Thursday, June 12, 2014

Self-Drafted Boy's Tank Top

Here is a tank top that I made for my son!  He only has 1 RTW tank top that fits, so making him new ones was on my priority list.  I looked through my Ottobre, but unfortunately I didn't have one that was in a large enough size for him.  I took his RTW top, which had seen better days, and folded the back side in half to trace around it so I could have a template to work with.  I looked at one of the boy's tank tops in the Ottobre magazine pattern diagram to see what kind of angle I needed to draw for the shoulder seam.  I then used my French Curve to draw in a nice, bigger curve for the armhole, as well as a neckline.  I figured, this is a tank top, right?  You really can't mess this up too much.  My son likes his shirts a little on the loose and comfy side, so I wanted to have a good amount of width to it.  The plus side to this is it will fit a while.  I figured at the very least, it would be a shirt to lounge in if it didn't turn out to his liking.


He loves it!  I told him he could tell me if there was something he didn't like and I would tweak my pattern, but he says it is perfect.


Lately when I sew knits, I first use my sewing machine and then finish off with my serger.  It takes a little more time, but my seams are accurate.  I also used my coverstitch machine to finish off the neckline and armholes.  When I started using my coverstitch machine on this shirt, one of my needle threads kept breaking!  Oh my gosh, I was so frustrated.  I could tell that this particular thread was not feeding well through the tension disk, but I couldn't figure out why.  All was set to the proper tension and nothing was wrapped around anything.  Would you believe it was this particular thread spool?  I looked at the thread closely and it was obviously a poor quality of thread.  You could see the unevenness of the thread thickness.  Time to invest in better quality of thread.  Do any you buy your thread online?  Where do you buy your thread for apparel sewing?


I sewed the binding to the arms while flat and then stitched my side seams.  I wanted to do this with the neckline, but I forgot and sewed both shoulder seams together before I remembered.  I like to sew it flat; it just is much easier.


Here is my pattern I made.  Not much to it.  Pattern pieces are identical except for dropping the neckline in the front down a little.  I use Ottobre's method for calculating the length of knit to use for the neck and armhole binding when using jersey knit.  Even as big as this tank top is, I can easily get it out of 1 yard of fabric, having enough to make the binding as well.  It is a cheaply made shirt.  I need to try this for myself.  I have a lot of Old Navy tank tops, and it would be a lot of fun to make some in prints for myself.

 His next shirt will be in this camo fabric, which shrunk quite a bit after washing!  It will be a tight squeeze since it is now less than a yard.  You just never know what you are going to have once it comes out of the wash, which is why prewashing is absolutely necessary!

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I am currently working on a skirt with a matching blouse for myself, which I will be blogging about soon!  I found a free online skirt tutorial that worked beautifully.  For the blouse, I am using Butterick 5495, view A.

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Thank you to everyone for your prayers and well wishes.  Every day is a little better with healing.  Now I am down with a very painful sore throat with ear pain--ugh!  I actually went to the doctor yesterday.  It is thought to be the result of allergies.  So, I am taking several allergy meds in hopes that it will alleviate this pain.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

8 comments:

  1. I love the self drafted tank Shirley! You did a great job!! I love the green stripes too, very minecraft-y :) Your pattern pieces look just like the Ottobre ones I used . I shook my head at the shrinking fabric – some of those just shrink way too much!

    For my coverstitch (actually all my machines) I use Gutermann thread. I just get the mara 100 (item# GTDA100) From wawak.com . they have sales quite a bit. I have brother machines so I can use regular thread spools in them – I forget if you are using brother’s or not. I just switched to using wooly nylon in the looper on my coverstitch though. It seems to allow more stretch in the seam. I got so frustrated with my crappy coats and clark thread that I finally just replaced it all with the above. No more problems and way less lint in my machines!

    I’m excited to know what skirt tutorial you used and to see the new blouse!
    I hope the allergy meds help. Sore throats are no fun. When mine act up a lot my throat hurts, too. It is because your nose runs (without you knowing it) down the back of your throat and that is what makes it hurt. (kind of gross but true).

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    1. Thanks Kristin for the info on the thread! I will check out wawak. I have a Janome, but my new machine should be available for pick up next week! I ordered the Pfaff 5.0 Performance. I use to use a Pfaff a long time ago, thought I'd like the Janome better, but I long to have a Pfaff again. This machine does so much; I can't wait to sew with it. I ordered it back early May, so it is taking a while to get it. It is crazy that a thread can wreck havoc on a machine, but it does. Years ago I didn't realize how important the different needles were, so I guess everything makes a difference. I never thought about putting wooly nylon in the coverstitch machine. It makes since though.

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    2. Oh and I'm pretty sure that Pfaff machines love Gutermann thread!

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  2. What a great boys shirt! You are such a good mom! I hope you get to feeling better!!

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  3. Your son says it's perfect - you can't do better than that!!! The stripes match perfectly, Shirley - very impressive. I'm guessing that's why you sew the first seam with the regular machine. I just use cheap thread with my overlocker, because I don't use it much, but I really should invest in better thread. On my regular machine, I mainly use Guterman.

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    1. Hope the sore throat and ears clear quickly!

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    2. Thank you Pam! I am going to switch to Guterman for my primary sewing thread. I have a new sewing machine on order, so I want to be sure to run some good stuff through it! I am feeling better, thank you! Yesterday was my first pain free day for my throat an ear...finally!

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