Tuesday, January 8, 2013

oliver + s field trip raglan shirt

Happy 2013 to you!  I feel like I hardly know what day it is, we've been so sick over Christmas and New Year's.  It started with the boys getting the flu, then Ava, then Levi and Ava both developed bronchitis.  Then I did.  Nasty stuff that caused us to not be able to keep our Christmas Day plans with family, but hey, life happens.  Other than that, we had a very nice Christmas!

So, I am branching out in my sewing abilities this year.  I have been quilting for over 10 years and now have been bitten by the clothing bug.  Last year about this time I made a dress for Ava using the oliver + s jump rope dress pattern

I never blogged about the finished product, though, because I'm bad about blogging.  I'm trying more to view it as "scrapbooking" instead of blogging since I don't scrapbook anymore.  Maybe that'll help.  :)

Anyway, the dress turned out lovely and I will post about it sometime when I take pictures.  That successful project encouraged me to research and learn more about sewing apparel.

I bought the video Apparel Sewing Basics with Liesl Gibson last week and watched that. 

I wasn't sure I would learn much from it as I have been sewing a number of years, but was hoping to pick up a few tips for clothing.  And I did!  It was a worthwhile purchase and I promptly went to JoAnn's to pick up a list of notions for my apparel sewing arsenal.  Along with some flannel and knit fabrics to make up some jammies for the kids.

I was SO excited to learn to sew with knits!  It was rather ridiculous, really.  Ava kept laughing at me until I explained how much I like to learn something new.  I think she got it.

I started with the field trip raglan shirt by oliver + s

I carefully cut out my fabric and started sewing in the middle of making dinner because I was just SO EXCITED!  I finished everything but the sleeve and shirt hems and needed Evan to try it on for me.

Something I figured out during my sewing was that the fabric was not very stretchy width-wise.  I hemmed and hawed over this a few minutes but decided to proceed as the fabric was already cut and there was really nothing I could do about it.  But, in the back of my mind I was worried it would be too tight in the arms.

It's fine in the arms, but too tight across the shoulders.  Hmm.  I was disappointed.  Not too terribly, but still.

Now that I've posted the picture of it, I see you really can't tell.  It looks great!  But, it is too tight.

So, I hemmed and hawed again over what I had done wrong and contemplated what to do.  I only spent $6 on the fabric, so I could go get more and start all over without too much regret.  I did learn something, after all, and that alone is worth $6.  Do you know what I did wrong?  I bet some of you do!

I bought too little fabric--1/2 a yard of each fabric instead of 3/4 of a yard.  What can I say, I didn't have the pattern with me, I had 3 kids in the store with me who were all about to DIE from boredom, and I was running off my memory--not a wise decision.

So, after washing my 1/2 yard cuts and seeing how much they shrank, I had to fold the fabric the opposite direction from the way it comes on the bolt to be able to fit the pattern pieces.  You know, cut edges together instead of selvedges together?

Problem?  Yes.  This knit only stretches in the width.  Not the length.  Those shoulders would have been fine if they were cut on the grain.  As it is, the shirt will not stretch at all in width, but you can stretch the daylights out of the sleeve length and shirt length. 


I don't give up that easily!  I plan to pick out the sleeves and neckband and replace them with a new cut of fabric.  Back to JoAnn's!  I think the body will be fine without the stretch, because it is roomy on Evan.  I have already come up with a solution for Levi's shirt, as well, without needing to buy more fabric.  It will just not be quite as long, and I will make short sleeves.  This really makes sense anyway, as those boys get hot at night and don't need long sleeves.  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they shed their flannel bottoms by morning.

So, there you go.  I've already learned something new this year!

A little off-topic, but my sewing goals for this year are:

Sew 2 articles of clothing each month
Make 2 quilts (one for Evan, another just for fun--hopefully a Bargello in there somewhere!)
Sew doll clothes from the list Ava has made :)
..............and blog more.  Not that that has much to do with sewing.

Pretty simple, but I find I need to aim a little lower than my ambitions want me to if I expect to fulfill any of them.  You know.  Because life happens.

I'll post an update and let you know how the shirts turn out!

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