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The Mighty T-Shirt.

October 19, 2010

So, diving right into the Sew U Home Stretch book, the first thing that the lovely and talented Wendy tells you to do is make a crewneck t-shirt. Because, see, once you do THAT, you can tweak the pattern however you need to and take off and make all kinds of things that are built off of the crewneck t-shirt pattern.

It’s really good in theory. Of course right away I am in trouble.

There is a pattern for the crewneck included in the book, and there are some recommended guidelines about what size to make. So I dutifully take my chest measurement and my waist measurement and look at the recommended size to make based on those.

My chest is…how to say….with the care and feeding of small boy….not so much tiny and banana republic model-like at the moment. (Or ever, if we’re getting technical, but for now I’ll blame it on the lactating). So according to the chest measurement I’m looking at making a large in the pattern size.

But I’m not actually all that big otherwise. According to my waist measurement I’m more like the low-end of a medium. Hm.

Well, the book suggests taking measurements of some t-shirts you like and factoring that into the equation as well. Cool! I took three t-shirts that are in my current rotation (and that I like the fit of), and I measured them.

And…well. According to my measurements on those, and consulting the book accordingly…I should be making smalls or even extra smalls. Good! Apparently I dress…with really tightly fitting shirts? Or….something? I don’t know. I swear they look normal when I’m wearing them!

Well, onward – I ultimately decided to try a medium, with the understanding that it may end up a bit too big and boxy…and either need to be taken in (and the pattern adjusted accordingly) or I might need to just start again with the small pattern. No matter! I am thinking that it’s important to get this part right so that anything I make *based* on this pattern is also right. So if it takes a few tries to nail it, then so be it – I am SO hopeful that at the end of the day this will translate into clothes that I want to wear.

Instead of cutting the pattern tissue (especially since I’m fairly sure this is not going to be exactly the right size), I used a tracing wheel to outline the pattern onto brown butcher paper (love that stuff for patterns! It’s cheap and you can get it as long as you need it – plus it doesn’t curl up too badly. All good).

I’m taking a minute here to apologize for the totally lousy “in process” pictures. The problem is that with two shorties the only time I really have to actually sew anything is at night. I can take pictures of finished product during the day, but when I’m trying to capture something I’m doing in the moment it’s almost always dark. Not so great but what can you do?

Anyway – I finished tracing the pattern pieces and transferring the markings and pattern information (SO important to do; otherwise you end up with pieces floating around and you have NO idea what they go to).

This is the first time I tried transferring a pattern to butcher paper using a tracing wheel – and I can’t recommend it enough; I will DEFINITELY be doing it again. I love the idea of being able to make multiple sizes of the same thing I’ve bought a pattern for – I think it’s great.

So there we have it – a pattern for the crewneck. Stay tuned for tomorrow, when we put it all together.

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