Monthly Archives: April 2013

Little Polka Dots

I finished another scoop t over the weekend.

My friend Michelle (you can look at her cute patterns here) hooked me up with some fabric from Riley Blake and that is what this shirt is made out of.
I love this shirt pattern because the neckline is high enough that I don’t have to wear an undershirt. It is way too hot to wear two shirts during the summer, even in Idaho!
Speaking of the neckline, I finally figured out a way to do my collars that works for me. It’s based off this clip here from
First, I cut a long strip from the collar fabric that is 1 1/2″ wide. I made sure the length of the strip was running perpendicular to the selvage, so that the biggest amount of stretch in the fabric was running parallel to the long side of the strip.
Then, I pressed the strip in half lengthwise.

Then I laid my shirt out like this:

I started at the center back of the shirt and pinned the collar to the right side of the shirt, aligning the raw edges. Then I stretched the collar gently and pinned again further down the shirt. I did this all the way around, stretching more aggressively at the two deepest parts of the scoop. That way the collar lays flat against the body when the shirt is finished.

Then, I marked where I needed to cut off the excess fabric on the strip, making sure to add a seam allowance on both sides of the strip. I cut the strip down to size, then unfolded it and serged the two short ends together to make a circle. Then I pressed the circle in half lengthwise, just like I did when it was a strip.

Then I pinned it to my shirt again in the very same way as I did before.

Then, I basted the collar to the shirt on my sewing machine with a quarter inch seam allowance and the longest stitch length I have. I gently stretched the collar out to fit the length of the shirt as I sewed. 
This step was just to check that everything lined up. That way I could easily rip it out and start over if it wasn’t right. 
After I knew everything was great, I serged around the collar with a 3/8 inch seam allowance. You could also sew with a stretch stitch if you didn’t have a serger. 
Then I pressed the collar with the seam facing toward the bottom of the shirt.

And then, I used my coverstitch machine to topstitch the seam down just below the collar. You could also topstitch it down with a sewing machine and a stretch stitch. 
And that is it! Collars are not too bad!

Floral Scoop T-Shirt

This week, I drafted a pattern for a scoop neck t-shirt from a shirt that I love. I love the flowers by the neckline the most:

I changed a few things about the original and this is what I ended up with:

Close-up of the flowers.

Besides the flowers, I also love the shirring down the middle of the sleeves.

After I learned what shirring is, I realized that it is all over the place! And that’s good, because it’s so cute. And so easy.

The only special thing you need is some elastic thread for your bobbin, which you can find at any craft store. Take the elastic thread and hand wind it around your bobbin. Wind it tightly for lightweight fabrics (like knits).

Use regular thread for your needle. Adjust your machine to a long stitch length, and you are ready to start.

For this top, I only did one line of shirring, so I backstitched at the beginning and sewed all the way down the center of my sleeve to the bottom. Then I backstitched again to secure my row. This is what it looked like when I finished:

I’m in the process of making this shirt again in this fabric.

I also found it helpful to mark a line down the middle of my sleeve with air erasable pen so I knew I was sewing in a straight line.

If all goes as planned, I will have a pattern available for this shirt sometime soon. At least that is my hope. Wish me luck!