Like I said in an earlier post, I’m trying to develop my sewing skills this year by making a garment every month. For my January project, I plan on making a basic long-sleeved T-shirt using Kwik Sew 3766 and a green polka dot cotton blend jersey fabric I bought from Girl Charlee. (It doesn’t look like this fabric is available anymore.)
I know it sounds boring and about as simple as you can get, but this will be the first piece of clothing I’ve made for myself that aren’t pajama pants. I’ve made one previous attempt at sewing a top and it was a spectacular failure. Given my history, my primary goal for this project is to simply make a garment that I don’t feel totally ashamed to wear in public. There are a few things I’m trying to do to try to stack the sewing deck in my favor:
1.) I picked this pattern because it’s very basic and because it has great reviews on Pattern Review. I’ve already read through the instructions and they are very, very accessible. My one previous failed garment attempt was for a woven tank that seemed simple but required complicated fitting adjustments to get it to fit me. Based on my measurements, this pattern doesn’t seem like it will require any adjustments I can’t handle.
2.) I’m making a knit top because it will be more forgiving in terms of fit. I know some people are reluctant to sew with knits, especially as beginners, but I have a bit of practice working with knits. I already have a walking foot for my machine and the pattern has very specific instructions for working with knits that will definitely come in handy.
3.) I made a simple T-shirt for my nephew a few months ago. While I’m sure this project will be a bit more challenging than making a toddler shirt (if for no other reason than my standards are a bit higher than a 2-year-old’s), knowing that I’ve successfully attached a neck band and sewn in sleeves makes me less nervous going into this project.
4.) I bought extra fabric. I’m not so naïve as to believe that failure is not a real possibility with this project. In a perfect world, I’ll wind up with a handful of new shirts. In a more realistic world, I’ve made sure I’ve got enough fabric to afford myself a second (and third) try.
I’m hoping that with some care and practice, this first project of the year will be the first of many me-made knit tops. I wear knit tops almost every day, but have trouble finding knit tops that are classroom appropriate, that fit well, and that won’t fall apart in the first wash cycle. I’ve found a number of knit top patterns that I like, and I’m hoping to work my way up to the more challenging patterns as I sew my way through this challenge.
The long weekend should give me a chance to make some headway on this project. Wish me luck!