Thursday, July 10, 2014

Black and White T-shirt


I’ve been avoiding knits ever since I got my sewing machine. Yet, I’ve bought knit fabrics (because I assumed I’d learn how to sew knits one day) but never used them because they scared me. And I don’t think this fear is uncommon. Knits stretch and pull and need to be sewn differently than non-knits; it’s intimidating.

Overall, I don’t think I wear a ton of knits—mostly just T-shirts and tanks, but I do wear the ones I have fairly often. As I buy less and less clothing new from stores, I thought it would be useful to learn to work with knits by taking a class. So I signed up for a class that taught how to sew a T-shirt.

When I told a friend I was taking this knit class, she gave me all the knit fabric she had because she wasn’t ever going to use it. She had once tried and failed to sew a T-shirt (with a friend’s help) and basically gave up. [Pause.] This did not instill confidence in me. It was very nice of her to give me her unwanted fabric, but I decided to sew with a fabric I’d already bought for the class. Even though I don’t wear a lot of patterns, I picked out this black and white jersey because I thought it’d be more interesting than a plain-colored fabric (and I didn’t see any pretty plain colors at the store anyway).

The class was five hours long and I think one out of eight of us completely finished by the end of class. Most people got to the hemming the sleeves and bottom with a twin needle. I was the slow one. I was in the middle of sewing the V-neck part when the class came to an end. My time just seem to slip away from me.

I think I was especially slow because I’d never worked with knits before, I was using a sewing machine I wasn’t used to, and when I do something new I tend to go more slowly because I’m unsure if I’m doing things correctly. I spent a lot of time trying to get my fabric to remain flat and wrinkle-free (as it seemed to stick to itself), and I redid seams because the fabric would bunch at the ends. It was somewhat frustrating at times.

So I had to finish the T-shirt at home. I finish sewing the neck on and then hemmed the sleeves and bottom with a twin needle. I’m pretty sure I didn’t sew it completely right (as the tension seemed off when I hemmed it; it was my first time using a twin needle so I had low expectations of my execution). It may not be perfect but at least it’s done.

It was my first time using jersey, as well as using Swedish tracing paper (which I liked quite a bit) and sewing with a twin needle. I can’t say that I loved working with jersey, but I don’t have a burning hatred for it either. Maybe it’ll be something I’ll learn to love in time.

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