Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Birthday Gifts for June, July and August

  I've got a lot of shirts to share! So, in order of birthday, here they are!

First, my sister-in-law's Lane Raglan, with curved hem and 3/4 sleeves, neckline raised 1" and neckband shortened to match.

  The fabrics are from Girl Charlee some time ago, and no longer available. I also used the floral here

  I wish I'd had dark blue for the vinyl instead of the pink, but this was the best coordinate I had!

  I twin-needled all of the hems, but I should have stabilized them better first. Particularly that curved hem... it stretched out enough that even a good steaming left it pretty wavy.

  Next, my oldest brother's gift. His is Jalie 2918, crew-neck, short sleeves. He's definitely a coffee-lover!

  I'm pretty pleased with the lettering I came up with for 'yawn' and 'coffee'. =)

  I tried making a small dip in the center back neckband seam to pull in some of the excess... it helped a little, but it's still a bit wavy.

  The fabric for this (and all the other black shirts in this post!) is from Nick of Time Textiles. I still really love this knit! 

  I'm really pleased with the hems on this shirt too:

  All three of the June gifts were for the same family! This one was for my nephew.

  I wanted to do something different for this one, so I altered a bodysuit pattern I own to have a crew neck with snaps at the shoulder. I'm really happy that I had snaps and vinyl that matched!

  I interfaced just the portion where the snaps would be to prevent them from pulling through the fabric:

  I used fold-over-elastic to finish the sleeves and neckline, but I didn't stretch it nearly enough on the neckline... I really wish I'd picked it out and redone it! I also wish I'd hemmed the sleeves in the round instead of the flat. It's more fiddly but it's almost always worth it.

  I also hemmed this one with a band.

  Next, for my youngest brother, who is a musician-in-training. I really wanted to make this one from black fabric with white vinyl, but I thought I was out of white vinyl. So my second choice was black vinyl on a different fabric, and this red was what I had that worked best with it. Excuse the photos... I tried under-exposing them to avoid blown-out reds and it didn't work.

  This is also Jalie 2918, crew neck, long sleeves.  The fabric is from Girl Charlee, also used here.

   July's second birthday was my youngest nephew. I waited a long time to sew this one because I was busy being unreasonably miffed about an un-replied-to text message. Fortunately I realized how silly I was being! ;-) I was planning a totally different design for this shirt, and changed my mind as I was making it, so I forgot to put in a 'that' before the 'you' in the quote. 

  This fabric has a really snappy stretch, so I should have lengthened the binding... it's causing some puckering. Other than that I feel like I did a really good job with the finish on this one!

  Finally, my dad's birthday was this month! (And I already posted about Becker's birthday gift!) For him I made Jalie 2918, crew neck, long sleeves. I lengthened the sleeves by 1.5" for him.

  I made the neckband slightly narrower, and made the ends of the neckband piece slightly concave, which translates to the top edge being slightly shorter than the bottom edge once sewn. It really helped with all that waviness!

  What I'm doing for the hems now is using heat and bond lite, cut into long strips as deep as my hem allowance. I press it on the wrong side at the raw edge, then remove the paper backing and press most of the hem up with the shirt still flat. After the side seams are sewn I press the rest of the hem up, then sew with a stretch twin needle using a lengthened stitch and wooly nylon in the bobbin. It works beautifully for these fabrics! I haven't tried it on anything thinner though:

  This is the denim blue 12 oz fabric from Nick of Time Textiles, and white vinyl (it was hiding out between two sheets of black vinyl.)

  And a matching tag because I've been learning calligraphy lately:

  I have no more birthday sewing until the last week of September! 

Thanks for stopping by,


  1. I love all of these! Especially the music and atomic ones (I really dig 'nerd' humor). That hem on the purple shirt I made is making me bonkers, so I'm thinking I'll have to pick it out and try your above tricks. I think stabilizing it and a twin needle will be the ticket.

    1. Thank you! I love 'nerd' humor too!
      I hope it helps! I don't envy you picking out stitches on a knit hem though, that's for sure!

  2. I love all of these! I need to try your hem technique - mine usually look horrible!

    1. Thank you! It really helps with these sturdy knits! I haven't tried it on anything lightweight yet, but I'm guessing it will still work better than just pressing it up and sewing. =)

  3. Love the science and the coffee ones! Your hems are looking really awesome. I'll keep your tricks in mind for when I decide to give the twin needle a shot again.

    1. Thank you! Twin needles can be really tricky, can't they? And then you think you've finally got it figured out only to switch fabrics and have to experiment all over again!

  4. I love how each one is so personalised - what special gifts for the special people in your life!

    1. Thank you! I think personalizing them is my favorite part of making gifts. =)