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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > t-shirts ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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t-shirts
to buy or to make
Calendria
Calendria
Advanced Beginner
AK USA
Member since 7/4/05
Posts: 603
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Date: 6/26/11 2:18 AM

I am interested in possibly making t-shirts. I just don't know if maybe its better just to buy one or if I should just go on ahead and make one. a lot of the patterns I'm finding are for fitted t-shirts. I can't find one for just a nice, loose workout t-shirt to go with yoga-ish type pants.

any ideas?

lareine
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lareine  Friend of PR
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NEW ZEALAND
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 6/26/11 3:30 AM

Depends how particular you are about them, I'd say. If you have fancy machines (e.g. a coverstitcher) then you can make a great t-shirt that looks like you bought it, but if you just have basic machines (e.g. a vintage straight stitch or a simple zig-zag) then it won't look just like RTW even if it fits great.

What you could do (if you care about appearances) is to buy something and then alter it to fit, keeping the RTW hems and neckband.

Mel.J
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Mel.J
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AUSTRALIA
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Date: 6/26/11 3:38 AM

Can you post a picture of the sort of thing you want to make? That might help us suggest patterns.

Mel

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Mel (Melbourne, Australia)

Sharon1952
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Sharon1952  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/26/11 8:37 AM

Tshirts are much cheaper bought than made. The machine you have would be the most important factor. It is hard to sew some knits on a regular machine and finish the seams well.

------
Sewing: A creative mess is better than tidy idleness. ~Author Unknown

gramma b
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gramma b
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Date: 6/26/11 9:01 AM

Try buying regular sturdy T's at places like Kohl's and "embellish" like the RTW ones.

For my GD's, I add strips of ruching, flutter leaves and flowers, buttons, vintage lace, tulle circles to the necklines, down the sides of
T's. You can get ideas by looking at T's/tanks in places like TJ Maxx,
Marshall's, dept. stores. There are also tutorials online for ideas.

Trinity.
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Trinity.
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MA USA
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In reply to Sharon1952


Date: 6/26/11 10:39 AM

Quote: Sharon1952
Tshirts are much cheaper bought than made.

I make all my tee's and tanks...frankly I find it very worth it. The fabric costs me about $8 a yard and it takes me a yard to make myself a shirt. I can't get a shirt in the store for 8 bucks that doesn't fall apart on me in record time. YMMV, though. Maybe you've got more access to decent tshirts than I do

Now, I do have a coverstitch that I use for hems and such--when I'm not too lazy to change the threads. Other times, I use the 3-step zigtzag on my sewing machine (or sometimes the zigzag blind hem stitch) for finishing knits.

But more importantly, IMO, is the serger for the seams. If I didn't have a serger for construction, it's a good bet I wouldn't bother to make hardly any knit things at all. I guess I'm spoiled that way

That said, I use Kwik Sew and Jalie patterns for casual clothes like tees, tanks, and yoga pants.


-- Edited on 6/26/11 10:42 AM --

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Trinity

http://thimblesthreadsandneedles.blogspot.com/

marec
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marec  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/26/11 11:38 AM

I think it is possible to make some work out tees if you are willing to put in extra steps to add a binding at the neck and hem carefully.

Quote:
But more importantly, IMO, is the serger for the seams. If I didn't have a serger for construction, it's a good bet I wouldn't bother to make hardly any knit things at all. I guess I'm spoiled that way

TEHO I don't have a serger, or a coverstitch machine. It *is* possible to work around that. The only time the inside of my tees show is if I'm upside down, and everyone else is too at yoga. So....

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Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
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In reply to lareine


Date: 6/26/11 11:48 AM

Quote:
if you just have basic machines (e.g. a vintage straight stitch or a simple zig-zag) then it won't look just like RTW even if it fits great.

The neck/sleeve bands may not look 100% identical to RTW with a regular machine, but I still think it's well worth it. I've only made one t-shirt so far, and it looked good -- I need to tweak the fit a bit to make it custom-fitted, but I'm planning to make a number of these (long- and short-sleeved). They're quick and nice. My daughter even admired the one I made, even with the fit un-tweaked, and she's not really one to admire clothes that look homemade-y. Also, making them yourself helps if you have specific fit issues with RTW -- e.g. necklines gape and sleeves are often too tight.

-- Edited on 6/26/11 11:54 AM --

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my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

Photo: A long time ago

Trinity.
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Trinity.
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In reply to marec


Date: 6/26/11 12:47 PM

Quote: marec
TEHO I don't have a serger, or a coverstitch machine. It *is* possible to work around that. The only time the inside of my tees show is if I'm upside down, and everyone else is too at yoga. So....

Oh, I completely agree. I've seen some absolutely gorgeous knit things reviewed here on PR that were constructed with just a regular sewing machine...and I've made one of my favorite versions of Jalie 2682 using just my sewing machine.

I guess maybe I just love my serger

-- Edited on 6/26/11 1:01 PM --

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Trinity

http://thimblesthreadsandneedles.blogspot.com/

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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In reply to Calendria
thumbsup 1 member likes this.


Date: 6/26/11 1:48 PM

You live in Alaska, right? I think if I lived in Alaska that I would even be sewing for the neighbors' pets in the winter! For the type of pattern that you are thinking of, look more in the tunic/ top section of the pattern catalogs. Then, keeping in mind that there would be more ease in these, carefully compare the seam to seam measurements of the pattern with a top you already have that is a good fit for that activity. This would give you a head start on your fit. I've been recommending the Marci Tilton 2 part fitting a t shirt tissue video on you tube to everyone.

You can do this without a serger, but practice your seams and finishes on scraps first and work towards producing seams and finished edges with the stretch that you will need for putting the garment on and then using it for yoga class. Do you have any sewing friends? I loan my serger to trusted friends when I go on vacation and always welcome friends to come over and use it at my home when they need it.

Consider finding a dealer that has a good class schedule and open workshops with machines provided. You can get a lot done on a serger in one or two hours if you have everything cut and prepared in advance.

Lastly, my old Pfaff has a blind hem foot and attachment. Before I bought a serger (probably before you were born) I used that combination as sort of a serger as it gave a finished edge that stayed flat and did not ripple knits as a zig zag finish sometimes tends to do.
I still use that to finish the edge of very fine or sheer fabrics.

In post serger days, my standard approach for knits for active little boys, swimwear, and myself: Stretch seam in places that needed to be able to stretch, standard seam if stretch was not necessary, second line of stitching just to the side of the original line of stitching, trim excess seam allowance, zig zag or edge stitch with the attachment I had. Again, test your stitches and finishing edges, be sure to have the right needle for your fabric, change your needles when they wear out.

When I have the rotary cutter out, I cut narrow strips of interfacing in varying widths to have on hand. Look at the construction of a quality ready to wear item in the same type of garment. It will most likely have some minimal reinforcement in the shoulder seam. You can use a very narrow strip of light interfacing embedded in the shoulder seam to duplicate that type of reinforcement.

Hope you'll give it a try, you'll enjoy having the look you want in the fabric that feels good too you. Maybe it would be good to just play with 1/4 yard of fabric first to test your stitches.

------
I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

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