Sunday, August 19, 2012

30:60 Projects 19 & 20: Practical and Not-So-Practical Tees

Friends, I've been making t-shirts with random knit scraps that have been lying around the apartment.  Believe it or not, one of these is not a Renfrew!  I bought Simplicity 5509 from Miss Betty's Attic for two reasons:  it called for one yard of knit fabric and one version had a keyhole neckline.  It was love at first sight! (If you want to buy your own version, here are more for sale on Etsy)

Image found here
I have had this (wretched) black knit in my possession for years.  I attempted to make my first knit fabric project with this fabric six years ago, and it was a disaster.  I didn't know to use a specific needle and I didn't realize how much stretch this heavier fabric had in it.  Those gaucho pants were a DISASTER.  I believe I ended up throwing them away shortly after.

I decided that with my increased knowledge of knits, perhaps I could conquer this fabric.  I grabbed all the pattern pieces for version 3 and got to cutting.  Stitching this up went fine - but when I tried it on, it was at least three sizes too big!!  Oh, black knit fabric, I refuse to be thwarted!  I ended up taking about six inches out of the side seams to finally get a fit I liked.  Because I took so much out of the side seams, there was not enough fabric leftover in the kimono sleeves to gather at the base.  I just folded under and stitched - I like it just as much.

This shirt took about four hours total.  The hand sewing around the neckline and tie took the longest.  I didn't trust my machine with the tie, so I saved myself the headache and got out my needle and thread.

I'm really excited about having more solid color t-shirts in my closet.  These are great for casual Fridays at the office when paired with a suit jacket and jeans.   I feel so boring when I say things like that, but the unfortunate truth is that I wear the majority of my clothing to work.  Having a piece that can be worn both at work and then out in public increases its chances of seeing the light of day.

However, I still do like to make the crazy stuff, like this polka dot long sleeved Renfrew:

Rob and I are cat-sitting this weekend, and Vega was NOT going to be part of these pictures.  She did not care that I was giving her my pouty face at all.  

This shirt is made out of some sheer poly knit scraps I had lying around.  I usually layer it with a grey tank to add some length and to make the shirt a bit more opaque.  I've worn it out twice, and I think I am getting used to the polka dots.  When I first tried it on, I felt the size of the polka dots was a bit overwhelming!

Here kitty kitty kitty...

Nope.  No love whatsoever.  They did love my ball of yarn, though...

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, all!


  1. I find it hard to believe someone who exudes so much energy would be overwhelmed by any polka dot - regardless of size :-) and I love the peek-a-boo/keyhole t-shirt.

  2. I love the key-hole shirt - yeah for conquering the black knit!!

  3. As a fan of knits, I'm glad you are doing so well. x x x they look great.

  4. Love the keyhole top--it turned out terrific :)