Monthly Archives: January 2014

Ezra’s Raglan Sleeve T-Shirt From Oliver + S

Last year, I gave the boys t-shirts for Valentine’s Day.

It was really fun and so I want to do it again this year.

I decided I should get started now so that I’m not doing them all in a rush a couple of days before Valentine’s Day. I asked Ezra what colors he’d like for a t-shirt if I happened to decide to make him one.

He was very specific and said he would like a green and grey t-shirt. When I asked him if he’d like it to be mostly green or mostly grey he said, “Ummm, I want it mostly green and mostly grey.

I already had some green and some grey jersey fabric in my stash, so I pulled it out and made him a t-shirt. I used an Oliver +S pattern-the Field Trip Raglan T-Shirt pattern that came with the cargo pants I’ve made several pairs of for my boys.

This is the first time I’ve used the t-shirt pattern, and I really like it. I love raglan sleeves, and they’re so easy. The t-shirt came together very quickly and I was done in a couple of hours.

The only thing I didn’t like about this pattern is that it has 1/4 inch seam allowances, which I mentioned in my last post that I hate. I use my serger to make my knit stuff and I feel like it’s so easy to miss a little bit on curves (like the sleeves) and then I worry that it will come apart more easily with the wear and tear my boys give their clothes.

So I used a size bigger than I normally would, and then used 1/2 inch seam allowances. I also made it longer because I felt like it was going to be too short.

Oh, yeah, and I shortened the sleeves because the pattern is for a long sleeved t-shirt.

After it was finished, I couldn’t wait clear until Valentine’s Day to give it to him! So I didn’t. I guess I’ll just have to make another one. So much for starting early!

Jon’s Shirt (Kwik Sew 3422)

I can’t believe it’s been four months since I made Jon a shirt for work. I bought fabric to make him another one shortly after I finished the first, but I kept putting it off because my memories of making that shirt involve some tedious sewing.

But I try to rotate through family members as I sew (something for me, something for Seth, something for Ezra…) and it was definitely Jon’s turn. So I finally used that fabric and made him another oxford shirt.

This time went much easier than last time. I still had some trouble getting the part where the collar stand attaches to the shirt to look professional, but luckily he always has to wear a tie to work so it’s covered up anyway.

The problem was that after easing the collar on, I came up a little short on one end and the collar stand couldn’t line up flush with the edge of the shirt. But next time I will take better care to pin more so that doesn’t happen.

I could have ripped it off and tried again, but I didn’t wanna.

I used Kwik Sew pattern 3422 to make this shirt (and his first one too). I think it is a good pattern, and I can even understand the instructions for it. But I bought a class called The Classic Tailored Shirt and so I made it along with my class.

The only thing I don’t like about this pattern is that it has 1/4″ seam allowances. I think that’s pretty ridiculous. Setting sleeves with only 1/4″ to work with is horrendous-at least for me it is. Last time, I used the size large (his measurements fall into the medium size range) and then used a 3/8″ seam allowance instead. That turned out too big, so this time I used the size medium, still with the 3/8″ seam allowance and it fit just right.

Also, I used a cotton polyester blend for this shirt. Last time I used some 100% cotton broadcloth, but I don’t like that fabric’s texture and it wrinkles terribly. The polyester gives the fabric in this shirt a much better texture and makes it much less wrinkly.

I’m happy with how the shirt turned out and I am excited to make him another one.

Scoop Tee With Super Shirred Sleeves

I didn’t want that New Look pattern I tried to make to go completely to waste. And I did really like the sleeves on the shirt. So I used my scoop tee pattern with the New Look sleeves to make a quick top.

The sleeves are a tad baggy. I will take them in a tiny bit if I ever make a shirt with these sleeves again. But overall, it was a very quick sew and it’s super simple and I like it. I am a sucker for shirring, that’s for shirr. Oh I’m so funny!

Today, I started keeping a sewing notebook. I don’t know why I’ve never done this before! I always think I’ll remember the little tweaks I make to a pattern or the tricks I pick up for a certain project but I never do remember. So I’m planning on writing down the important things about each item I make. I think it will be very helpful.

Making Jeans With Angela Wolf

I finally finished the jeans I’ve been working on for the past two weeks. I’m pretty sure I spent more time on this project than I have on any other, and I am so glad they’re finished!

I loved this class. Angela Wolf is an awesome teacher and her jeans pattern rocks. She shared some tips that I never would have thought of myself. For example, she said to hammer your seams before you sew them. This is the most fantastic idea! Usually when I’m working with denim or other heavy fabric my machine just can’t take the folds of fabric. But after hammering the seams, I was able to sew these jeans with just a size 90/14 needle without any problem.

She also shared how to distress your denim with sand paper. The fabric I made these jeans out of didn’t distress very well so you can’t even tell that I distressed them. But my next pair…

I also learned a better way to attach rivets. Before, I was using a seam ripper to poke a tiny hole in my jeans in order to put the rivet in. This way is not a great way, and I even ripped a pair of jeans doing it. But in the Craftsy class I learned to just pound a nail into my jeans where I want the rivet to go. That makes a nice hole with no chance of ripping the pants.

Angela Wolf also said she made about 7 muslins before she got the fit down for her pattern. That made me feel good because I think it’s hard to get the fit. For these jeans, I adjusted the pattern just a bit before making my muslin. I took a bunch off the length and I took them in a lot from the knee down because I didn’t want so much taper.

Then I made my practice pair and they fit well in the top, but were still too full from the knee down. So I took the pattern in some more.

Then, just to be sure, I cut out my actual pattern pieces from my nice denim and basted the pieces together to check the fit again before I took them apart and sewed them for good. I’m glad I did that, because I decided to take them in even more.

And now the next time I make them it should be a lot quicker since I have the fit down.

I took a lot of pictures of these because I needed something to show for all of those hours of sewing.

The Back.

Back pockets and belt loops.

Front pockets.

Waistband, fly, and more belt loops.

One more of the back.
My pretty pocket lining fabric.

There are definitely some mistakes on these pants. The fly area needs some work next time for sure. But I’m happy with how my first attempt at this pattern has turned out.