Yep, folks. You read that right. I made another baseball tee yesterday. That’s three in three days. I. just. can’t. stop.
This time I used a different knit print in purple. I carefully marked my bust point and laid my pattern out on the print with a careful eye. And what did I get for all that careful premeditated work? Pasties. Yes, that’s right. Pasties. Sigh.
But did that stop me from wearing it to Little League Opening Day??? Are you kidding me? Of course not. I wore that top proudly. I would have worn tassels but it wasn’t appropriate to the venue. ;)
I attached the hem band at first, but didn’t like it on this top. The knit print was really lightweight and it didn’t look “right” with the hem band. So I hacked it off and just coverstitched the hem instead. I think it works perfectly now. Well, except for the pasties, of course.
Well, here it is in all its pastie glory…
I think I might try a lace tee next. It’s been on my mind lately. And now that I have the baseball tee obsession scratched, I’m ready for something else now. Although I think I’m ready to name this pattern (Simplicity 5271) to TNT status.
Do you have the Depeche Mode song in your head now? If so, you have my sincerest apologies. It’s not one of their better songs.
I bet you’re wondering if I finished my graphic tee today. Well, yes I did! And I love it. I received quite a few unsolicitations on it as well. *blushing* This time, I stretched the binding a little more which made it lie flatter than the white and blue tee from yesterday, but also raised the neckline. So next time I make this, I might scoop out the neckline a little more because, as is, it’s more of a crew neck than a scoop neck, even if it is still comfy. The other changes I made were to straighten the curved hem and add a hem band of 4.5 inches folded over. I love it this way. It has a sweatshirty vibe now. My dad says it looks 70′s retro. I thought it was more 80′s but I’ll take it as a compliment. The graphic print absolutely makes this baseball tee; it takes it from mundane to awesome. I love it. In fact, I believe I enabled Susan to buy some as I texted the picture of the bolt to her yesterday. I hope I left enough yardage for her. ;)
Without further ado, here’s my new favorite top…
I’m making the purple print to wear tomorrow. After that I’m thinking of making a lace tee. Totes 80′s! I’m totally an 80′s gal. Unapologetically.
Yep, that’s me. I’m obsessed with baseball tees. I’m seeing them everywhere. In sewing blogland, in my little town. I had to have one. I may have to have at least three. Could this new trend replace my batwing top obsession of last year? So obsessed am I that I stopped by my local Yardage town and bought some new knits to make up some more baseball tees.
Isn’t that top graphic print so cool? I love it. I also bought that purple print below it and some plain black t-shirt knit for the sleeves on both. Did I mention that I bought these knits while sporting a white and turquoise baseball tee freshly made this morning?
No? How remiss of me. If you will recall, I made a sz adult small in the snake print the other day that was a wadder due to inappropriate fabric choices. This time, I made sure to choose appropriate fabric. No condom fabric for me! After making the “inappropriate” tee, I knew that I wanted to change the neckline shape to a scoop neck. The problem though, was how to do that on a raglan pattern. As you know or maybe not, the raglan sleeve is also part of the body of the shirt, so you need to alter the front pattern piece and the sleeve pattern piece. One thing I didn’t know at the outset was that I would need to snug up the front of the t-shirt before I changed the neckline, so that the resulting neckline would not gape. Once again, Sherril came to my rescue. She was the one who gave me that hot tip. So I removed 1/4 inch total from the raglan sleeve pattern and the front bodice pattern (1/8 inch each) before I carved out my scoop.
The curved ruler in the photo outlines the scooped neckline I cut out of the original pattern. I could have gone lower/wider, but this was tasteful and is comfortable to wear.
I think I could tweak the fit a bit more in the front sleeve to bodice join as well as the torso, but I am quite pleased with my new top. I’m all set now to watch Jack play baseball this season. ;)
On this version, I coverstitched the sleeve hems as well as securing the serged neck binding seam. I cut the curved hem on the torso, but just serge finished the raw edges for a proper baseball effect.
And here’s how the finished top looks on me.
In other news, the little boy who lives with is going to be asking a jolly man for his two front teeth this winter. Exactly how long does it take those teeth to grow in anyhow?
Happy sewing everyone. If all goes well tomorrow, I may have another top (or two!) to show you. Crossing fingers!
