Monday, November 24, 2014

Sometimes simple is really really great

I made a flannel t-shirt, and I love it.

You read that right. A flannel t-shirt.

Years ago, I used a vintage t-shirt pattern to make the stegosaurus tee, and wore it to death. I loved the vintage fit and the way the center back seam fitted the shirt much better than my more current patterns did.

Then more recently, I found this vintage pattern (Simplicity 5523) in my stash and made up this quick lobster tee to see how it fit. The shoulders were very wide (something I've noticed a lot in my patterns from the seventies; I think maybe it's because their knits really didn't have much stretch) but I loved the shirttail hemline, the scoop is just right, and so I have been stewing on the needed modifications ever since.  When you get to the bottom of this post, you'll see my plea for help.

The boys and I made our way to Joann's Saturday morning to buy flannel for their very first sewing projects. Both of my boys plus two of their friends want to learn how to sew! I can't tell you how excited I was to hear that. I thought pajama pants would be an easy first project that they would also really like to own, so we hunted for flannel.

While at Joann's, I found this plaid flannel for myself, from their Plaiditudes line. It pills quite a bit, so I can't say I'm super impressed with the washability but it is very warm and cosy and super soft. So that's the upside.

I will literally buy anything that combines gray and camel. Anything.
Anyway, while thinking about how that pattern fit, and thinking maybe it would be better suited for a woven instead of knits, I decided I needed a flannel tee. Something I can wear under my cardigans on days that are frigid, but without the collar and buttons of a more structured shirt.
It took 30 or 40 minutes to pop this baby together, and I love it! I was right, the fit is spot on in a woven.  I did a little slash and spread for a dart at the bustline, and narrowed the shoulders by 1/2" on either side. For this one, I cut the back on the fold instead of shaped with a center seam.  I also added a ribbed neckband and used bias tape for the shirttail hem. I had a doctor's appointment today, and my nurse said "That is the cutest top! I love it!," so there. A real human out in the world approved of my flannel t-shirt.
Now is where I'm turning to you, kind internets, to help me. The bias tape sewed quite nicely along the hem, but starting and stopping it at the upturned corner was a bad idea (see close-up photo). I have never sewn much with bias binding, I could use some advanced tips.

  • Where is the best place to start attaching bias tape on a hemline like this? 
  • Should I have used satin bias instead? 
  • Should I have clipped the curve at the corners to make it turn better or was I trying to force too much fabric into that curve?
OK, that's it for my questions. If anyone can help me, please weigh in!

So now I'd like to comment on something that really makes me shake my head.  I recently found the darkside of the sewing blogs, the forum whose entire goal seems to be to mock people who choose to sew and post their creations online. It really makes me question the heart of humanity. I'm not going to say there aren't posts that have merit, such as the questionable greed of "designing" simple patterns like an a-line skirt, and then charging $16 for it. I've been frustrated by that myself and written about it here. But my option is to not buy them. I just do not see the need to be hateful and vicious about sewing {not that there's ever an excuse to be hateful and vicious, but seriously ~ sewing??}. What starts out as a seemingly fair-balanced vent on the price of simple patterns will turn into an all-out mockery of a blogger's body. Or God forbid, you have drag lines! The shame! Hey, I buy very nice ready-to-wear clothing that has those same lines. Is anyone outing DVF for that? I doubt it.

You know what my head was thinking when I read some of that?

These people need real problems.

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