There’s a Reason to Make Your Own Clothes

I was feeling particularly bored, and thought about shopping for fabric. Unfortunately, my conscience wouldn’t let me buy more fabric (or attempt to convince my husband that I should buy some more) until I finish the projects in queue that had fabric, pattern, and notions ready to go.

I reached into my project queue drawer, and the next iteration of Butterick 5495 is what I drew out. I wasn’t too happy about that, since I didn’t quite like this pattern. But the fabric was bought, laundered, and ready to go, so I might as well get it over with!

After I finished my first round of Butterick 5495, I was disappointed with how low the neckline was cut. I wouldn’t be able to wear this shirt modestly without a camisole underneath. Not that it’s a problem, but there’s a reason to making your own clothes: making them so they fit! Not only fit your measurements that might not line up exactly the same in all areas of your body given an off-the-rack size, but also to fit for areas like narrow shoulders, or being particularly well-endowed (or not so much in my case). So, in that case, I should have taken the time to see how the neckline would look on my front before I cut the fabric.

Well, I learned my lesson. I had bought enough fabric to make that pattern again, in another style. So when I went to cut out the front again, I made sure to adjust the neckline a whole 4″ up. I also altered the pattern (and had JUST enough fabric to do so) in the fact that I wanted the long sleeve design, not the half-sleeve design. But the long sleeve design was a much longer tunic, and I already felt the length of the shorter design was long enough. Anyhow, that wasn’t a difficult change, just needed to cut the length of the shirt at a different line.

Front view

Front view

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Top-stitching Awesomeness

Since an unexpected amount of snow fell in our area this afternoon, causing us to think that a nice layer of ice would cover our roads by this evening, we decided to forego our Groupon date afternoon and stay in. My husband said I was looking on the bright-side, as I mused about being able to finish his shirt tonight (as well as finishing watching the entire series of Star Trek: The Next Generation on Netflix).  But I did! And he seems pretty happy about it:

Richard modeling his new shirt

Richard modeling his new shirt

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This Fabric Is Prettier Than Wine Dupioni

Sunday, I made a muslin of a skirt for a friend. That took about three hours of cutting and sewing time to get done. Since I felt so accomplished, I started on Richard’s striped, black shirt.

A while ago, I found a beautiful, nay, sexy black shirting with white and silver pinstripes online from Mood Fabrics. I showed it to Richard, and he approved of it.

Black/Metallic silver stripes shirting

Black/Metallic silver stripes shirting

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Corgi Embroidery

Remember the shirt I whipped up a couple weeks ago? Here’s a close up of the embroidery mom stitched on the front for me.  It’s a very close representation of what my corgi looks like!

Corgi on my shirt!

Corgi on my shirt!

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Fastest Shirt Ever!

Many Sewing Expos ago, I thought I would actually try to learn to sew my own garments, so I took a couple classes and from one of those classes, I discovered this book called “Sew U Home Stretch“. It has three basic patterns (crewneck shirt, raglan shirt, and a dress/skirt) and from those three patterns, Wendy shows you how to alter them to create different garments from hoodies to baby-doll dresses. It’s pretty neat, especially if you’re not afraid to alter a pattern a little bit (with direction).

What I made today was a V-neck t-shirt. There are a couple things I would do differently, but I had this idea a while ago to have mom use her fancy Bernia to embroider a corgi on the front, like an Izod gator. She said she needed a double knit shirt in order to do that. So, instead of shopping at the store to try to find a basic, double knit shirt, I made my own. Finally.  And I’ll be seeing my parents tomorrow for lunch, so I put this item on my Winter Break To-Do list to get done by today so I would have it to give them when I saw them tomorrow.

V-neck t-shirt

V-neck t-shirt

With my Mood Fabrics Groupon, I bought a yard and a half of a light blue double knit for $7/yard. I probably only needed a yard, but it doesn’t hurt to have a little more. In fact, I probably should have made a neckband with the leftover fabric instead of doing the rolled hem around the neckline. I also did a rolled hem on the sleeves.

I had intended on hemming the bottom with a twin needle stitch, but the machine kept pulling the fabric into the area under the feed dogs. I think my tension was off somewhere, so that will have to be an experiment for another time. The alteration she suggested in the book was to take 6″ down from where the neckline usually is (this is based on a crewneck shirt), but I only did it by 4″. (Otherwise, I’d have to wear a tank top under my shirt for modesty’s sake).

I used a lot of overlock stitching, since the patterns use a 1/4″ seam allowance, instead of the usual 5/8″ seam allowance. In the future, I’ll have to make sure to mark my pattern markings differently, since my scissor clips were too deep in areas, that I had to do some extra stitching to keep holes from appearing.

From cutting to finishing, this probably took me about three hours to make. Definitely the fastest I’ve ever made a garment, ever!

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