Have you guys and gals noticed all the raglan knit tops popping up everywhere in sewing blogland lately? I am clearly easily influenced. I have used Simplicity 5271 for lounge pants and PJ’s before, but I have never used the raglan top included in the envelope. I have to admit that it’s not that attractive on the envelope. It looks really unfitted and baggy.
But I thought I could remedy those issues in the paper pattern. But I digress, on to the review…
Pattern Description: Unisex child’s, teens’ and adults’ pants, cap, knit top and pet bed. I made View A or B, I can’t tell the difference between the two, the raglan sleeve knit top.
Pattern Sizing: XS – XL. I made the child size medium to start for the test run and then adjusted it smaller after sewing it up. Then I made up a straight up child size small for the final version. I also tried the adult size small for myself.
I first compared the kids pattern to a baseball top I had just bought for Jack.
It appeared that the size medium would be a good fit right out of the gate. Wrong!
And now the wonders of free hand serging the excess off.
I had to take in the arms and side seams to get the fit even close to right. I also tried too thin of a neck binding. It looked ridiculous, so I ripped it out and put in wider one. That was better, but the neckline on the medium was still too big, as well as a little stretched out probably.
Since I knew I was making two of the same exact shirt, one for my nephew and one for the little boy who lives with me, I thought I would cut out the size small and see how that fit. Bingo! The size was spot on (photographic evidence further down). I gave the size small to my nephew and the medium that made smaller to Jack. I figured I could make many more correctly sized shirts for Jack in the future and he probably wouldn’t notice this make-it-work moment in his shirt anyway.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, except less boxy.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, except I didn’t use them much. Especially for the neckline treatment. I used this tutorial again on how to make and attach a neck binding. I love it. It’s super easy, and gives you a great result each time. It’s pretty quick too. I thought I would use my coverstitch exclusively for necklines going forward when I bought it, but it’s really fiddly to use for bindings. I find it’s faster to use this tutorial/method than for me to use the coverstitch machine. Honest!
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
- Easy pattern
- Quick to sew
- Easy to alter
- Neckline is large
- Boxy and unfitted
- Super long bodice
Fabric used: Cotton interlock knits from Yardage Town for the kid shirts, and for me, a plasticky/glittery snake print knit from the National Swap Meet and faux stretch leather I bought in LA with Sherril and Jeannette. Unfortunately, I made poor fabric choices for my top. Sigh.
Pattern changes or design changes made:
- As I mentioned earlier, the fit was really boxy and large, so I tapered the sleeves for a more fitted look. Pro tip: When altering a sleeve pattern, you must make sure that the side seams of the sleeve where they join together to form the sleeve are the same length. Match the side seams and fold the pattern in half and that’s your new grain line. Ta da! Don’t ask me how I know this now.
- The neckline is really large for the intended look, so I didn’t use 5/8 seam allowances, but rather a 1/4 inch SA. I also used a larger binding than the pattern called for, about 2-1/4 inches wide, folded over.
- I also added a curved hem to the bodice like the top I purchased for Jack.
- I just serged the hem allowance on both the sleeves and bodice hem for a more casual look. I think I would do a traditional hem for a more finished look on an adult top.
Any problems encountered while sewing this pattern? Other than starting with the wrong size, and wrong width neck binding, no.
How long did it take you to make it really? Including tracing the pattern, making my pattern adjustments, fitting the medium size properly, it probably took me about 3 hours to finish the first one (the size medium). Tracing, cutting and sewing up the size small was a lot quicker, about 1.75 hours and the adult size, even shorter. This is a super quick make if you don’t have to fiddle with fitting.
Which sewing machine(s) did you use for construction? Since I didn’t use the coverstitch for the hems or neck binding, her newly made cover stayed on for the entire project. I did use my serger for construction and to finish the hem of the bodice and sleeves for a more casual look. I used my Singer Featherweight to baste the neckline in place.
Will you sew it again or recommend it to others? I will definitely sew it again for Jack now that I know the proper size. I could probably whip one up from cutting to sewing in an hour now, provided I have the fabric on hand. I would definitely recommend it, but you will have to adjust the fit of the sleeves and possibly the neckline. They are just too big. For an adult female, I would probably add some shaping in the waistline and lower the neckline a bit. I don’t like a high neckline.
Conclusion: Great basic raglan tee pattern.. Make sure you fit it as you like. Otherwise, it’s a pretty quick sew.
