Saturday, January 20, 2007

Finding the Perfect Tee-Shirt Pattern

Kwik Sew 2900: knit pullover top pattern

When I made the clothesline full of tee-shirts last month, I was searching for the "perfect" tee-shirt pattern. I'd been using Kwiksew 2900 (at right), and it worked well for very soft, not-too-stretchy cotton jerseys and interlocks, as long as I made long-sleeved shirts. But with stretchier or softer knits, the results looked sloppy and unflattering, and with short sleeves, there was always too much ease in the armhole and sleeve. I tried some now-discontinued lingerie undershirt patterns, and used many pattern adjustments, but my results were hit-or-miss. Part of the problem is the wide variety of hand and stretchiness in fabrics classified as jersey, interlock, rib knits, or simply "stretch knits." The only way to deal with this is to try lots of different fabrics. It's a dirty job, but somebody's got to sew it.

This fall I tried's "most popular Tee pattern in the world," Jalie 2005 (below). I made the three-quarters-length sleeve style first. The armhole fit well, but it was much too large in the shoulders. A simple alteration took care of that, and I have my new "favorite tee-shirt pattern." The short-sleeve view works very well too. Of course, I've made my own long-sleeve pattern variation, so that I could do one-to-one comparisons. Jalie 2005 works well on all the stretchy fabrics I've tried, including interlock, thermal cotton knits, and technical wicking fabrics. I need to try it on simple tee-shirt cotton jersey, which is less stretchy than interlock or thermal knits. If it works well, this could be the one perfect tee-shirt pattern, the one to reach for when I need to make something to wear.


Anonymous said...

They look great.

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