A Comfy Tee for Cooler Weather


So, I’m officially freaking out. October is almost over, and I have nothing to wear because I haven’t made it yet. This is only a slight exaggeration. I’ve also decided to make Christmas presents for people rather than buy retail, and I’m kind of sort of running out of time. And did I mention that I’m making some bridesmaid dresses?

I’ve just been exhausted lately, and sleepy head + sewing machine = tragedy.

But that’s no reason to not celebrate the completion of my first t-shirt! Also, the first finished item on my list! Whee!

I really am excited about this, and all you veteran jersey-sewers can sagely nod your heads and give each other amused glances while I gush about my little project.

I’ve been taking the Sewing with Knits course on Craftsy, which I signed up for because I was unsure about working with knit fabrics. I had tried to refashion a knit dress into a little peplum-ish top. Before starting, I did a little research, and read on some blog somewhere (sorry–I don’t remember at all where I found it) about this girl who particularly hates a zig-zag stitch–totally understandable. She swore up and down that she just uses a regular straight stitch but she stretches out the fabric as she sews and that it worked just fine.

So, I tried it. And I hated it.

I’m sure I did something wrong, but a regular straight stitch just didn’t have the stretch that the fabric needed. As soon as I pulled the top over my head, I could feel stitches breaking. Also, the stitches tended to bubble up when they weren’t stretched–which I found unattractive.

Anyways, Sewing with Knits comes with six patterns. The first project is supposed to be a fleece hoodie, which I already have the fabric for and could do at any time, but on Friday I had to attend a casual engagement party and decided that I wanted to make the Butterick 5388 top with my rayon jersey.

As it turned out, I didn’t have quite enough fabric to make the top, so I decided to use the scoop neck tee pattern that came with my class. Cutting out the pieces was not the most fun I’ve ever had, but the construction was a breeze! I did struggle a bit with the clear elastic on the shoulder seams. I didn’t understand until afterwards that sewing the elastic in is the seam. I kept thinking that I needed to sew another seam alongside the elastic, which I did, but didn’t need to. Oh well. Now I know.

Because I was in a hurry, I chose not to finish any of the hems. After wearing it a couple of times, I think I want to go back and add sleeve and waist bands. The sleeves were a bit too short for me. And the rolling hem is not really a problem, that’s just not the message I want to put out there, you know?

I also decided that I wanted a full, swingy top, so I made the bottom of the tee about three inches wider and then drew a line out from just under the bust. And I learned that if you want to make your top “swingier,” this is not the way to do it. The size I made was large enough that I would have had plenty of room without the weird V points on either side. I may go back and adjust the side seams back to what they should have been.

But what really made me excited about this top was the collar. Specifically that I was able to apply the collar in one go and it turned out perfectly! It brought much joy to my life.

While it wasn’t the original intended pattern, it fulfills the intended purpose. And now I’m very excited to get started on the same pattern with my black and white striped jersey!




9 thoughts on “A Comfy Tee for Cooler Weather

  1. I think we took the same course. My long-sleeved tee was destined to be a pajama top from the beginning so I wasn’t too disappointed when my collar didn’t turn out as nicely as yours! But I have sewn some lovely leftover lace over it and I’m going forward bravely toward the next knit project. I want to make the surplice dress but have to find the just right fabric.

    • A classmate! Yay! 🙂
      I basted my collar first because I was convinced it would be a disaster; I was amazed when it turned out okay.
      I wasn’t going to make the surplice dress originally, but now I think I want to make a long-sleeved version for winter in some sort of nice, thick knit. But, you’re right–you have to find the right fabric! And that can be tricky if you’re not blessed with lots of fabric stores nearby.

    • It totally does! So quick and easy. I will most certainly be adding more knit items to my wardrobe. Thank goodness for Craftsy 🙂

        • I’ve really enjoyed it–I’ve seen all but the last two (there’s a bonus lesson on dip-dyeing). It was definitely worth it for a newbie sewist to take. Meg obviously knows her stuff and gives some really great tips. I attribute my success on my t-shirt to what I learned from her.

          The patterns are all pretty basic–I imagine you could find similar ones floating around the web. But I’d much rather have a printed pattern to follow (from a reputable source) than try to figure it out based on someone’s directions they’ve posted on the internet, you know?

  2. I agree. The class was a very good investment and though I had to make some fit adjustments because of my overall chubbiness, the tee pattern, anyway, is very nice. I love the big scoop neck. It’s very feminine and flattering. (Wonder if Meg’s ears are burning?)

    • The scoop neckline was perfect! I was afraid it would be too low for me.
      I hope her ears are pleasantly tingling since we have happy things to say 🙂

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