Active Wear – Navy Shirt : Part 1

To start altering my t-shirt pattern I took measurements off of this favorite t-shirt of mine. I measured the:
Waist – 27
Hem – 33″
Center Back length – 22″
Bicep – 10″
Sleeve length – 6.25″
Depth of neckline – 5.5″

I compared these to my pattern to determine the needed alterations. Here you can see a fine example of negative ease, as these measurements are approximately 4″ smaller in circumference then me, yet the fabric stretches to fit. The sports bra helps as well. lol

100_0334The bust on the size 10 measures 33″ and on the size 8 it measured 32. I normally start with a size 12 so I decided on the 10. The 8 just sounded so small….
The waist on the pattern was a little roomy for my taste at 30″and so to make it like my favorite t-shirt above I need to remove 3″ in total circumference. The hem line was larger as well by that same amount.
This means I need to divide my 3″ I want to remove by my 4 side seams. That equals 3/4″. The red line on the pattern side seam at right shows how I drew that in and blended it back out at the bust.

The back pattern piece surprised me with a seam down the back. Curious I thought and completely unnecessary so I drew in a new center back line placing it on the fold and repeated the changes from the front side seam onto the back.

The lengths were all the same as my favorite t-shirt so no changes there.

100_0335I prefer a v-neck line although it is a little more difficult to sew, its more flattering to the shape of my face. It mimics my pointy chin and narrow little head causing them to look more harmonious.

Here you will see where I drew in a v-neck line onto my pattern. I will not cut off the original neckline though as I might want to use it in the future, or modify it in some other way.

To determine the depth I used the measurements from my favorite t-shirt again.

This does mean I will need to construct my neck binding differently then the pattern calls for.

100_0336To begin my neck binding, I determine that I want it to finish at 3/4″(yet another measurement taken from my favorite tee) I add my 5/8″ seam allowance and double it because the binding is on the fold. I believe this gives me 3″. Now for the length of my binding I measure my neck edge along the stitch line. This leaves me with a 3″ by 24″ rectangle….which I promptly cut out and press in half lengthwise.

To cut the correct angle on my binding strip, which causes it to lay flat at the center front. I mark my stitch line with chalk, place my pattern piece matching my cut line on the pattern to the stitch line on the binding, and then cut the binding parallel to the center front fold line. Now cut the opposing end of the binding to match.

Here my binding has been opened out flat, so that I can sew the 2 ends together. After sewing I clip all the way into the point, trim out the seam allowance. Press the seam allowance open and refold the binding.

Here you can see my binding ready to be sewn into my neckline. But first I must sew the shoulder seams together, which I do using my stretch stitch and staying with a sheer strip. After over locking I am ready to finish my neck edge.


100_0342Before I can sew my binding in I mark the stitch line with chalk at the center front. This cross mark is where I will need to pin the point of my binding at the stitch line. I also mark the center back of my neck as well as the binding. With right sides together I begin sewing at the center back and work my way around pivoting at the center front cross mark. I need to snip in with my scissors once I reach this point to prevent catching any tucks on my shirt.

Once my binding is in I over lock it as well and then I top stitch to keep the seam allowance from wanting to flip around on me.

100_0343To do my top stitching I return to a normal straight stitch with the length set at 2. I like to use my #5 foot which has this guide running down the center. I move my needle position all the way to the left and stitch with the edge of the seam against the guide. My seam allowance is laying underneath and to the left.

Next I will set in the sleeves and add some fun, so stay tuned.

View Part 2

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