Charcoal dots.

Right.  Next!  Okay, remember this photo?     My Christmas fun.

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Now we’re going to play with that lovely, rich, pin spotted charcoal fabric.  Springy as can be and holds it’s shape great.  You know how most fabric curls at the edges?  Especially when you wash and dry it?  This fella is so chill.  It just lays there.  Totally relaxed.  Not a care in the world.  Or a curl.  Didn’t even iron it.

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With the gold spotty tee, I discovered that I needed to angle the traps (or shoulder of the body pattern piece) down 1/2 an inch.  Also, I would have to take the arm scye (armpit area) down 1/2″ to compensate.  But that’s the beauty of making your own stuff, right?

—That brings me to a different thought; I’m going to go off on a tangent for a moment.  Bear with me.  Or you can scroll right down past it.  🙂

Why make your own tee?  Oh, many reasons.

  • Mostly the fun, really.
  • But, when you sew your own tee, you get to tailor it to fit you.  Adjust and tuck and cut and take in till it fits YOU.  Perfectly.  Sigh.
  • You might have started to realize that your store-bought stuff doesn’t actually fit you as well as you thought.  I’ve been adjusting my own store tops for years; shoulders, sides.  This is WAY more fun.
  • Plus, it’s something you wear all the time.  A t-shirt for goodness sake.  A daily use!  Kinda fulfilling to be like, “I made this!”  Just inside, though.  Walking around saying that out loud would make you look a fool.  Look.  A fool.
  • Also, it’s delightful to pick out your own prints or solids.  I love spots and stripes (obviously – say that like Snape from Harry Potter) and there just aren’t enough ready made ones out there for me to pick from.  Also, as stated before, I generally have to adjust them, anyway.
  • And, here’s the weird kicker, the clothing industry produces more pollution than any other industry except oil.  *pause for effect*  Yes.  I was shocked, too.  So, not like we’re going to stop buying clothes, that’s just impractical, but, that’s just one more feather in your cap when you ARE wearing something you made.

End of tangent.

Back to the charcoal stuff.  This fabric is one of those bamboo pieces I had mentioned.  It’s so supple.  I do love it.  It was so pleasant to work with cuz it just lays there.  After putting it together, I decided I wanted the sleeves shorter – the drape of it just made me want it that way.  *By the way, remember how I said different fabrics + same pattern = different look of tee??  I used the same home cut pattern on this one as I did on the spotty gold one.  See the difference?  Take that into account.

More cotton = stand on its own.  More rayon or modal = drape.  Bamboo I think I have maybe pegged.  This charcoal material is 95% bamboo, 5% spandex, but I have another that’s 100% bamboo and it acts just like 100% cotton.  The spotty gold one is 100% cotton, for reference.

You can really tell the difference in how it lays by looking at the sleeves in these pictures.  Ignore the pocket and different neckline, I did that one purpose.  Anyway, much of the way each fabric handles could just be due to the way it’s made, which I know nothing about.

I have been analyzing the psychology behind these and other tees I’ve made and noticed that I make them to be a bit loose.  Sometimes flowy.  I think it’s a hangover from years of buying tees from stores that were a size bigger than what actually fit me so I could allow for shrinkage (is that an official word, yet? “ain’t” is in the dictionary…).  But!  That’s one more bonus to making my own.  I wash and dry the fabric beforehand so I never have to worry about that.  Somewhere along the way I may get gradually more comfortable making them to fit to me every now and then.  Good thing the “boyfriend” look is pretty, though.

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This is the first thing I’ve made with my NEW SERGER!!  So, here’s a picture of the inside details.

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Keep in mind that I could easily have done this on my sewing machine, though (and in fact used it for the double needle hemming (refer to the Bright Spots post for help with that).  Here’s my favorite, slightly sneaky, part:

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I put a slate blue seam inside the seam that attached the pocket to the tee.  I had just used it as a basting stitch to hold the pocket’s ironed folds together till I got it onto the tee, but then I attached it and loved the subtle addition!  🙂

Have fun sewing.

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