To those who see this shirt, it probably seems like just an ordinary shirt. But for me, it is a MILESTONE! Allow me to explain…
No, I’m not really that pink, but I was the only one available to take my picture. I figured you might be nosy like me and be annoyed that you had no clue what I look like. 😉
I received a hand-me-down shirt from my sister, and it was like the Goldilocks of shirts–just right! I’ve never done a rub-off/tracing of an existing garment to make a pattern. Though nervous, I knew I was going to want to master this skill eventually, so no better time than the present! I had the perfect 4-year-old fabric in my stash that was nearly identical in drape and weight to the original shirt. I’m pretty sure my fabric is rayon, but it’s extremely silky soft and slub-knit-ish and breathable. (That’s the original on the left in all it’s pilly glory, and my navy/cream stripe me-made copy on the right.)
I am typically a very lazy, cut-all-corners, good-enough, make-due, kind of sewist. I also have very few wearable garments to show for all my sewing time. Hmmm…methinks there may be a connection there. I have been torturing myself over the past year to take my time and enjoy the process of making something for myself. And with 3-year-old Little Man underfoot now, I’ve had to really get used to not staying up until 2am to finish something in one sitting. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m getting there. I’m also actually learning things! Who would’ve thunk it?!
With truly every step of the process of creating this shirt, I had to remind myself, “Ashley, don’t be lazy!” Though careful, I had a hard time getting the original shirt to lay really flat without stretching it. The overall fit is mildly smaller, but I think it’s more flattering now. I omitted the pocket–the original never lays flat and is awkward. I also made the collar skinnier, which I prefer from another fave shirt.
I planned to replicate the sleeve details too, but after carefully stitching on the tabs, the sleeves weren’t going to fold/lay the same way. So as I pondered whether to just make this a cap-sleeved shirt, I once again decided to not be lazy. I sat and carefully took out the seams of the tabs–so carefully in fact that you can’t even tell they were ever there! (Just don’t ask to see those shredded tabs…)
Despite my current skill set, I have never really done a normal hem on knit fabric. I was extremely nervous to even attempt it, but I knew it was another technique I was going to want to master someday, and remember I was trying not to be lazy. So, I did it. And, holy moly, it actually turned out pretty darn good for a first attempt!
I also managed to get those stripes matched up! The sides were on purpose, the sleeves…well, happy accident. I still hadn’t looked up how to match those, and it was the one time during the entire making of this shirt that I decided to wing it. Not perfect, but I’m very happy it worked out and now know where to match point sleeves when cutting.
The insides are raw, but none are visible from the outside–I haven’t braved my serger yet. That bottom hem was already a bit shorter than I prefer, so I didn’t have much to work with. Yes, I do see that it’s a little wavy and crooked and looks like I temporarily lost the gift of sight while sewing it, but did I mention it was my first time hemming a knit?
Overall, I am very happy with my milestone of a shirt. The first time for many things, but most of all, a first time for not being lazy! I’m so glad I took the time, because I’m pretty sure I have my first sloper!
Have you had to learn to be a more patient sewist since having kids (or even in general)? Or ever traced off an existing garment?
Also linking up here this week: