I know it seems like every post starts with “It’s been a long time…”, but great things have been happening in my sewing room. Aside from being out of town for a few days for my new job training, my sewing room has been extremely busy. What’s been under the needle you ask? I’ll be sharing in the next few post things that I’ve been working on. Many for my new job, other’s personal. So first I’ll share the “Sewing Shirt” I’ve been working on.
The idea for the shirt came several months ago when I signed up for Angela Wolf’s workshop at AllBrands this September. After signing up for Angela’s workshop I had the opportunity to take a class from Angela at the Everything Applique Conference in June of this year. I learned so much at her class and was greatly looking forward to the workshop this fall. I was the lucky winner of the door prize for her class and won the pattern that we will be making at the workshop in September. I couldn’t wait till September to sew the “Rachel Twin Set” pattern, so I got busy creating my own version.
Angela stressed in her class this spring the importance of making a muslin when sewing a garment, something I NEVER do, which is probably why I’m not happy with the fit of some of my clothes and end up altering them. So I set out looking through my stash of fabrics looking for muslin. I came across a neutral/cream colored knit, which was given to me by a friend, and I wasn’t crazy about the color so figuring I would never use it for a garment it was deemed perfect for the muslin. I began with the jacket, stitching it together with large basting stitches, so as not to waste too much time on the fabric I wasn’t to jazzed about.
The more I worked with this fabric it began to grown on me, which resulted in my stitching over the basting stitches, serging the seams, and finishing the ends of the jacket. I love the way it drapes on me and fits. Also the color has turned out to be a generic color that goes with everything!
After finishing the jacket a few other items crept their way into my sewing room, putting the matching tank that goes underneath on the back burner for two or three weeks. I’m sure if you are an avid sewer like myself you can totally relate. For the tank I knew I wanted to use Designs by Hope Yoder embroidery collection called Sew Chandelier collection. I love the chandelier design and the way the sewing charms fall from it, and created the necklace for my shirt in digitizing software. The first step was to draw my necklace on the pattern piece.
Next I put my pattern piece on the scanner (be sure you scan at 100%) and brought it into my digitizing software as a background image. I was then able to digitize the necklace and parts of the chain that hung down ward on top of the pattern. Then I dropped in the charms from Hope’s collection taking care to be sure it all lined up on the pattern piece with the center mannequin charm on the center fold line of the pattern. You will later be able to use the center mannequin charm to align with the center of the actual shirt piece. Super easy and it customized my shirt in no time. I did take the time to stitch a sample on a scrap piece of fabric since I wanted to use the gold metallic thread.
Next step was to place my shirt piece front on the hooped stabilizer. I used Floriani’s Wet N Gone stabilizer. I used the camera feature to help align my design on my Baby Lock Destiny. This feature of the machine made the whole process simple and painless to line up the design where I wanted it on the shirt.
Now you have a beautiful customized shirt front.
Angela’s pattern did not call for the zipper on the back of the tank. So why does my shirt have a zipper?? I failed to fit the shirt before I sewed the facing around the neckline, and the back of the tank was to big due to my scoliosis on one side of my back. At this point I had two options to alter the back. The first would have been to remove the facing around the back neck portion and take a dart in the back to take in the extra fabric, then sew the facing back on. The second which is the option I choose was to cut the excess fabric out of the back in the shape of a dart and sew a zipper over the dart to bring in the fabric to fit. This also added a decorative feature to the back of my shirt. Now my shirt is ready to wear.