Tag Archives: jersey

FO x 2: (well 3 technically!) My perfect boxy tee

One might say that this simple boxy tee was nearly 3 years in the making! Why? Because I discovered an abandoned experiment in my stash from that time period. I picked it up…looked at it quizzically….wondered why it had been cast aside because…it looked like just the kind of tee I’d been looking for recently. So I sewed it up in half an hour and what do you know….it was exactly the shape and proportion I had been hankering after in my wardrobe. So I made 2 more!

self drafted box tee (5)

The first being this incarnation in a pique type knit from Stoff & Stil. I love the irregular sketchy arrows and the monochrome makes it a really versatile addition. The top is self drafted….but very simply so. Rectangles for body and sleeves but with a slight curve for the sleeve heads and armholes, and curves cut out for the front and back neckline. My original experimental one was literally just rectangles but I loved the proportions so much that I drafted a pattern and added in those subtle refinements….self drafted box tee (5)self drafted box tee

Then I liked that one so much that I made another! Also in a Stoff & Stil fabric. This is a slightly looser version. But all 3 (the original, which is black, and these two) are in constant rotation. It’s like I had my holy grail of tees sitting in my WIP pile for 3 years! What the heck?!! Revisit your WIPs people! Seriously….you started them for a reason!self drafted box tee self drafted box tee

So needless to say….I will be making a few more of these.

I also want to direct your attention to the neckbands on these babies. Notice they are perfectly turned in and laying flat? Well in the past this has always been a bit touch and go for me. (wavy neckbands anyone? Ack!) But I have been working on a formula for calculating the exact length of neckband you need, for any given neckline circumference….and any given fabric. (You may have read my initial ruminations here!) Because…it seemed to me that I needed to factor in the stretch percentage of the fabric I was using. A fabric with 40% stretch was not going to turn in the same way as a 60% stretch fabric cut to the same length. Well if my last few knit makes are anything to go by…I’ve nailed it! And there will be a post coming your way soon. So if you ever got frustrated at wavy or puckered neckbands….stay tuned!

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FO: Boxy Cuffed Tee + Tutorial

I’ll begin by apologising for the image quality in this post. I am having some serious photography woes at the moment. Doesn’t seem to matter what I do. Winter light levels have kicked in and I have some work to do to try and counteract this. I have a total mental block when it comes to the technicalities of camera settings but am TRYING to get my head around compensating for low light conditions. Right now…it just ain’t happening. And short of discontinuing blog posts until I sort it (not an option) I’m having to suck it up and make do with what I can muster photography wise for now. So basically….sorry for the s*** photos…

That said…I am pretty pleased with this top…BOXY CUFFED TEE (2)


Still exploring the boxy loose shape which, when combined with a decent drape,  is becoming a favourite of mine…BOXY CUFFED TEE

This one is comprised of 2 squares of fabric with cuffed bands applied to the sleeves and hem and a standard neckband finish to the neckline…

The fabric is from Girl Charlee. It’s the red orange and heather grey colourway. Lovely drape and softness against the skin and easy to work with.  I prewashed the fabric as I would be doing during normal use. Then again after I made the top at which time there was further shrinkage. Not massive amounts, but enough to slightly skew my sleeve and hem bands. SO…prewash…at least twice IMHO. 30 degrees and hang to dry rather than tumble…BOXY CUFFED TEE TUTORIAL (1)

BOXY CUFFED TEE TUTORIAL (7)I had to employ the differential feed on this too. Only a teeny bit. But worth swatching first with this one to limit stretching or shifting of layers whilst serging.

The top I made is 2 squares of fabric 28″ by 28″….BOXY CUFFED TEE

Pin along the outside edges to keep the stripes aligned….

Then serge straight across the top (where the neckline will be)…BOXY CUFFED TEE

We’ll come back to the neckline in a moment…

Measure approx 8″ down and snip a notch into the side seam…BOXY CUFFED TEE

This marks the armhole opening and provides a starting point for the serger…

Simply peel back the layers above the notch and line the innermost part of the cut/notch up with your needles…BOXY CUFFED TEE

Serge the side seams together.

Create a band to fit the armhole opening…BOXY CUFFED TEE TUTORIAL (8)

Pin that the the opening RS together and raw edges aligned…

Serge together…BOXY CUFFED TEE

Then cut out a neck opening your desired width…

Measure the opening …BOXY CUFFED TEE

Then cut a band from your remaining fabric to fit. Cutting the neckband marginally smaller than the measurement of the neckline opening  (about 5/8″) helps the neckband to turn inwards and sit flat once it’s applied.

Apply the band to the neck opening…BOXY CUFFED TEE

Press seam allowance down and top stitch if desired.

