Monday, 13 September 2010

Ottobre 301 - the basic T

Sometimes after a long or difficult project you want something fun and easy to sink your teeth into. Like these Ottobre 301 long sleeved T's.

I finally made up the dinosaur pants I promised to a friend (and gave them away with no photos - doh!).
It was the first time I had done a proper zip fly, so I procrastinated for a while (well, ages really)then finally got into them.

Then I sewed the back pockets on in the wrong spot, forgot to add seam allowance to the fly shield and had to recut it, cut the waitsband wrongly and misplaced the belt tabs that I had already sewn and had to make more.
So by the time I gave these pants away I was very happy to see the back of them!

Tanya asked me one day how I was going with my list, the one in my sidebar of things to tackle in 2010.
It included sewing stretch items other than knickers.

So I dug out my Ottobre 301 basic T's pattern (that I have only ever made once before!) cut into some stretch fabric and got stuck into making two Ottobre 301 long sleeved 'boy' tops and two 'girl' tops.
(I made a 'girly' one with hot pink stars on grey for the body and hot pink sleeves but it's in the wash!)

There are some great stretch sewing tips around at the moment.

Including these on Sew, Mama, Sew by Patty Young (she has a fabulous colourful new range of stretch knits out), one of which was to use woolly nylon in the bobbin - which is what you see above on the reverse side of the bottom hem.

I also used a twin needle for a bit of a mock coverstitch finish, on the sleeve and bottom hems and also the necklines.

There are more tips from Patty on hemming stretch fabrics at the bottom of this post.

Leisl Gibson, of Oliver +s patterns fame also offers some stretch tips to be found here.
They are releasing a great line of knits later this month, and their new Hopscotch skirt and shirt pattern uses stretch fabrics.

Also when it comes to stretch guru's, you can't go past Sara of Willow and Moo fame.
She provided some stretch sewing advice earlier this year on Carolyn's blog when the monthly challenge was stretch.

  • So what did I learn??
    The fabric I used for the sleeves (the white and blue) did not have enough rebound for me to 'self trim' the necklines of these shirts, and as such they are a little wide and loose.

  • I folded the neckbands over twice (like bias) so there are no raw edges, one of the techniques shown by Ottobre in the pattern, but maybe I need to only fold once to the inside as it felt a bit overstretched?? (advice welcome!!)

  • The woolly nylon works a treat and with the twin needle gives a lovely neat finish with a bit of give.

  • I must use this pattern more - it goes from 92cm to 170cm and there are close-fitting and loose-fitting options. With embellishment there is a wardrobe of T's here, both long and short.

Do you stretch sew?

What tips and hints do you have to offer for a professional finish?


Carolyn said...

so glad you got to finish them! They are such an easy and effective pattern. .

Liesl said...

I love your collection of beautiful tees. (And am almost equally impressed that you have your own size labels!).

I like sewing stretch. I quite like using the overlocker to flatlock the neckband (with one lengthwise fold) to the garment. Woolly nylon is ace .... and a little tiny bit of interfacing in the hems will stop a ridge forming when you use the twin needle.

Cass said...

Karen these look great, well done on your stretch sewing

Tanya said...

Karen- they look great and thanks for all those stretch tip references- I didn't know about wooly nylon, I use it in my overlocker. I love twin needles! I do stretch sew abit but am pretty bad at it and struggled making cat ears last week for the school concert!!

Natalie said...

I think I'm one of the lucky ones who hasn't been put off sewing with knits, maybe it's because some of my first sewing was with knit fabric. I do have an overlocker which makes knit sewing very quick. I have a twin needle, but often end up sewing two rows of stitching as I either can be bothered winding an extra bobbin or other times I can't get the tension right with my twin needle.

I have some of that stripe fabric here too - was quite surprised to find it in my local SL as they usually aren't great with their knit choices!

Little Munchkins said...

Love those tops! I really like that stripes in blue, DS would love that too.

Great tip about the wooly nylon, must remember to buy that when I am at SL.

Sally said...

Stretch sewing is on my list too... but honestly I don't think I'm going to get there until next year - I've just realised that Christmas really isn't that far away and my children's birthdays are fast approaching too... arrrggghhhh!!!