Thursday, August 5, 2021

Making T-shirts


During Quilt Canada, I stumbled across some demos from The Sewing Room in Calgary. I really liked the teachers and what they were demoing and just their entire setup. I found out that they had a T-shirt class in August and well, I want to learn how to use my serger better. So I enrolled. I believe we are 15 in the class - that's crazy!!! And they have a perfect set-up for multiple cameras. Very well done, but then they have a techie person who works for them. 

The first day we chatted about sizing and drafting the pattern, which of course, I didn't do until yesterday! No, wait -- I did all the sizing stuff, and at least my fabric was washed. I just had not drafted out the pattern.

I was able to draft out the pattern - I mean -- there are three pieces - a front, a back, and a sleeve. I didn't get too scientific about the sizing. According to the calculation, I'm three different sizes - one for the top, one for the waist, and one for the hips - so I fudged that together to get my size. 

Then I laid out my fabric, but not before I had to remove EVERYTHING from the cutting table. It's all on the floor. As a matter of fact, the studio looks like a tornado went through. 

A huge mess

Stuff on the floor - but it's only temporary

I needed to find some clear elastic or twill tape. So boxes of supplies got pulled from shelves and are still sitting on the floor. 

Looking for clear elastic

And twill tape

I didn't find clear elastic, although I'm sure I have some. I did find a couple of yards of white narrow twill tape. Who knew that I had that? I might need a couple of extra containers to properly put all this stuff away. I think it all needs to be resorted and perhaps expand a box or two. 

I mentioned that I bought a striped fabric. Do you know how much "fun" it is to work with a striped fabric? Oh darn -- the pattern weights were upstairs, and then I finally got myself organized, and yes - I cut the whole thing out with the rotary cutter. 

Cutting the T-shirt

It was a total hands-on sewing class. This is how it looks -- your teacher on the computer in Calgary, and I'm sitting in front of the serger, in Ontario. The format works just fine. Although everyone was muted - I'm not sure why. The teacher didn't mute us - everyone muted themselves. Then they would ask questions in the chatbox. I asked in person -- good grief -- we don't need to be silent about the entire process. 

Following the instructions while serging

And people -- we have to ask questions! I asked questions about stuff that I didn't know. That's why I signed up for the class. 

I made out not bad. I learned how to properly rip out serged seams, and yes - I screwed up the neckband and had to rip part of it out. But it was super easy! 

And then this happened. I knew that the upper looper thread was getting low but totally forgot to keep an eye on it. I had to go back and redo a wee bit of the neckband  - yet again!

The upper looper thread ran out

I had a couple of ends of spools of serger thread, and being too cheap to throw them out, I ended another spool. This time, I caught the thread and tied it off to the new spool. 

Another spool of serger thread bites the dust

Things were going well until I went to put the sleeves in. The first one went in like a charm. When I went to pin the second one, I realized that I had cut TWO left sleeves. Normally I could cut a pair of sleeves, but I cut them one at a time and forgot to flip the pattern for the second one. 

Two left sleeves

This fabric is super wide - well, 54" or something like that, and I cut the front, the back, and the two sleeves from that width. This is why I cut the sleeves one at a time. 

Trying to cut the second sleeve

And here's my new T-shirt. Next week, we'll be doing the hemming, so the neck still needs some stitching, as do the sleeves and the bottom. I think I'll cut the bottom off. I didn't measure it against some of my other T-shirts, and this is a bit too long. But that's what this T-shirt was all about - checking to see if the pattern worked. 

The T-shirt FITS

The back of the T-shirt

I LOVE it. It actually fits pretty well, and I would wear this in public. But since I'm making the T-shirt, I can make changes. So for the next one, and there will be a next one - I'll make the sleeves a little longer, a narrow neckband, slightly longer shoulders, and definitely shorter in length. I may consider making it slightly larger in the bust area. I'll try it on later and have a critical look in the mirror. But I was super excited!!! And the material I bought is so soft - I got it on sale at Fabricland. I LOVE it. I wonder what other fabric might work? 

It's not like I need a T-shirt - I sure don't. But perhaps it's time to retire some of my current T-shirts and make a couple of "grown-up" shirts without a bike on them. Just because!

I didn't get out for a walk until after dinner. And, of course, I had to find another geocache. Can you see it in the tree? 

The geocache in the tree

How about now? 

Ah - there's the geocache

What I love about this hobby is that you can do it solo or with others. You can do it anywhere; it doesn't require special equipment - just your phone and a pen clipped to the collar of your T-shirt. Simple stuff and not expensive. Low key, and that suits me just fine. 

I almost died in the spin class. I'm taking my own pace, and I need to learn to eat better. I ate a helping of almonds before class when I should have remembered that I can't eat the entire helping at once. It didn't sit well, but I have to relearn all those habits! Half before and half after! There were only 14 of us in the class. There was room for more - are people away on vacation? Afraid to go to the gym? I say - get on with life and take precautions!

I have another quilt loaded for later today. I have a couple of road trips to make and debating if today is the day. I need batting as I've pretty much completely run out, so I may make that road trip today. Plus, I need to drop some work off for my MIL before she goes stir crazy. Good grief - she's in her mid-80s but still needs to sew something every day!!! That's actually good news - she is binding my community project quilts, and I hope that I can be like her when I'm that age. 

So what exciting thing will you do today??? I have enough of that striped fabric left that I can probably make TWO more T-shirts. One for me and one for M. We can be matching - mother/daughter!!! How cute would that be? I say one for M because she could get away with a cropped shirt, while I would not. 

And I have to say that it was super fun to do something totally different - no quilts, no sewing quilts!

Anyway --  I'm off!

Have a super day!!!!


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