For the bottom hem the treatment is pretty much the same as the sleeves…BOXY CUFFED TEE

I cut off the bottom 6″ of the hem…

And folded it in half to create a band…BOXY CUFFED TEE

Then simply applied that to the hem.


Super easy. Super quick. Super comfy. 🙂


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FO: Double Hemmed Hemlock Tee Hack

Time for some deets on another hemlock tee hack! Man I just can’t leave that pattern alone can I?!! I’d say I’m getting my money’s worth out of this pattern except I can’t say that because it’s free to download here! I bought another pattern from Jen’s collection so my feelings of guilt over getting so much for nothing, feel assuaged for now! You’ll have seen this top in my post about these refashioned trousers. But here’s the lowdown on what I did…DOUBLE HEMMED HEMLOCK TEE HACK

The neckline, cuffs and hemline are all finished using the deconstructed finish I described in this post. But I played with the overall silhouette and proportions of the design as well…


The hem features a wide double hem band with the edges left raw to curl. The idea came about when I realised this jersey lacked weight and was a little too see through in the muffin top area if you know  what I mean! So a double thickness of fabric added weight and solved the see through part as well.


In terms of proportions I’m weirdly being drawn to a more cropped and fitted silhouette up top. So the hem and the sleeves got chopped on this incarnation…



To create the hem band I made the hemlock up as normal, then cut straight across the hem at hip level (yes that is masking tape as a cutting guide)…


I used the piece I cut off to create the hem band by folding it in half WS together…


Then serged it around the hem of the shirt. RS together and folded edge of the band aligned with the raw edge of the hem…


This results in a double layer of fabric with raw edges that will curl with wear and laundering. An effect I personally love. But you could always reverse the process and end up with a clean, folded edge at the bottom if the deconstructed/raw edge look isn’t your bag…


Sleeve wise, I wanted to echo the cropped proportions of the body so cut them to elbow length…


I cut strips from my fabric remnants using, you guessed it, masking tape as my guide. (See this post on why masking tape is so useful in the sewing room!)


(I find a bit of spray starch along the edges of jersey keeps it from curling so much during the cutting/construction process. 😉 )



Then used those strips to finish the neckline and cuffs with the same raw edge finish. Full  step by step on that can be found here . This is a less trimmed down version of the neckline in that post…


There are 2 more hemlocks that I haven’t blogged, and I think I now have 6 in total ha! The Hemlock by Grainline Studio  and the Maya by Marilla Walker are fast becoming….scratch that…they ARE my two TNT top patterns. Not because they have show stopping qualities. But because they are well drafted simple wardrobe basics that are ripe for little customisations like this. And Amen to more patterns like that!

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DIY: Sweatshirt Market Tote Bag

Turn a Sweatshirt into A Tote Bag
This sweatshirt was no longer as slouchy as I would like (one too many tumbles in a too hot dryer…yep!) and was languishing unloved in my wardrobe. So I thought I’d turn it into a handy little market tote, (complete with reinforced handles) ready for my next shopping trip… here’s how….

Turn a Sweatshirt into A Tote Bag

Start by pressing and laying out flat with shoulder seams lined up….

Turn a Sweatshirt into A Tote Bag

Cut off the sleeves using the seams as a guide…

Turn a Sweatshirt into A Tote Bag

Cut a big “U” shape out of the neckline…

Turn a Sweatshirt into A Tote Bag

Turn inside out, remove ribbing, sew opening closed (I curved my corners), then turn right side out again….

Turn a Sweatshirt into A Tote Bag

Now for the handles. Cut 2 x 7″ sections from the ribbing you just removed….

Turn a Sweatshirt into A Tote Bag

Fold in half lengthwise and serge (you could also zig zag or stretch stitch) all the way along the open edge. Look what it does! Cuurves into a perfect handle shape!

Turn a Sweatshirt into A Tote Bag

Feed one side of a handle through the tube…

Turn a Sweatshirt into A Tote Bag

Secure/stitch the 2 handle/strap pieces together…

Turn a Sweatshirt into A Tote Bag

Then slide the tube of ribbing over the join to hide it and distribute evenly. Repeat for both handles….

Turn a Sweatshirt into A Tote Bag

and you’re done!

The beauty of this is that it provides a little more structure and support to what would otherwise be rather stretchy handles, which has kinda what put me off the idea of T Shirt bags in the past. Plus sweatshirt fabric is sturdier to begin with. I think this bag could take a few fresh apples and bananas without breaking into a sweat (unintentional pun 😉

Do you use reuseable shoppers? Handmade or shop bought? My worst habit is actually remembering to take them with me to the shop…doh!

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