Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

Seth’s T-Shirt


I finished Seth’s Valentine’s t-shirt. And I try hard to salvage most of the things I sew even if they don’t go as planned, but Jon’s t-shirt is a definite did not finish project.

It’s just that I’ve noticed that sometimes the thread breaks a little bit in my serged seams in areas of a lot of stress (like the armpit).

Last week when I was pulling my running top over my head, a thread broke in the armpit because I pulled too hard. I was trying to think of all the reasons that the thread would break and one of the things I came up with was that maybe I needed to use a smaller stitch length (I usually use about a 3) so there would be more thread to help make the seams strong.

So for Seth’s t-shirt, I turned the stitch length down to about 1.5. That was a bad idea because it made the seams really thick. And wavy because there was more thread there than my poor seams knew what to do with! But in my defense, they were super strong.



I used my t-shirt pattern for this t-shirt, as usual (a color blocked version).

I asked him to put his arms down at his sides and he told me that would look stupid.

I asked him to put his arms down at his sides and he told me that would look stupid.

Seth’s t-shirt came out ok, but not great.

For Jon’s t-shirt, I decided that maybe since I had changed to a smaller stitch length that I needed to change the differential feed to compensate for the waves I was getting.

I’ll be honest and say that I knew that the differential feed changes the way the fabric feeds through the feed dogs, but I didn’t really understand how it changes it or what the numbers mean on my differential feed dial.

So I changed the differential feed to a 2 and serged up the seams in Jon’s t-shirt. That did not go too well! The seams were puckery and awful looking.

So I did some googling so I could learn exactly what the differential feed does, and then I understood that since I had it set on 2 I had actually gathered the seams in Jon’s t-shirt. Not what I wanted to do, but it did make some lovely gathers in the sleeve caps 🙂

I wasn’t happy that I ruined his t-shirt. I hate the feeling that I wasted time when projects don’t turn out right! I was so mad that I stomped around and this is what I wrote in my sewing notebook under Jon’s t-shirt entry:


But now I know more about my serger at least. I still don’t know why my seams would pop sometimes, but I think I probably need to do a better job of adjusting my tension (and definitely going back to a longer stitch length!). If anyone knows why my seams would pop, I’d love to hear why.

Now, I’m working on making me some more jeans. I’m working on trying to fix the dreaded leg twist I’ve been getting. I made a muslin last night and I think I know why I’m getting the twist, but until it’s 100% fixed I won’t be sure. If I can’t figure it out, I’ll probably fly into a rage and pull all my hair out or something!


Two More Shirts

wpid1745-20150214-014940.jpgWell, I didn’t get all of our Valentine’s Day shirts finished this week. I am the room mom in Ezra’s class at school and so I had to plan and do his Valentine’s Day party. That took a lot of my extra time and then tack on that we’ve had more illness this week (I am so done with sickness!) and there wasn’t enough time to make all of them.

But I got Ezra’s and Owen’s done and I’m happy about that.

For Ezra’s, I used my Children’s T-Shirt Pattern.


I used a size 6 for him for the first time (He turned six last September). And I widened the sleeves a little bit. I do that with all of the t-shirts I make with this pattern for my boys. I was trying to make the sleeve work for a girl too and look a little feminine. But for my boys I like it wider.


I used some fabric from Banberry Place for this shirt. Ezra loves the print and says it’s his “Captain America shirt”.


The fabric is super, super thin. I’m worried it’s going to fall apart after a few washes. And, the fabric came with small holes all down it in one section.

Can you see the little holes there?

Can you see the little holes there?

I emailed the company about the holes because I wanted to keep the fabric and I was just hoping to have a price reduction or something. But I never heard back from them. So I decided to work around the holes and it turned out alright.

For the collar, I used some Laguna stretch fabric.


Ezra was in a super bad mood when I took these pictures. I had to promise a treat when it was over so that all of the pictures didn’t look like this:


For Owen’s polo, I also used my T-Shirt pattern.


I used a collar from a different pattern I have. For the placket, I measured a ready to wear polo Owen has so I would know how big to make the rectangles. Then I cut down the center front of the t-shirt and made the placket with my cut rectangles.

I made a little facing and sewed it over the collar seam allowance.


I should have cut a longer slit for the placket, because it’s just a tad snug going over his big head. Next time I will make it longer.


I think I might need to figure out a better way to do plackets, though. I sewed on the two separate strips and then pulled them through at the bottom to the inside of the shirt and then tacked them down really well. It was so hard to get them looking right! I would rather sew a fly into a pair of jeans any day than make a placket the way I’ve been doing it.


This fabric was also from Banberry place. I used some of it already to make a t-shirt for Seth and I realized that because of its weight, it would make a better polo than a t-shirt. It’s a bit heavy for a t-shirt. But it’s nice fabric.


Next up, I’m going to finish Jon’s and Seth’s t-shirts!



Shirred Scoop Tee

A couple Valentine’s Days back, I started a tradition of making all of my boys a t-shirt for Valentine’s Day. The first year, I made them all matching but last year I decided to add variety because that’s more fun. And plus, Seth is getting a little too old to be matchy with his little brothers. He thinks so anyway.

This year, I decided that Jon and I need to get in on this t-shirt-for-Valentine’s-Day business too, so I want to make one for the whole family. And what better person to start with than me?!


We had a wind advisory all day today. Keep that in mind when looking at my hair. And my pictures aren’t the best because I waited all day to take them to see if the wind would die down. It never did, so when we finally took them it was late and we didn’t have much light.

I already had this lovely red rayon blend jersey from Mood, and it seemed meant to be a Valentine’s shirt for me.

I used my scoop tee pattern as a base for this top, but I went up a size bigger than I normally wear. For a long, long time I liked all my clothes to be really fitted. But I’m starting to see the virtues of having just a tad more relaxed fit in my tops. It’s a lot more comfortable!


I also added more width to the sleeves and lengthened them. I hate tight sleeves. They make me feel claustrophobic or something.


I added more length to the body of the pattern so that I could shirr the side seams. And I added a front pocket.

I spent longer than I want to admit making this simple top. I spent an hour just trying to decide how big to make the pocket and where exactly to place it!


The shirring took me awhile too.


I have shirred side seams in my tops before, and I’ve always done it with rubber elastic. But I watched a little tutorial by Angela Wolf showing a different way to do it and I decided to do it that way. She runs a basting stitch along the side seams and gathers them up, and then sews twill tape over the gathers to secure them. I decided that way would give me more control over the gathering-when I use the elastic it’s sometimes hard to gauge just how much I’m gathering up.

I liked doing it that way for sure. What took me so long was trying to decide how much to gather up the sides and how long to make them. Now that I know that, next time should be faster.

Well, I have one week until Valentine’s Day, one top done, and four to go!


I added this top to a fun link up to share women’s clothing over at Gray All Day. I linked up last week, and Helena was so nice to write a little bit about me in this week’s link up post.