I gave the size medium to Jack and will give the sz small to my nephew Thor for his birthday. I also made him a pair of glow in the dark PJ pants to match Jack. Here’s Jack wearing the Sz Small shirt with Thor’s PJ pants.
Here are some close-ups of the binding and hem treatments. Just serging the raw edges was a super fast way to finish those areas. It looks pretty casual though (perfect for PJs!).
My top, as I mentioned earlier, was a victim of poor fabric choices. My snake skin print has so much lycra or coating on it that it feels like a condom. The glitter coating on top of the snake skin print takes this fabric to a porn-tastic level, and let’s not forget to mention how thin it is. Pair it with a slightly more substantial stretch faux leather and you have a recipe for a hoochie mama top with a droopy neckline due to the faux leather binding being heavier than the main fabric. Sounds tasteful, doesn’t it? Well, here it is in all it’s hoochie glory.
It is constructed well though. I haven’t finished the hems as I am not going to wear it. I will admit it does have some hanger appeal, so one of my friends said she would take it. I’m mailing it to her today. Hopefully she likes it, or if not, will still be my friend after receiving it. ;)
Happy sewing my friends!
A week or so ago, I undertook my second attempt ever to copy an existing garment. Not just a design knockoff, but to literally copy a garment in my possession. A lot of you readers might say to yourself, “Big deal, I do that all the time.” Well, I don’t do that all the time. I had a lot of questions. I thought about all the ways it could go wrong.
Starting with the garment in question this time, an old knit nightgown of my mother’s. This nightgown is old. It’s been worn and washed uncountable times. When I tried to trace off a pattern from it, I could see that it either wasn’t cut and sewn on grain, or it had warped out of shape so much from wear and washing. It was really difficult to get a “read” on the cut of this garment. Also, there was gathering on the bodice front and raglan sleeves. Since I wasn’t going to take apart my mother’s existing nightgown to make a pattern, I had to guesstimate the amount fabric for the gathering on both the front pattern piece and on the raglan sleeve pattern. I traced the front, the back and the sleeves. I opted not to include the keyhole opening on the front bodice to simplify things just a bit.
I sewed up a muslin in a knit from the stash that I just knew wasn’t worthy of real garment status. It just reeked of pilling potential. It had a cute print, but I didn’t trust it to last more than a couple of washes. In my muslin process, I discovered that I forgotten to true up my side seams and my hems. I slapdashed those up to a modicum of evenness. I slavishly copied the neck binding treatment from the original garment, but it seemed bulky and unnecessarily complicated. It was an inside and outside binding sewn together with two fronts and one back. A lot of seams, bulk and work for a little nightgown. I consulted my friend Beth from Sunnygal Studio and she agreed that I could do it more simply and pointed me to this video tutorial on Threads which I used for my final neck treatment.
For the final version of the nightgown, I chose a knit I’ve had in my stash almost from the beginning of my sewing career. I bought it specially for my Mom, always intending to make her PJ’s out of it, from Fabric.com probably about 6 years ago. It has a beautiful hand, silky and substantial. It’s a pinkish peach background with a taupe geometric pattern, colors that my Mom has worn a lot. I remember buying at least four yards, because I was going to make some PJ’s for myself as well. which I just might do tomorrow. ;)
The muslin fit was ok, if a bit wide in the neckline. I had forgotten to gather the raglan sleeves and I probably didn’t gather the front neckline enough. I didn’t stretch the neck binding as I sewed it, so it is a bit unstable.
Today, I trued up the side seams and hem on the paper pattern, then I cut out and sewed up my mom’s nightgown. It probably took me about 3.5-4 hours total from cutting to hemming. I didn’t add lace to the sleeves, nor did I add the keyhole, as I mentioned earlier. The neck binding worked like a charm and is very stable.
I coverstitched the hem and just folded over the edges of the raglan sleeves and stitched them on my Featherweight. They aren’t fitted sleeves, so I just used a longer stitch length.
My mom really loves her new nightgowns (she even wants the dodgy muslin!). I’m so glad that I have the ability to replicate well-loved garments. It was fun figuring out how to make this nightgown; kind of like a puzzle or a mystery. I really enjoyed the process, even if it took some thinking and help along the way. It was awesome to use up some deep stash too. I can’t believe I actually kept to the original plan for the fabric. Awesome!
Here are the original, muslin and final versions side by side for comparison.
Happy sewing everyone!