I just needed some simple shirts to wear to work. So, I dug out my old t-shirt pattern and some piece of fabric I had long since forgot, but discovered again with the organization of the stash a few weeks ago.
It has been several years since I have made this pattern and I remembered that the last time I made it, I was not pleased with the end results. With that knowledge, my first step became altering the pattern. I did something in this process that I have never done before. I sewed a seam that I knew full well that I would be unpicking later. I altered the pattern to what I thought would fit best, cut out the front and back and sewed them together. I then tried on the basic shell, no sleeves, no facings. I learned that I was close on my alterations but not quite there. I then unpicked the side seams, made some more alterations and started to sew again. Now, for most of you out there, you would say that I just made a muslin, and that is what I would say as well. I have just never taken the time to make a muslin of my patterns before. For me they either work out or they don’t. But then again I don’t usually use or buy really expensive fabric or try a whole lot of new patterns so it usually works out ok. This time though I was very pleased with the end results of my actions and I did not mind taking the time either. I will continue to use this technique more in the future so that I get a better fit from my patterns.
I stopped making this pattern of mine years ago because I could never get the neck to lay flat. Every time I made this pattern, the facings at the collar bulged and made the neck line stand out instead of laying flat around my neck. Over the years, I have tried several things to stop this but to no avail. Since I was in the mood to intentionally unpick, I sewed the facings on without interfacing them first just to see how the collar laid. It laid perfectly. What? That is all it took? Just don’t interface the facings? So, I did not have to unpick my facings and an age old problem has been solved. Yay!
On the muslin, as I will now call it, I cut the shirt 2 inches longer than needed, but did not make the allowance for the extra length in the slits at the side. So, when I cut off the extra 2 inches I lost my slits. I had only the seam allowance left to make the slits. It took some extra care, but I did it, and I learned a valuable lesson about concentrating on all the details.
When all is said and done, my muslin turned into a wearable shirt. With that, I cut out and sewed up the next shirt faster and with more ease, giving me two new shirts for work and a functioning pattern for when I want to make more.