We talk a lot about selfish sewing out here in the sewing-blog world. I love to sew for myself, don't get me wrong, but sometimes it is fun to do it for others. Sometimes. Sadly since I sew at a snail's pace, it usually ends up arriving way past the original due date.
My sister asked to me in June to recreate a favorite knit t-shirt that she was having a hard time fitting into because of her pregnancy. It didn't seem like too hard of a project, and I had recently finished my own Scout Tee from Grainline (which is still unblogged) and figured it would be the perfect jumping off point.
Originally I was going to sew two shirts, a knit and woven. I unfortunately (see above: "snail's pace") only got around to making the woven version. I used some handkerchief weight cotton/linen fabric found at Joann's (of all places!). Summer would have been a much more appropriate time of the year for linen, but luckily we had some lovely weather in October for her to be able to wear it!
I redrafted the neckline based on the inspiration tee, which was square. I then created a front and back yoke out the front and back pattern pieces. From the new yoke pieces, I drafted facings to be able to close it all in neatly. I did not use any interfacing with the neckline; only later did I realize that I should have, since (as you can see) it sort of stretched out after the multiple wearings. By the way, the knit t-shirt she had also had facings, which I thought was unusual for a knit. I usually see edges bound with bias binding. I hope some one else is just as geeky about these findings when inspecting clothing!
I did have a bit of a problem with the shirt gathers —not due to anything more than operator error. When I sewed up the muslin for this top I had added 8" total to the front and back for the gathering. When I went to do the final shirt, I couldn't find the muslin or the notebook I had been keeping with all my project notes. It was now three moths later, and all I remembered was the number eight. So, that is what I added. To the center front. On the fold. Some are probably shaking their heads already seeing were this is headed. Yes, for those who don't see it yet, instead of adding only 8" to the center front, I ended up added 16", since I added it to the fold! I realized it after cutting out the front. It was huge. But I still kept going, I figured it would never get done if I stopped and it was going to be gathered! I changed the back to only be 12" wide. Surprisingly it all worked out!
From the muslin, a few other things were changed. I started with a straight size 4 for the bust and shoulders. Once she tried it on, I realized that I need to do a broad shoulder adjustment (about a 1/2") and lower the armhole for her by another inch. I also added another half-inch to the sleeve for a bit more coverage and a few more inches for length at the bottom. Other than the changes to style of the pattern, listed above, it was only a few easy fixes for the shirt. I should have compensated for the baby belly in the hem (you can see it is bit higher in the front) but I knew the belly might get bigger, so I just left it as is. For any further shirts, I will go back to the original 8". I have since found the original muslin and my notebook. Whoops.
I also stitched in a little bit of ribbon so that she could tell the front from the back quickly. Isn't it adorable?
Isn't she adorable??
Have you done any garment sewing for other people? Do you get it done in a timely fashion? Did they wear it...more than once? That can be the clincher for selfish sewing, we won't feel bad if we don't wear our own creations! Haha!