Monday, January 19, 2015

Christmas 2014: Knit Shirts

  I've already shown you the shirts I bought and decorated, and now for the shirts I actually sewed!

  First up, for my pregnant sister-in-law. (Actually, all three of my sisters-in-law are pregnant right now. I'm the only married sister my family and my husband's family that is not pregnant.) This is the one who married my brother in 2013. =)

  Jess is an outdoorsy, animal-loving, quiet person. She loves camouflage, but I've also spotted her wearing sequins. =) Since I wasn't sure how often sequins would get worn, I chose camouflage knit for her shirt, the same fabric I used for my youngest sister's skirt, from Girl Charlee.

  I started with Jalie 2805 (which includes 27 sizes... from toddlers to women's plus!) and chose the jewel neck and long sleeve options. The pattern was pretty good, all of the pieces matched up and the the notches lined up perfectly. The instructions were sparse, but that's not a problem for me. There were a couple of slight dips/points at corners, but small enough that they caused no problems. I lengthened and widened the front bodice below the waist to accommodate a growing belly, and gathered the sides of the front piece to match the back. You can see the shaping a bit here:

  I added a ruffle at the neckline to girly it up a bit... it's just a long piece with one rounded end, lettuce-edged all around and gathered to half its length, then zig-zagged down, before adding the neck binding.

  The hem is also lettuce-edged:

  And the sleeves are hemmed with a twin needle:

  Since Jess is not due until July, the belly of the shirt is a bit loose right now, but otherwise it fits her well, and I really like how it turned out. =)

  Next, for my mom, I sewed a shirt using the same pattern, Jalie 2805. I chose the 3/4 length sleeves for her, and started with the jewel neck but altered it for a pretty flounced neckline. I did a cheater FBA on hers, but she said it was still a bit tight in the chest. I  used this fabric from Girl Charlee for hers... it was rather see-through, so I lined the entire bodice with an off-white knit that I happened to have. The print was also quite a lot bigger than I expected, but it still looked all right for this shirt.

  The flounce and hem are lettuce edged:

  The sleeves... I actually can't remember if I hemmed them with a twin needle or lettuce-edged them, and I didn't get a photo of those. But here's the hem:

  Anyway, mom liked it! So that's a win. =)

  Finally, I made a shirt from the same pattern for this sister-in-love, who- as mentioned above- is pregnant. She's an artist, graceful and feminine, so I used a pretty rosey pink stretch lace and under-lined it with white knit, both from Girl Charlee. Sadly, the stretch lace is no longer available. 

  I chose the v-neck and 3/4 length sleeve options for this one. I did a cheater FBA, cut the waist in a curve, dipping down in the back and up in the front, and flared the cut pieces into a full circle for plenty of room in the belly, with a little extra length in the front to reduce risk of exposure.

  After sewing it up, I let it hang for a couple of days and evened the hem before lettuce-edging it. The lettuce edging comes out really sparse on a lace like this, so next time I'll probably hem it using this method.

  I hemmed the sleeves with a twin needle, after serging them to keep the layers together:

  Now for the sad part. This one didn't fit. In fact, it was too tight to the point of being unwearable. =( I should have sized up to account for the lack of stretch in the stretch lace (as in, it stretches, but not nearly as much as the pattern recommends), and I think I also made a mistake in the FBA.... the sleeves and the chest were the parts that were too tight. =( I could probably add a gusset from the sleeve hem to the waist, and I have enough leftover fabric to do so... I just need to get the shirt back in my hands. It was extra disappointing that I messed this one up, because I was really, really happy with how it turned out.

  Maybe I'll make her another maternity shirt with some pretty knit, to make up for this one being too small. Ah, well. 

  Anyway, that's it for the knit shirts I sewed! =)

Thanks for stopping by,


  1. How do you do a lettuce edge? I love that!

    1. Thank you! Me too, as you could probably tell. ;-) Basically you do a tight stitch over the edge of the fabric while stretching it behind and in front of the presser foot. On a sewing machine, you'd use a zig-zag... or closer to a satin stitch, actually. It takes a long time to lettuce-edge things on a sewing machine though. On a serger, a narrow rolled hem with a short stitch length looks best. Either way, make sure to pull equally from the front and back so you don't snap your needle. You can use the differential feed on the serger to help stretch, but for me the end result isn't wavy enough with differential feed alone.

  2. Great work, Charity! I love how you took one blouse and made shirts to fit each person/personality.

    1. Thank you! It was fun changing the style of the blouse in such different ways. =)