Recently I've thoroughly enjoyed sewing shirts and blouses to pair with jeans for a put together smart, casual look. For those days when I'm feeling more casual, casual I've been sewing up some simple Tshirts. Let me show you what I've made, covering fit, construction, fabric and everything in between.
I had an idea in my head for a modern looking blouse with some shirt style details such as a pointed collar and cuffs. McCalls 8041 ticked all the boxes beautifully. Oversized with a button band that finishes part way down the bodice and nice chunky cuffs it was just what I was looking for.
I sewed it up in our polka dot crepe fabric, which is a nice change from florals and, get this, doesn't need ironing! I know, winner!
Size and Fit
I cut a size 12 at the bust and graded to a 14 at the waist and hips. I could probably have gotten away with a straight 12 thanks to the oversized fit, but am glad I graded and didn't loose any of the fullness.
I made my usual adjustments for a high round back and forward shoulder then scooped out the front armhole slightly when attaching the sleeves to compensate for my narrow frame in this area.
This was a lovely simple sew, although I managed to make a couple of rookie errors!
Firstly the end of the button band. First time I sewed it, it was almost perfect, like 99% perfect.
I had to make one of those decisions we so often have to make on a sewing project. Do I leave it or risk unpicking it and sewing it again in the quest for 100% perfect. Sometimes it pays off sometimes it doesn't. This time it didn't!
I really wish I had left it how it was. The fabric frayed slightly and meant I had to 'bodge' it to get it sewn together and encase all the raw edges - boo!!
Luckily I wear it tucked into my jeans so it isn't visible anyway and is an imperfection I can live with.
Secondly I sewed the cuff buttonholes whilst chatting to my two children and Husband. The result? Buttonholes and buttons on the wrong sides of the cuffs making it hard to button them up for a right hander like me!
I still might sew up the button holes and swap things over, but I haven't yet.
On the subject of buttons, I spent ages looking for the right navy blue, then stumbled across these Hemline ones and thought they were just perfect for the polka dot fabric. They have a lighter, whitish colour on the inside of the button which goes really well with the white polka dots on the navy background.
The rest of the construction went really well and I was extra pleased with the nice, sharp points on my collar thanks to my Prym corner shaper tool. I also trimmed the seams either side of the point and snipped across the end.
I find that leaving the seam allowances intact and folding them over only works on 90 degree angles and smaller angles like a collar point do require some trimming.
Overall a nice, simple and thoroughly enjoyable sew and the fabric worked brilliantly with this pattern.
I absolutely love wearing this blouse, the polka dots feel fresh and cheery, the blouse is nicely oversized and comfortable without drowning me in fabric and it feels just the right balance of smart, casual for every day wear.
New Look 6217
Although I'm loving a shirt/blouse right now there's always room for more Tshirts in my wardrobe. I recently made New Look 6217 in a cotton jersey and was pleased with the end result so I decided to make another one.
Pattern and Fabric
New Look 6217 is actually designed for woven fabrics, but having downsized in a jersey fabric previously I decided to make another one.
This time I planned a neckband and sleeve roll ups/cuffs, but neither of those ideas worked out!
The fabric I chose is a lovely super soft jersey in a grey - blue hue with a white stripe. It hangs and drapes beautifully, but be careful with the iron - I managed to singe it!
Size and Fit
This pattern is super easy to fit and has only two pattern pieces thanks to the grown on sleeve.
I sized down to a 10 because it is a woven pattern and I was making it in jersey and omitted the centre back seam.
I made my standard high round back and forward shoulder adjustments.
A very straightforward and simple sew, unfortunately my neckband and cuff ideas didn't work out. I was incredibly tired and after four attempts at getting the neckband to sit right I decided to stick with a simple turned down and coverstitched neckline.
It is worth mentioning that the neckline wasn't even remotely stretched out of shape despite my repeated unpicking and this was thanks to the seam tape I had applied before sewing. You can find it here. A little strip of stretch interfacing, which can be applied round armholes and necklines etc to help them maintain their shape. Magical stuff, find it here.
The wide shape of the sleeves meant a cuff wouldn't work properly because there was too much fabric to turn in. I could have made a band, but after the neckband woes I had lost all enthusiasm!
I did take the time to stripe match the side seams though. I pinned the stripes horizontally before sewing then knocked the differential feed up on my overlocker after testing on scraps first.
This Tshirt felt like it took a lot longer than it should have done, but I'm pleased with the end result and will get plenty of wear from it in summer and it will also come in useful for layering during the winter months too.
- McCalls 8041
- Polka dot crepe fabric
- Prym corner shaper
- Hemline buttons
- New Look 6217
- Stripe jersey fabric
- Seam tape
Have fun sewing!
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