Wednesday, September 23, 2009

More T-shirts....

Two more T-shirts.  I only took pictures of one because the second one is even less exciting than this one!

They are intended to be worn under a hoodie and a fleece pullover (both hand-me-downs in great shape).  Do you remember me mentioning that the Preacher is rather particular about his T-shirts?  Well, these tops are made from two T-shirts that he wore only once or twice and then deemed unacceptable.  The fabric isn't great, but for layering T's, it works fine.

I used fold-over elastic on the neck.  This is the first time I've used it and I really like it.  It looks nicer than a ribbing neckband and is stretchier than a bound one.  Putting it on couldn't be easier - just fold the elastic over the edge and stitch it down.  It should be stretched a little bit, but not a lot.  Before putting it on, I sewed one shoulder seam and then sewed the other seam after the neckline was finished.  It seems easier to determine the best length for the elastic this way.

For the lettuce edge on the sleeve and hem, I use a zigzag stitch on my sewing machine.  I like to do it in two passes.  For the first, I stitch about 1/4" away from the edge and stretch the fabric while using a stitch of medium length and width.  Then I trim off the 1/4", getting right next to the zigzag stitches.  For the second pass, I keep the stitch width the same, but decrease the length so it is nearly a satin stitch and then stretch the fabric again while sewing.  I find it looks best if the one side of the stitch is actually just off the fabric.

The second shirt has the same elastic at the neck, but has traditional hems.  Of course, the one pictured (with ruffles!!) is preferred by my daughter.


  1. It took me awhile to figure out that "the preacher" is actually your husband. I kept thinking you were sewing for the preacher at your church who was a close friend. Haha! I'm going to come back to this lettuce edge instruction if I ever have a little girl to sew for. And I thought you had to have a special machine to do it!

  2. I've been following you for a couple of months now, and since I didn't know about your husband's shirt requirements, I followed the link you provided. Then, I followed another in your side bar to some VERY cute jeans/pants you made in around 20 something February of this year! And, also, a "boat neck-ish" shirt in a lovely green (which I think you are modeling with the same pants if my eyes do not deceive me).

    I'm commenting here on it because I wasn't sure you would see it otherwise, but I am very impressed! For many years now, I have felt bored and frustrated by off the rack clothes in stores--"poor quality, new styles that don't suit my taste or figure, too expensive!" I complain to myself, and so I either don't or can't buy. I don't sew (beyond a short course of classes in Jr. High), but other women in my family did, and I know that one can make something to one's tastes for a fraction of the cost. So, I keep resolving to get a machine and try.

    Well, I am rambling as I generally do, but I wanted to tell you how much I admire your skill in sewing and "spirit" in life. It seems to me that you don't let life get you down--it can't be easy living far from "home" (a.k.a. making a new home in a far place), having children, and a husband in the ministry.

    I not-so-recently (3 years ago) moved far from home myself, from OK state to NJ. I do wish I could say that I'm doing as well as you are, but I feel that I'm doing a little better all the time. As for a husband and children, I don't have those (I am blessed with a wonderful boyfriend), but I admire your cheerful attitude (I grew up involved with a "bad" ministry, and it has really soured my outlook on church.) I know they aren't/can't be ALL bad, I just don't feel any inclination to try the waters again. I also grew up in a "bad" family, and so I am full of apprehension, contradiction, and dread regarding being a mother and being married to a father (That is to say, marrying my boyfriend and having children; neither he nor I have any now.) Thank you for showing me a positive example of a woman who is these things through your online sewing blog.

  3. i never saw fold-over elastic. does it sell by the yard?

  4. I think your daughter has excellent taste - I'm all about ruffles these days, too. ;) Nice work on the tees.

  5. Cute t-shirt.....beautiful job on the FOE !!!!