Friday, 6 June 2014

Pattern review - Simple T-shirt top from Great British Sewing Bee Book: Sew your own wardrobe

The recent series of Great British Sewing Bee had me glued to my seat, and following a flick through the GBSB book I immediately bought it after spotting at least three garments that would float my sewing boat, the Simple T-shirt being one of them. 
The T-shirt has achieved a personal best in that, the fabric was bought (at a Vintage stall) and made into something in within two weeks. I have a bad fabric-stashing habit, and the only reason it wasn't finished quicker was that the materials listed in the book were wrong, but more on that later. 

So here's how it went...

First I traced off the pattern from the pattern sheet in a Size 12, using baking paper and marked up each one, as I definitely plan to make this again.
The instructions were really straight forward and by cutting on the fold I had a front and back piece ready to stitch together after pinning.

The fabric I used was a lawn cotton with a slight 80’s twist and looked very similar on both sides making it hard to identify the right side from the wrong. I marked the initials WB for wrong back just so I didn’t sew it up wrong.


After sewing together the front and backs, I finished the seams using a zig-zag stitch and moved onto the bias binding, which I found in my stash although it could have been made from the same fabric using the instructions in the book. 

 The book dedicates a couple of pages to cutting and adding your bias binding to you project in two different ways – concealed and revealed. The methods use for the T-shirt top was the concealed method. I found the instructions useful, but it seemed to lack a few key details such as how to join the binding together! Also the length of binding in the materials list was 1.75 meters, which only covered the neckline and the sleeves, meaning I had to buy another meter to bind the bottom edge of the top.
The first stage of applying the binding was to unfold the folded fabric and pin  on the right side of the fabric, approx 0.5 cm away from the fabric edge to create a 1.5 seam allowance (that's the measurement between the first fold and the edge of the fabric).

Then ‘stitch in the ditch’ to attach the binding to the fabric.

Cut away the excess fabric to line up with the sewn edge of the bias binding.

The fold the fabric over to the wrong side of the fabric and pin in place, creating a neat concealed edge.

Topstitch along the neatened edge as close as you could possibly go. I found it easier to stay around 3 mm away from the edge, which was as close as I dared!

Finally topstitch the remaining bias edge down, which I did from the right side using the 1.5cm plate line on my machine as a guide, but here's what the result looks like from the wrong side.

 And there we have it a super summery T-shirt top!

Overall here's my pattern review scores:

How long did it take to make? 
 4 hours in total (over a few days)

How difficult was it? 
 Good for a beginner, as you get to use binding but you may need some extra help with the instructions.

And the fit? 
I'm a size 12, but  the neckline sits close to the edge of my shoulder and falls off. I'd cut a size 10 next time.

How does it look? 
Pretty good. I'm wearing it out tonight!

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