I've been wanting to try sewing with knits for a while now, but I'd been scared away from trying by others' recounted fear and warnings of how challenging it can be. I am not usually one to engage in any formal instruction when trying something new, preferring instead to jump right in and learn as I go. So once I'd heard from enough people that sewing with knits is "no big deal", I mustered up enough courage and (equipped with the vast resource that is the internet and all of the helpful, lovely tips that you crafty bloggers offer out to the cloud) set out to repurpose some of my old t-shirts that were in the donate pile. My goal: to make a long sleeve t-shirt for Eli.
Sometimes these first endeavors result in miraculously beautiful results, like with my first quilting project. Other times, however, the results are not so glamorous. As you can guess from the title of this post, this one fell into the latter category. Ok, calling this a disaster is a bit of a misnomer because it fails to acknowledge all that I learned in making this shirt; but I will get to that in a moment.
|the 'right' side of the shirt - the pattern calls for exposed seams, which look kind of cool and are extra comfy for baby|
With this issue solved it seemed the shirt could have been salvaged; however I had complicated things further by trying to modify the pattern I was using. Originally I wanted to make the raglan tee from Sewing For Boys, but despite what it says in the instructions the pattern does not go down to 12-18 months. Somewhere in the blogosphere I had seen someone modify the "R" is for Romper pattern from the same book into a simple t-shirt, so I figured I could do this too. Here's what I learned - when trying something new (if you want to succeed) don't unnecessarily complicate things. Take on one new challenge at a time - either try sewing with knits or try modifying a pattern, but not both. Ultimately the neckline turned out wonky because the romper calls for two snap panels, which I chose not to include. This resulted in two strange seams along the collar band and a neck opening that is about an inch too wide. In addition, the lengths of the arms and body of the shirt are arbitrary since the romper pattern had neither long sleeves nor a hemline at the waist - they may turn out to be just fine, but I won't know until the boy grows big enough to try this thing on.
|the ' wrong side of the shirt, which in this case looks a bit neater, I think|
- though it may not be so pretty, I made my first knit shirt!
- I learned that for sewing knits on my machine, the walking foot is the key to success
- the fabric was from repurposed old shirts - no loss there
- I now feel more confident that with the right patterns I can produce some knit cuteness - yes, I can!
I'll keep you posted when I try for redemption. I'm thinking I'll attempt Rae's Flashback Skinny Tee next. If anyone has tips on where to find cute knit fabric, I'm all ears - it seems to be hard to come by.