Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Finished Shirt...

Quote for the Day:
"Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children
 the richest inheritance.
  ~Ruth E. Renkel

Today is Father's Day in the USA.  I hope you were able to spend a little time with the fathers in your life today...either your own father or the father of your children...and let them know how much they mean to you!  

A little over a week ago I got fed up with shirts that have too-short sleeves and decided to take it upon myself to try and make some of my own.  I ordered a pattern and some fabric online, but also decided to go to Joann Fabrics, since they were having a sale.  I picked up a pattern and a piece of fabric at Joann's at a really good price, and last week I cut out and sewed it together using the Viking serger that I had picked up at the estate auction last year.

For those non-sewists out there who don't know what a serger is, it is a special sewing machine that does the nice finished seam that you see on the inside of ready-to-wear clothing. 

This is the serger...a Viking Huskylock 936. 

It's computerized and will basically do everything but make your coffee for you in the morning...and if I took it downstairs and set it up in the kitchen, it probably would even do that for me!  LOL

I must say that the serger sews very smoothly and quietly!  However, it has more buttons and whistles than I really need or will ever use, so I think I've decided to sell it. 

But...back to the shirt...

I picked up a very slinky, slippery jersey knit at Joann Fabrics.  It has been about 14 years since I've done any garment sewing and I had forgotten what a PAIN in the YOU-KNOW-WHAT it is to work with slinky knits.  It kept sliding off the cutting table and ending up in a puddle on the floor!  :(   And my pins just wanted to push the fabric around rather than actually going through it.  :( 

But I persisted and got the shirt all sewn together in one day except for the bottom hem.  I was about to throw in the towel and swear to never again try to make a piece of clothing, but then I tried on the shirt and actually liked the way it turned spite of the difficulties!   Today I hemmed the bottom of the shirt so I thought I'd share a picture of it with you.  

It has it's "issues"...but those are a result of a lack of recent garment sewing experience.  I think that they are not things that will be noticed by 99.9% of the I'm going to wear it!  It actually fits nicely, even though I still wish the sleeves were a tad bit longer.  (I even lengthened the sleeve by 1.5" and they STILL are a hair too short.)  

Anyway, I like the fabric and the fit, and overall am pleased with myself!  LOL

This week the fabric and pattern that I had ordered online came in the mail, so I will be trying my hand at more shirts in the future.  



  1. Hi Loretta, sewing clothes is a lost art. I don't know that I ever had it;) Although when my girls were little I did make pajamas. But I agree,the sleeves are too short, or the length is too short. When I gather up some courage, I think I am going to make some 100% cotton shirts, with buttons too:)

  2. Your shirt looks great. I used to sew lots of clothes for myself and the kids, even a few things for DH, but it's been years (more like decades). I actually got rid of a whole chest of clothing fabrics 4 or 5 years ago. Still have a handful of pieces left but seriously doubt I'll ever make clothes again.

  3. I actually prefer garment construction to anything. The blouse looks nice. If you use a fabric like this again you might try using basting spray instead of pins. Also, probably needed ball point pins for a knit.

    that is a tremendous machine you have there. I am not sure I could sell it. Enjoy it while you have it!

    1. I never thought of using the basting spray. Are you suggesting using it to hold the pattern pieces on the fabric? Will the thin pattern paper come off cleanly?

  4. Love the shirt, Mom! It looks great on you - definitely your style! And the pattern is Beautimus!!! I remember how you used to make us matching jumper dresses when I was little! lol And do you remember the light green sleep pants that had panda's on them that you made for me just before I went to college? Well, I still have them but they have fallen apart now. But I'm keeping them and will prob cut them into squares to use in a quilt at some point. Anyways - I'm glad you're finally able to "find" some shirts that you are comfortable in!

    Love You Muches!

    1. I took some of that leftover green flannel w/panda fabric and made a new cover for my heating pad when the old one got yucky! :) I loved making you dresses when you were little! :)

  5. The shirt looks awesome! Turned out great! Can't believe you would be willing to sell that serger! That thing looks sweet!