Utility Sewing - Long-Sleeve Undershirts

Imagine four more like this one.

For the last year or so, David has been wanting long-sleeve undershirts. Remember how I mentioned that we do a lot of layering here in Vancouver? Right. Well, David is no exception. His office is half-underground (not really a basement, as there is an actual, underground basement, but still) and his small window is north-facing, which means it is cool most of the time - even when the heat is on.

So, long ago, I tested out the t-shirt from Jalie 2212 using the long sleeve from 2919 using some left-over jersey (I'm thinking it was an organic cotton/lycra). It turned out well, but the neck band was wider than his regular undershirts and the fabric wasn't quite right - too clingy. It took a while, but I did find some white jersey in a similar weight and stretch as his short-sleeve undershirts. I tested out the pattern again, because the fabric had significantly less stretch than the pattern called for. Good thing, too! I had to widen the sleeves and make the armscye larger. Then I set about making as many shirts as I could from the rest of the fabric. Five shirts (and one too-small muslin that I will cut up and turn into a shirt for a kid) from six meters of fabric. Not bad!

Here you can se that even though I do not have a serger or a coverstitch machine, I can get good quality results with knits. I sew the main seam first with a plain zigzag - about 1.5 - 2 mm wide and 2mm long. Then I go back over the seam allowance with a triple-stitch zigzag (like you would find on bra elastic). I prefer this stitch to a regular zigzag, because it holds the seam allowance very flat and stretches very well. I am even becoming more fond of zigzag topstitching rather than twin-needle topstitching. Again, it just performs better in my experience.

This is a close up of one cuff and the hem (flipped up so as to fit on my table). The cuff is made of ribbing and is not top-stitched like the neckband. The hem is a simple zigzag.

And with that finished, I feel like maybe I can get back into the sewing room. Sometimes one project can just drag me down, and then the growing stack of projects to complete glares at me and keeps me away. Next up: some comissioned skirts (another example of many items all alike - except for colour). But I will be sewing with a new-to-me fabric: acetate slinky. Woo!

In parting, I leave you with photos of our Halloween costumes. I did very little for the kids' costumes this year. Value Village all the way!

Clara the cat, Lucy as Cherry Jam (from the world of Strawberry Shortcake)
and Peter as Calvin (with Hobbes)

 David as Mr. Rogers and me as Cruella DeVil


Love the costumes! They're all so clever. My favorite it "Calvin's" expression.

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