Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Practising with jersey

Half-term greetings! Today I am stepping out of my comfort zone: woven fabric is my safe area, and I always feel a little bit uneasy sewing with knits. This year I am determined to get over this fear, and learn some skills. So, I am sewing up some basic T-shirts. Do you make your own basics or save your sewing for fancier stuff?

I actually rather enjoyed sewing this in the end, and happily it was a quick make. This is New Look 6216 and is defined as "easy". Nice comfy looking T-shirt; I chose this as the shape looks easy to wear and nice and baggy without being the classic shapeless box T-shirt.

The pattern does not disappoint. As it is such a loose shape, there's no need to fit, just follow the pattern. It is also very comfortable to wear, and drapes nicely around the body. I rather like the bat-wing shape to the sleeves. It's like being in the 80's all over again!

The fabric has a cute  print of grey, blue and black circles, and is a thin viscose jersey from the fabric Mecca that is Fabricland. I do shop in other places, honest! But having three children drastically curtails fabric shopping time and Fabricland is near, large enough to get into with a buggy, and - best of all - cheap.

I often struggle with neckline finishes on knit fabric, though I think a lot of it is psychological! This shirt has a neckband to finish the neck. I actually managed to get my head around what I should be doing. I just don't have enough hands: one hand holding the shirt, one stretching the neckband to fit the neckline; now, all I need is another to put in the pins, and I'll be fine!

I top-stitched the neck with a zigzag as I don't know if my machine would work with a twin needle. It only has one spool holder on top. Need to dig out the instruction manual for future reference.

It's not a bad job on the whole, but there is a tiny pucker on the back neck - not bad enough to warrant unpicking though!!

I feel like I should just keep making T-shirts till I get it right! In fact I went out today and bought some cotton jersey to have another go at that neck.  Hopefully, practice will make perfect.

These outdoor photos all look a bit sun-bleached. But they'll have to do as posing in the garden in winter is only possible when the sun is high in the sky.  Roll on spring...


  1. This pattern looks like a great place to start with stepping out of your comfort zone - it's a great basic top and I'm sure you'll get lots of wear out of it!

  2. Your top looks great, I need to master the twin needle on my machine as well :)

    1. Yes looks like I can use a twin needle, but I need to buy an extra spindle. Not sure I can be bothered really. I don't mind the zigzag top-stitching.

  3. Looks great! It took me awhile to get comfortable with knits also but now I LOVE them! I will say that the necklines still cause me to break out in hives.....

  4. This looks great! The neckband is something I struggled with too, finishing on knits in general is quite tricky I find. I really enjoy making t-shirts as I wear them all the time and enjoy knowing that I made it. Good luck with your next knit adventures!

  5. Thank you. It is a good feeling wearing tops you've made.

  6. Welcome to the world of knits! This is lovely - I love a good batwing top :) I still think finishing is the trickiest part of sewing with knits, but banded edges like this is my favourite method :)

  7. I enjoyed sewing this and I am starting to get my head around finishing the neckline.