So, my first foray into knits. It was fine. Yep, fine.
I downloaded the free Plaintain tee pattern from Deer & Doe, bought this cheap navy jersey from Minerva Crafts, loaded up my regular machine with a ballpoint needle and away I went. I did everything right, even going so far as to cut a swatch of my fabric and check it had enough stretch for the pattern before I started cutting. Based on the Deer & Doe sizing guide, I cut a 36 at the bust and waist, grading to a 40 at the hips.
But when I sewed this up it was enormous. I took it in about an inch at each side seam from just below the bust straight down to the hem. I also narrowed the sleeves about 1 cm from the elbow to the wrist. (Sorry about my inability to be consistent between metric and imperial. I’m not sure what’s up with that.) As you can hopefully see on my rubbish photo, it’s still pretty big. If I planned on wearing this outside the house I would take it in another 3/4 of an inch on each side seam. As it is, I’ll probably just leave it and wear it to bed.
I was pretty surprised by the ginormous sizing, particularly as I made a cardinal error when cutting the fabric. I spent ages carefully aligning the layers of the jersey and smoothing them across the carpet to eliminate any folds and puckers before pinning my pattern on. What I didn’t realise until too late was that the jersey had lovingly attached itself to the carpet and my smoothing was not moving the layers of fabric across the floor, but just stretching them out of shape. Once I cut out my pattern pieces and removed them from the carpet’s clasp, the jersey sprung back into shape and I was left with pattern pieces looking like this:
In this way, all the major pattern pieces ended up a good 1 cm smaller across the width than they should have been. So this shirt would have been truly gigantic if I’d actually cut it out properly.
I’m pretty underwhelmed by this make, to be honest. Yes it was quick and easy to sew up (probably took about an hour all up, although I kept pausing to drink tea, eat lollies and read Georgette Heyer novels so I’m not sure) but it wasn’t very satisfying. I’m not sure what I expected from a plain navy long sleeved t-shirt though. I guess the lesson is that cheap and uninspiring fabric, together with a very simple pattern, does not make for very interesting sewing.
This is entirely my own fault. The one feature this pattern has is the elbow patches, which every other blogger has sewn in a contrasting fabric, to cute effect. See here; here; and here for just a few examples. I, like a muppet, sewed them out of the same fabric as the body. In my defence, the jersey is pretty thin and I thought having a double layer of the same fabric at the elbows would add a subtle but discernible note of interest. It doesn’t.
Never mind–I did learn that sewing knits is pretty easy, setting me up for the Lady Skater I plan to make next. And I do have another, much more interesting, finished project, which I might get around to blogging soon.