T Shirt DeStashification and a Fitting Discussion.

Every so often, I get annoyed with small pieces of fabric gathering dust in the small pieces of stash basket.  I add to it regularly when I see remnants that I like, all too small, of course, to make anything with, but ostensibly purchased to do muslins with to check fit.

That's what I purchased the red stripe knit and the raspberry coloured knit for. But I thought they were were deserving of a better fate, and they both became garments to be worn.

As many of you know, I don't really like sewing knits, more because I am not very experienced with sewing knits.  I did find that these two tops were a little easier to sew than some of my previous knit garments were, so I guess I'm starting to get the hang of them.

My first make was the little red striped t shirt, my Make a Garment a Month garment:

The stripe fabric was a 0.50 x 112 cm remnant, a cotton stable knit jersey.  I had a small piece of red cotton jersey in my leftover bits and pieces.  I thought I could put them together to make a jaunty little top.

The pattern I used was Kwik Sew 3766:

This is a classic t-shirt pattern, and my favourite.  Plain and simple, which is just what I like.  I've made it up a few times before, if you want to look at earlier versions do click here.

I wanted to make the sleeves at least elbow length, as our weather is starting to cool down and I like an inbetween length sleeve length for transitional seasons.  Luckily I had just enough, but I had to use the striped fabric for the neckband.  It doesn't sit that well, but I don't think anyone will notice.  Plenty of RTW t-shirts have bands that also do not sit well, so I keep "flaws" like this in perspective.

All seams were stitched with the overlocker.  I did topstitch the yoke seam as it did not want to lie down properly otherwise.  I did the same at the neckline.  I used a narrow zig zag stitch for this.  I also used a narrow zig zag on the hems, as I sort of thought it went with the stripes and overall energetic look.

As there is little to be said, I'll show you the pictures:

As you can see, the fit is not brilliant, in that the tee is sitting high at the front, and has pooling of fabric at the back.  I have had some people comment that I need a FBA and a sway back adjustment. But I think these pictures clearly show that these are not the alterations I need.  If you look at the profile picture, you will see I have a high, prominent chest  with a small bust and a very flat back.  I do not have a lordosis or big bottom - this is where one needs to do a sway back adjustment.  And looking at the picture of the back, you can see that I have a narrow back.  The pooling is due to the upright, flat, narrow back - fabric just gathers in the middle.  Alterations needed for this are to take out at upper back level, and to add at the upper front chest, and adjust the sleeves to match.

I never bother to make alterations on this scale for something like a simple t-shirt that is just going to be worn casually.  It's just not worth the effort.  Yes, for some garments it is worth the effort. But when you have to make most of your own clothes because you can't buy much that fits, you do have to decide how to invest your sewing time and energy for maximum mileage and output.  As far as t-shirts are concerned, these are minimal effort and maximum mileage type of garment.

As for the red top, I found a 0.50 by 150 of very stretchy poly/rayone/elastane remnant at Spotlight.  I was determined to make something from it, and paired it with a few long scraps of  ivory knit I had leftover from another garment.  The ivory knit is extremely stretch, well over 100%.  It worked nicely for the neckband, but I think the cuffs look a little bulky - I probably should have cut them a little narrower.

As in the red striped t shirt, I wanted longer sleeves for wearing in transitional seasons.

Again, all seams were serged, including the cuffs and hem of the top:

This very stretch top looks quite different from the striped stable knit top.  Nowhere near as fitted, but sort of nice and languid in fit:

Imperfections do not bother me if they are not screamingly obvious, and I think these two garments are going to be much loved tops for wearing around the house.

Thank you everyone for your comments on my post about recent bra making efforts  I am flat out at the moment and not able to reply to comments again.  I am also not posting much on Instagram at the moment as I had too much to do.  Just so you know I am not ignoring you all...

Bye for now,

Sarah Liz


  1. I need to take a page out of your book. I get too tied up with fitting and this means I end up with nothing.

  2. I think your tops look great! I especially love the red and red striped one.

    I do differ with your comment about narrow back and swayback. I do not have a bodacious bottom, actually over the years it has gotten flatter. The swayback adjustment is for the pooling at the back waistline as well as for those who have a very straight back, which I think you do have just from photos I see. I too have a narrow back from waist up and have to make a narrow back adjustment with some patterns. I love princess seams in the back for that fitting issue.

    I have not tried your way of adjusting for the back pooling so maybe that works. I just wanted to offer another suggestion for you to think about and try.

    I think we all over think fitting sometimes and small imperfections are hardly noticeable to most individuals.

  3. Very cute tops Sarah. I have a whole basket full of pieces I want to combine which is something I love to do especially prints and stripes. I agree with Linda about the pooling. I can't help but think that if you increased the seam line in the middle of the yoke piece and gradually sewed to nothing at the armhole ( think an arc shape ), it would take care of the pooling. Just my two cents worth. I hope you don't mind !!!

  4. What lovely t-shirts! The more one sews with knits, the the more one gets a "feel" for how they will behave. It's just a matter of building your confidence.

  5. Good job .. I really like the stripe and red .And putting the neck binding in the red stripe was adorable.. I love that pattern too. Happy sewing.

  6. I agree with Diana's comment about the arc in the back. But, I also agree with you Sarah, after all, it is just a tshirt! They are very cute!

  7. both are lovely. Amazing how the same pattern can look so different.The raspberry colour is lush. And I agree that sometimes you have to think, its just a tee shirt!

  8. I like the second shirt for fit, but the first is gorgeous. Most excellent combination of stripes and plain. Nice job.

  9. I really like the way the 2nd top fits you Sarah Liz. The 1st top catches my glance because of the cute stripes. I enjoyed hearing your views on what it "essential" in your sewing journey. Take care!

  10. Two great tops and the striped one is very much on trend. I hear you about not wanting to do those adjustments to this pattern but I tend to do it to my around the house patterns as I have learnt that if the right fabric comes along it then "goes out" and the fit is not what I want.

  11. Two very wearable tees made from remnants and I love the striped one. I have found sewing with knits gets easier the more experience you have, like most things. You should be very pleased with these.

  12. Both tops look very chic, and are so beautifully made. I am glad these pretty fabrics made it into 'real time' and by-passed being muslins. You really have conquered sewing with knits, I think.

  13. I love both tops, Sarah. Especially the red and stripes one. The colour suits you well.

  14. I love both tops too! The red/stripe is striking with the way you used color blocking and the raspberry color is flattering. Interesting both are from the same pattern as each looks different from the other. Completely understand needing some quiet time from social media. Take care, and we look forward to seeing what you have to share when you are ready.

  15. Both lovely tops! Don't you love it when you have a good go to pattern!


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