Developing a game out of pattern play and creating fun pieces instead of always needing to worry about fitting a pattern can be exhilarating and satisfying.
It’s no secret I have had a love affair with my Renfrew top for a couple years now. My first experience with this pattern was on a whelm when I ordered it after checking out a few people’s blogs back in 2014. I ordered my first indie pattern, from Canada, of all places. That was a hit on the wallet, but I wanted to support the indie designer, and as I recall, there wasn’t an option for a PDF. What is it about this pattern that caused me to like it so much, not withstanding the trials I had fitting my upper section. (Yes, I know now, they were not drafted for the busty.) I wanted to know what it was that made everyone love this pattern so much. After all, it’s “just” a t-shirt basically. Shucks, I could have gotten 10-20 other patterns on sale, for what I paid for this pattern, plus the cost of shipping.
THAT NECKLINE!!! My analytical mind wanted to know for sure what it was about the pattern that was different. I decided to do some measurements and find out exactly what the difference is in the neckline that causes it to sit on my chest so well. I took my measuring tape and measured the pattern at the neck seam to determine the percentage difference from the band. I found that it is a 12.25% ratio of neckline-to-neckband. Plus the band is cut on an angle at the closure, which to me creates a snugger fit for the band. I used that same percentage when I drew my new opening for this top, a little change from the basic “renfrew” which is much more open, to this more modest version and used the ratio I came up with as the base for determining my band length.
Many, many times I talk about how much I hate to waste fabric in my sewing projects. Which is why I enjoy using the tissue fitting method of fitting my patterns when I make my own clothes. When you find others who see things the way you do and share the same ideals about living and being more accountable for our resources, you want to support their efforts to make a difference.
So, after meeting Jenelle Montilone, the author of “The Upcycled T-shirt Book,” I was inspired to create something with the leftover t-shirts in my own home. I took an old work t-shirt from my husband and dyed it to color and created this cute number.
T-shirt refashion is a big deal these days, but for me, I am moved by “reason” not fashion, although fashion is a big part of it for me. This lady has such ideals for improving on the amount of waste created by “fast fashion”, with meaning and passion.
What can you do to save on the fabric waste created in your sewing room. Maybe bring in more fabric. Wait, that’s not a ticket to go purchase more fabric. Quite the contrary. I say bring in other garments that can be repurposed into another fashionable garments for yourself or someone else. For those of you who knit, maybe consider the fact that one large t-shirt will yield 15 yards of t-shirt yarn. Now, I don’t know personally how far that will get you, but, to me 15 yards is fifteen over zero, right!! Consider dying the t-shirts first the way I did, and you are off to create something wonderful.
Here is a great video in which Jenelle details how to create your t-shirt yarn for knitting. Others on this Blog Tour have created some awesome projects with ideas presented by Jenelle.
She has even given me the freedom to let one of my readers have a copy of this book, her treat. That means all you need to do is comment below and I will pull a name next Wednesday, January 13th to name the winner.
It was extremely hard to make this one plain and simple t-shirt. No color, no patterns, no prints, stripes or fancy seams, just your plain ole’ t-shirt. That is what this is at first glance. But all the stylist and wardrobe planners who I consult, in books, online or InRealLife, tell you to make sure to have “the basics” and you will “always” have something to wear no matter the occasion.
Thus, I have set out to make some basics, and I started with this T-shirt. I’m told the next on my list of makes should be a White button down dress shirt/blouse, a good “day dress”, a black jacket with pencil skirt, a dressy jacket (this is where the Chanel-like jacket fits into the plan.) a Little Black Dress, a pair of nice black dress slacks, and well fitted jeans. From this arsenal, I should be able to run to the closet and mix-n-match a manner of outfits just by adding choice accessories and colored pieces to match any season, spring, summer, fall, or holiday.
McCalls 6355: view C, I cut a size 16 based on the finished bust and graded the shoulders, neckline, and sleeve cap back to my normal size 14, including added 1/2″ at the shoulder/neckline to narrow the opening, it was way too wide even for the size 14. The short sleeves were lengthened 1.5 inches from the pattern. I lowered the front neckline by 1.5” and lowered the bust dart by 1” and angle it up a tad to taste. The fabric is ponte knit from Hancock, so it only has 25% stretch. Next one I will lengthen at the hem another 1.5” or so, it falls just a teeny bit to high on the hip or maybe just take in the side seams. We shall see what happens with a different fabric.
I follow a lot of “idea” cites and get wardrobe planning tips from various sources all the time. What are some of the special places you all check to help you sew with a plan or purpose?