In the sewing community, the topic of what the “best” sewing machine comes up quite often. It’s a subjective discussion, and everyone has their favorite brand, their can’t-live-without feature, et cetera. But when it comes down to it, there’s no “best” machine, it’s all about what YOU as the sewist can do with what you’re given. There are sewists out there who still use antique treadles to get the job done and churn out stunning garments and quilts on these ancient machines. There’s no walking foot. There’s no buttonhole guide. There’s no zig-zag function. It’s pure simplicity. Mastering sewing techniques are far more worthwhile than extra features on a machine (although, I do admit, they make getting the job done a LOT easier).
I don’t have a treadle. And mom’s “vintage” Singer 2210 is hardly an antique. But it doesn’t have the same advanced functions that my Baby Lock Elizabeth does (who was taken to the shop this afternoon, and I probably won’t see her again until the 16th of December). So, to put my point into practice (and especially since I grew up sewing on this machine), I’ve decided I’ll continue to sew my projects (and not just a handful of muslins or clothes for Cassie) as I can on the Singer. There’s no walking foot; all I have to sew my knits with is a ballpoint needle and a skinny zig-zag stitch.
Back in August, I bought some sparkly silver knit from Fabric.com as an impulse buy. It looks more blue on the website, but when rolled out, it’s reminiscent of a Sci-Fi-ish, Cyberman silver… with glitter. It’s the perfect embodiment for a Seattle winter. Naturally, I loved it. I bought a yard and a half, which is plenty to knock out a shirt or some kind of top. I decided to do something simple, and knew somewhere deep in my stash of patterns, I had a simple shirt pattern. I had a couple that were a few years old (and by a few years, I mean the late 80’s, early-to-mid 90’s). But one I found was given to me by my mom and really wasn’t that old at all. In fact, I still have a shirt that she made for me from this pattern created by Sandra Betzina. Being published in 2005, it’s not really that old and it isn’t even out of print.
Pull-over knit top, … with DARTS! (and half-length sleeve)
I opted for the pattern for bust size 34.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Almost exactly, unintentionally. The pattern shows a blue ribbed shirt, mine’s silver.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Oh, Sandra. I did get a little scared at first when I saw the wall-of-text per instruction, but as I read, you were VERY clear on your instruction, so that a lesser experienced sewist would know exactly what to do. I mostly skimmed the instructions after that, making sure that I was assembling the shirt in the correct order and hemming up the sleeves in the specified amount.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I really like the darts. I’m not a busty girl, so even if I’m wearing a “girly” t-shirt, my bust looks rather… small. It’s not that I want to BE busty, but the darts do a very good job of adding another dimension to an otherwise generic shirt. Including the collar band and excluding the optional ties (which I left optional), there’s only four pattern pieces. If I had given the pattern more thought, I would have probably cut out the long sleeves, but since the weight of the fabric is pretty light weight, the half-length sleeves worked out really well and I can wear this shirt into the spring. No complaints about this pattern at all, actually.
A sparkly silver knit from Fabric.com that’s a rayon/poly blend.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made
Left the bottom hem a little longer than instructed, but I like longer shirts. And even though I top stitched the collar band, I still put a smidge of hem tape under it to make sure that it would stay put and not flip up.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
If I needed another basic shirt, I’d definitely go with this one first. Highly recommended.
The thing this shirt pattern has over other knit shirt patterns are the darts. It’s a subtle, but nice detail that gives the garment more depth and a better looking fit.