all pieces, or the wrong side of the fabric facing up for all pieces. Otherwise you could end up with two left sides, or even four left sides!
There is one step more to do:
I added a new seam allowance to the cut line of each pattern piece, otherwise the t-shirt will end up being smaller than intended.
And…that’s it. Quite simple really.
Now onto the stripe matching, this part was a bit more tricky.
I cut all the pattern pieces withe lower edge sitting right on a ‘white stripe’ in my fabric – my theory is that this should make the stripes line up evenly throughout, and in this case, that worked – this fabric is quite uniformly printed (with some fabrics the print doesn’t follow a straight line across the fabric and that is really frustrating!!!).
Normally with a t-shirt I would stitch it with the overlocker and it would be done really quickly in one single step. However, I did the main seams of this t-shirt with my regular sewing machine. I pinned, and pinned, and kept my stripes as neatly matched up as I could. And the end result was good. I started by preparing my front and back bodice pieces, joining the two different colours.
I top-stitched the colour-blocked edges using my coverstitch machine. I used the two outer needles and stitched, just using regular thread, either side of the seam line. This also helps to make seam sit flat.
I trimmed off any extra fabric close to the stitching on the wrong side.
Once the two bodice pieces were finished, I completed the t-shirt as per the instructions. The instructions follow what I think is the normal way to make a t-shirt, so I didn’t have any problems with that. I attached the pocket, stitched the shoulder seams, did the neck band, attached the sleeves. Then I prepared to stitch the sleeve and side seams all in one seam.
I started my pinning at the under arm seam and moved out from there, matching each stripe as I went. I stitched this seam with my regular machine, and then stitched close to this stitching with my overlocker. This is optional, the fabric won’t fray, but it will curl, and I think it looks neater this way, so I did it.
So, by careful pinning and careful stitching, I have some near-perfectly matched stripes all along both of my side seams too.
To finish the hems I used my coverstitch machine again, I reinserted the middle needle and did a 4-thread coverstitch. The only non-standard accessory that I bought for this machine is the clear presser foot – and it is definitely worth it, stitching hems in the round gives such a neat finish. This was quite tricky with the sleeves, my son is nearly 8, but the sleeve openings are still quite tiny! But, again, going carefully was the way to get it done.
I find that I tend to get tunnelling with DBP when I stitch with the raw edge of the fabric in the middle, so I peg my hems a little wider than I want and trim the excess off afterwards. These scissors (a birthday gift from my Mum last year or the year before) are nice and pointy and sharp and do a good job of trimming really close to the stitching.
Jonathan was really keen to wear this t-shirt. He loves that the fabric is so soft, he loves the colours, he loves the stripes, and I think he just loves that I made it for him! I love this little man.
Although he’s not headed for a career as a super-model – its not really his thing. He will quite obligingly do the front, side, back, side shots though lol.
The fit is near-perfect. The sleeves are just a touch too long. But considering that nearly all his other t-shirts are showing his bare wrists, this one is good and should last him at least a little while.
Thanks for reading! Check out what other bloggers are doing and come up with ideas for changing up the tee by following along with the blog tour below:
Fri. June 29
Made for Little Gents (Intro to Tour)
Mon. July 2
Family of Makers
Tues. July 3
Made for Little Gents
Wed. July 4
Thurs. July 5
Made by Laura!
Fri. July 6
Mon. July 9
Kate Will Knit | Sew Cute Couture by Kathy
Tues. July 10
Tenille’s Thread | Mahlica Designs
Wed. July 11
Momma Newey’s Makes | Our Play Place
Thurs. July 12
My Sewing Roots | Elli and Nels
Fri. July 13
Dreams and Stitches | Stylin’ Stacy