Archive | September 1, 2009

Tab Front Shirts

IMG_1691IMG_1694As you might remember from a post I made several months ago, I made a baby romper with a collar and a tab front. The pattern used a slit cut and a facing to make the tab. At the time, I was not that pleased with my end results. I decided that it was not a problem resulting from not following the pattern correctly, but instead it was something I was going to have to practice with because it was just a technique to be mastered. So, with that in mind, I pulled out some knit scraps from the stash and cut out some more tab front shirts to practice on.

I decided that rather than working with tiny infant sizes, I would make larger shirts, and that these would possibly be easier to do. My first try was the blue and white striped shirt see here. In the cutting process, I did not worry about matching the stripes on the facing. I actually thought to myself, “You won’t see the facing so it won’t matter if the stripes match.” Well, you do see the facing and it does matter. I learned that later in the project. I tried to sew very carefully to the point of the slit, tapering in at the end, then turning at the point and tapering back out, but even doing that the end result still puckered. I tried to snip on the tapers to see if I could get less puckering. Then I tried smacking it with a hot iron to see it that would help, but there is still a pucker. So, did I not sew carefully enough or do I just need more practice with this style?

IMG_1693IMG_1697On the second shirt, I cut the facing so the stripes match the shirt and I am much happier with the results on that one. I also tried to sew very carefully, tapering as the pattern described, but there is still a pucker. I wonder if I had not picked a stripe fabric to try this if the pucker would be less noticeable and more acceptable.  I am happier with the end results on the second shirt, but I still am not totally happy with the end results. I don’t know if I should continue to try and master this technique or try a different pattern. Most of the patterns for tab front shirts that I have made use this method. Many years ago, when I drafted a pattern for my husband’s shirt, I started with a dated pattern close to his size. It did not use the slit tab but had you cut a square out of the front of the shirt and replace it with the facing. His pattern has worked well for me in making the tabs, so I could alter the current patterns I have  to use this method, but I don’t know it that would be time well spent. Any suggestions from anyone reading this on how to perfect the tab front with the slit method would be appreciated!




IMG_1692IMG_1698Wondering what to do with these shirts, my thoughts turned to the nephews. I asked them what they may want embroidered on the shirts and they picked Pokemon. Now, I know very little about Pokemon, so I had their mom list their favorite Pokemon characters. This did not work so well. I could not match any of the designs I had with the names they sent me, so I finally sent them the designs I had and told them to pick some. So, with that, each shirt got a Pokemon character embroidered on it.  These certainly are not the cutest designs I have ever done, but I hope the boys like them.

I followed the pattern for these shirts pretty closely wanting the tabs to come out correctly. When it was time to apply the buttons, I placed them where the pattern said to. On the second, smaller shirt, this placement was ok, but on the first larger shirt, I do not like the buttons. (Too late now!) If and when there is a next time for this pattern, I will use three buttons on the larger size and place them as I do my husband’s buttons instead of as the pattern said to.