christmas gifts for dad Custom T-Shirt with an Overlocker decorative pillow shams

Updated: 2020/03/06 Views: 182

A wardrobe staple for everyone is a T-shirt. Working through the sewing workbook, Knit Essentials, by Alison Glass and Karen LePage will enable you to find the perfect fit while also offering a variety of options for length, sleeves and neckline. Once you have mastered your basic pattern, you will be ready to fill your closet with T-shirts from all your favorite knit fabrics.

I love making T-shirts and will usually sew them in multiples each season. It is quickchristmas gifts for dad, satisfying and practical. In fact, I am wearing this shirt as I write this post.

accent pillow case baby burlap living room deco

Step 1: Find your fit

This is more than your standard sewing pattern, it is a guidebook to building a great fitting wardrobe. It is broken down into chapters, starting with inspiration and general tips. Take the time to read through the section on measuring and choosing the right size. There is a Personal Measurement Chart in the book. Don’t be afraid to fill it out. I suggest teaming up with a sewing friend to measure each other.

Start with an inexpensive knit that is easy to sew, like an inexpensive jersey knit with a medium weight. Then make your muslin. The booklet provides a series of questions to work through in order to perfect the fit. A great tip from the book is to “make one change at a time.” All the effort will lead you to your favorite T-shirt that you can re-create time and time again.

Step 2: Cut it out

There is more than one way to approach cutting out fabric, so find the way that works best for you. I want to share my top techniques for working with knits.

Tip: A 28mm rotary cutter is great for cutting curved edges. The smaller diameter allows it to turn a tighter radius more easily and controlled.

Step 3: Set up your overlocker

The pattern booklet gives great directions for sewing knits with a regular sewing machine. If you have an overlocker it will make fast finished work of this project and provide seams that stretch with wear.

A 4-thread overlock is the perfect stitch for sewing knitwear. It has two rows of needle stitching to provide strength in the seam. An overlocker has loopers instead of a bobbin and these loopers intersect at the edge of the seam, encasing the seam in thread.

Basic Settings for the BERNINA L 450: 4-thread Overlock

Test your stitch and adjust settings for your fabrics. A clear advantage to using an overlocker is the differential feed feature. This feature allows you to control the amount that the fabric stretches while moving through the machine. Want to know more about it? Read this post I wrote about making leggings here.

Step 4: Sew the shoulder seams

I sew both shoulder seams in one pass, leaving a serged chain of stitches between. Not only is this faster, but it helps keep your neckline from stretching out (similar to staystitching).

Step 5: Sew the sleeves

Sew the sleeves in flat, as opposed to setting them into a circular sleeve opening which is common when sewing woven garments. It can be a little more challenging to sew a shape like this on an overlocker. Try to learn to hold and move the fabric into the path of the cutting blade, rather than trying to steer the fabric shape into machine.

It is always good practice to press each seam as it is sewn. Using a tailor’s pressing ham will help you to press this curved seam into the perfect shape.

Step 6: Sew the side seams

Now you are ready to sew the side seams. I do this from the sleeve to the shirt hem. Pay careful attention to the seam intersection where the sleeve insets. It is easy for the overlocker to push the seam allowance apart creating a gap or hole in the armpit. Often this will result in attempts to re-sew this section of the seam, which ends up biting into the seam allowance changing the overall fit of the garment and in an important area.

Step 7: Add the neckband

Adding the neckband is probably the hardest part of making a T-shirt and it is still pretty simple. You can make a neckband from the same fabric or you could cut a neckband from rib knit. Rib knit comes in a few colors and could provide nice contrast as well as offering a bit more stretch. For this shirt I chose to have a scoop neckline and opted for a band made from the same, main fabric.

Sew the band into a loop and press it in half lengthwise. I like doing this on the pressing ham, too. Then divide the neckband into 4 equal parts. I marked mine with wonder clips. Do the same to the neckline of the T-shirt and then match them up.

Sew with the neckband up, directly under the presser foot where you have clear visibility of it. This will make it easier and prevent you from trimming too much of it away. The neckband will likely be smaller than the neckline because you will stretch it as you sew it down. This keeps the neck from gaping open, not a flattering look for a t-shirt.

Step 8: Finish the hems

Measure the hem allowance and press in place. Sometimes I will use a product called Wondertape to hold the hem in place while I sew it. Just like with a sewing machine, there are multiple ways to finish the hems of a T-shirt. My favorite is a coverstitch. This requires a special machine to make this stitch. I used my trusty BERNINA L 220 for the job. You could also use a twin needle on a regular sewing machine to imitate this stitch. I have plenty of knit shirts done this way and the stitch holds great.

And just like that… a perfect fitting T-shirt!

How to machine appliqué circles by Kathy Kansier?from?Ozark, Missouri.

Just in time for summer, Bunny Williams designed a variety of floral frogs to make flower arranging easier than ever. According to Bunny, anyone can create a beautiful arrangement if you’ve got the right tools. We’re not saying we didn’t take her word for it, but we did put her floral frogs to the test. We askedgarden and entertaining expert, James Farmer, to help us create three unique looks using each one of Bunny’s floral frogs — and we think you’ll love the results every bit as we do.

You know the nesting urge set in and you invested in a giant crib set only to find out within a few months that it was virtually useless. ?The bumpers are dangerous and come off before the baby even sleeps in it, and the skirt lasts a few months but comes off as soon as she learns to sit up. ?And if you’re like me, your child has one special blanket she insists on sleeping with, so you are left to play around with fanciful sheets.