It’s all about the Tees – Part I

When summer comes calling, I love wearing my t-shirts, easy to pull on, easy to wear, it’s a no-brainer, really.  When Montreux Fabrics announced on Instagram that they had a very short 50% discount off all jersey deal, I had to get some, despite having bought a decent amount of fabric at the NEC in March, some of it from them! I also had a stripe binge on, I love stripes!  And blue.  Especially in the summer, when my wardrobe staple colour of shades of greys turns to shades of blues.  Once washed, dried and ironed, they languished for a bit while I finished up other projects – and tried to decide which patterns to use.

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I have a couple of patterns I’ve bought for tees, and my own block.  The fit on the Birgitte Basic tee is hard to beat, for me, anyway.  I followed Maria’s instructions for the FBA and have ended up with a tee pattern that’s pretty darned good.  So I decided two of the pieces would be Birgittes, one V-neck and one scoop.  A couple of years ago I raised that scoop neck when I made some contrast colour tees, I like the height of that new scoop, especially if I’m going to be on the allotment, bending over…

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I started with the V-neck, using a blue and white random stripe fabric – no pattern matching required!!  Composition is Micro Modal and Elastene, it feels nice and cool to the touch.  As all my adjustments were already done, all I needed to do was cut and sew!  In hindsight, I should have payed a little more attention to exactly where all those stripes were going, but it’s too late now!

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Birgitte Basic Tee from Maria Denmark

The second tee, scoop neck version was made using a navy blue and white stripe, which also comes in a red/pink.  The fibre content is Viscose and elastane, and it’s another lovely fabric, lighter than the first.  This time all stripes were pinned, I pinned the fabric together before cutting out, checked the stripes going across and lined up a white stripe at the underarm on the front, back and armhole pieces so it would all line up.  I even pinned every second stripe (front and back) together and basted with the sewing machine before heading to the overlocker!  Those suckers were NOT going to move…

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And it worked!  I always pin and then sewing machine baste the neckbands on t-shirts, I don’t trust myself enough with the overlocker to ensure everything is straight all the time, it’s much easier to maintain seam allowance width on the sewiing machine!  So I stitch with the machine, then overlock.  I use a 4mm twin needle for topstitching the neckbands, it looks better than the narrower one.  I have a 2.5mm twin needle that’s used for hems.

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Scoop Neck version of Birgitte Basic Tee from Maria Denmark

All in all, a very successful pair of tees to wear this summer (and for the forseeable future).  I managed another three tees, using different patterns, all new to me.  Stay tuned to see them and find out how I got on!

ps:  The links are just there for you to find what I used, no money has or will change hands!  Or fabric…

 

No Sewing, Plenty of Shopping!

Well, not no sewing at all, but I haven’t got much to report right now as I have no photos! I have a blue viscose tee and blue and white herringbone Burda trousers and a new pair of gorgeous Birkin Flares.  But nowhere to be seen.  What I can show you though, is fabric shopping….

My favourite annual fabric shopping opportunity happened this week, Sewing for Pleasure at the NEC.  I always go on the Thursday, the first day.  You get the best picks first thing on day one!  I went prepared, a wad of cash in my wallet that was all I was allowed to spend and two large carrier bags in which to stuff my purchases.   I was meeting with an ex-student whom I hadn’t seen in about 2 years, so it was going to be a good day!  We had a fabulous time catching up and buying pretty things.

I started at Rosenberg & Son – the only place to start.  As usual there was a crowd 3 people deep all trying to get access to the front to feel and grab precious bolts of fabrics.  Some people have sharp elbows…  Anyway, once I finally reached my destination I bought 2.5m of floral printed twill for a friend (who’s making a dress), 1.2m of blue and white geometric print John Kaldor viscose jersey and and 2.5m of the prettiest green and blue parasol print poplin.  My plans for the jersey is to turn it into a tee of some sort – no idea which pattern just yet.  The parasol print will be the trousers from the pantsuit in the plus size section of the April issue of Burdastyle magazine.  It’s going to look good on the beach next month!!

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First purchases from Rosenberg, Viscose jersey, print twill & print poplin

From there I found Doughty’s.  All 2-3 stalls.  Why so many? Anyways, one of their stalls had a majority of quilting cottons, the others had a mixture of good fabrics, including a decent selection of ex-designer fabrics like Paul Smith.  I bought a metre of pretty navy and white seaside print cotton to make baby things for a friend’s soon to be born little girl.  February’s issue of Burdastyle has some really cute patterns for baby clothes.

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Seaside print cotton from Doughty’s Fabrics

They always have lots of lovely fabrics, this time I managed to buy from two of the stalls.  On 2 different trips I bought 2 metres of washed linen in grey and white (looks like a cotton & linen blend) and 1.2m of black and white stripe viscose jersey.  I have a pretty good idea the linen will become a pair of floppy trousers, although a friend suggested an unlined jacket, and the jersey is destined to be a tee.  Again, pattern undecided.

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Linen & viscose jersey from Doughty’s

 

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Montreux Fabrics

I found a new fabric store at the show this time, Montreux Fabrics.  They haven’t got their website up and running just yet but they did have plenty of gorgeous fabrics! I particularly enjoyed rummaging through the “remnant” baskets.  Their selection of jersey fabrics was really good.  I ended up only buying 2 pieces, 1.8m of plain blue viscose jersey, again it’ll be a tee of some sort, and 1.4m of white viscose jersey that’s destined for Del.

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Beautiful blue jersey from Montreux fabrics

Just when I thought I’d done all my buying, daughter No2 turned up!  My friend wanted to go back to Rosenberg’s so we tagged along.  Bad decision!  Or maybe not.  Two more pieces of fabric were added to my bags!  Daughter no 2 liked a piece of Liberty lawn for a vintage blouse and then fell for a large floral print stretch cotton for another blouse.  I will wait for her to come home for the Easter hols to pick the exact patterns she wants.

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Cotton prints from Rosenberg & Son

I killed a little time at the Bernina stand, I still wouldn’t swap either of my old machines for one of them.  The overlockers look even more involved than mine!  I looked at the coverstitch though, it has three needles and costs a mere £599.  To sew hems….  Twin needles are much cheaper!

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Overlockers at the Bernina stand

I browsed the patterns stands, picked up one Burda trouser patterns but on the whole I left the commercial patterns alone.

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Looking out bargains at Doughty’s, Interesting print choice & lots of commercial patterns

So all in all it was a pretty fabulous day.  My wallet was empty, feet only a little sore and fabric bags full!  It was all so worth it and I have plenty to sew in the next 4 weeks!