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Forum > Sewing Techniques and Tips > T-Shirt Top Shoulder Seam ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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T-Shirt Top Shoulder Seam
I ripped apart my old T-Shirt to see the RT seam technique
kcurtis
kcurtis  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/26/14 11:54 PM

I bought several yards of Knit T-Shirt fabric off the clearance table recently, so I decided to make myself a few new T-Shirts.

Looking at all of the T-Shirts in my closet I noticed the seam across the top that looked like a flat felled seam to me. However, I couldn't imagine that manufactures would go through this trouble on a T-Shirt, so I got the old seam ripper out to see exactly what they did to form the seam. Some of you probably already know this, but for those who are interested I created a short video to show my discovery:

Link to the video.

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Mel.J
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Mel.J
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Date: 2/27/14 1:15 AM

Thanks - I had no idea, and it's very interesting to see what they did.

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Mel (Melbourne, Australia)

SewLibra
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Date: 2/27/14 1:50 AM

Thank you for this video, very interesting! I have taken apart RTW several times and made patterns. That's how I learned to make a welt pocket. It's facinating to discover the differences in sewing between factories and home pattern instructions.

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Brother SB4138, Bernina 1008, Brother 1034D


Changma
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Date: 2/27/14 6:15 AM

Do you think that it is used instead of stay tape, to hold the shape of the shoulders and back of the neck, or is it just a finishing detail?

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gramma b
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gramma b
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Date: 2/27/14 7:07 AM

Men's shirts always seem to be be made sturdier than women's.
I have used a few clearance ones to cut up for kids.
The fabric is more substantial than the often too-stretchy T choices for woman, especially in prints/stripes. Some RTW has only the back neckline with that cover strip or clear elastic on the shoulder seam. Not sure how to make it look neat on the right side by sewing it down on both edges on the inside.

Interested to know if your fabric find was from a local store only? Most of us have little access to nice knits locally with only JA's or Hancock's, despite us pleading for more. Priced at a regular $20/yd. and up?! I got a few remnants at Hancock's when they relocated here, but they've had no new shipments for 4 months. Where do knit flatfolds go?
-- Edited on 2/27/14 7:09 AM --
Doctor Sister
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Date: 2/27/14 9:07 AM

Thanks for the link. I just watched it and that was interesting. I also looked thru my closet and see a few of my older (and better made) t-shirts look like this is what they did.
Sis
PattiAnnJ
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Date: 2/27/14 9:41 AM

Thanks for the video, and I think Changma is correct in that this added detail across the shoulders and neck is for stability.


-- Edited on 2/27/14 9:49 AM --

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kcurtis
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Date: 2/27/14 2:28 PM

Yeah, it is definitely for stabilizing the back neck and shoulder seam. I honestly didn't know if it was a flat felled seam or what. That is why I decided to tear into one to figure it out.

I just got back from my industrial dealer and they are making me a double fold attachment for my machine so I can do this without much hassle. I took them the shirt so they got the measurements off that binding to make it. I have a double needle chain stitch industrial machine that sews the exact stitch, so once I get that I'll be able to duplicate it exactly. I plan on making my own T-shirts going forward, so I figured it would be a good investment.

As for the fabric I picked it up while I was in NY last week. I can't find any t-shirt fabric I'd wear much of anywhere else but in the design district there. I could spend days in those stores, but I had a driver waiting to take me to the airport.

I like a nice tight weave heavy cotton with very little, if any at all, stretch for my t-shirts as I wear them almost exclusively around the house.

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annsew65
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In reply to gramma b
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Date: 2/27/14 4:26 PM

Quote: gramma b
Men's shirts always seem to be be made sturdier than women's.

I have used a few clearance ones to cut up for kids.

The fabric is more substantial than the often too-stretchy T choices for woman, especially in prints/stripes. Some RTW has only the back neckline with that cover strip or clear elastic on the shoulder seam. Not sure how to make it look neat on the right side by sewing it down on both edges on the inside.



Interested to know if your fabric find was from a local store only? Most of us have little access to nice knits locally with only JA's or Hancock's, despite us pleading for more. Priced at a regular $20/yd. and up?! I got a few remnants at Hancock's when they relocated here, but they've had no new shipments for 4 months. Where do knit flatfolds go?
-- Edited on 2/27/14 7:09 AM --

All those flat folds are in the foreign countries where all our knitwear is made. The reason we used to get those flat folds is because the factories that made the fabric or the knitwear have disappeared from our shores. I used to get some of the best knit fabrics from Walmart when they had the $1.00 and $2.00 flat fold tables. I had more fun making my weekly early morning trip and searching through those tables. Though Walmart has gotten fabric back into their stores, there sure aren't any quality fabrics. They are worse than Joann's now and I didn't think anyone could get there!

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gramma b
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Date: 2/27/14 5:16 PM

I too remember WM bolts, the "Content Unknown" ones, which yielded things like nice stretch denim if you knew your fabrics. I think there are warehouses in the US full somewhere if our fave Online Stores can find and sell them for $5.99. The latest fashions from China and overseas have really gone downhill in quality for knits, even in stores like Macy's, Kohl's, Penneys--ribbing you know will stretch out in first wash, thin tissue knits, tops too short for most women.

Did you learn to sew yourself? My H and friends would put-down such guys, as they did the first stay-at-home dads they met.
But I just remind them the first and most famous designers and those tailors who made their business suits were all Men.
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