Longing for spring

It’s only the end of January, but I’ve had enough of winter now. Can the cold please move along, there really is nothing to see. When the sun is out, it is surprisingly warm, but soon, all too soon, the clouds come back.

Which is why I spent a couple of days making t-shirts. As you do.

screen-shot-2017-01-23-at-11-07-53I’ve had this wonderful book about creating your own, simple sewing patterns for a while. A couple of months ago, I finally thought I’d try making a t-shirt pattern.

Why would I do that? Well, even though most standard sizes fit me, I wanted to create a t-shirt that really fitted me. I wanted one that was long enough, that fitted my waist exactly, and with upper-arm sleeves that don’t cut off the blood supply.




So I got out my drawing pad (with extra fine paper) and set to work. Taking my measurements was a bit tricky: this kind of work is best done with an accomplice. However, given that I was going to work with jersey and that I wanted the cut of my t-shirts to be loose-ish but still flattering, it didn’t matter if I didn’t get the numbers 100% right.

It is fascinating work. On the one hand, you’ve got to be fairly accurate, but nowhere near as much as I thought you did. Having said that, Cal Patch’s instructions are for simple designs. Then again – I never said I wanted to make haute couture. I want to make every-day clothes that I want to wear and that look good on me. And most high-street clothes are not made to complicated patterns. Otherwise children in China or Bangladesh wouldn’t be able to make them in their Fordist clothes factories. (Ooops, where did that sarcasm come from??)


The moment of truth: cutting out.

I made the first t-shirt from left-over fabric from other makes, which necessitated a seam down the middle of the t-shirt front. It actually looks quite good – I may do this more often. Looks like a design feature.

I’m very pleased with the outcome. To think that I started off with a pencil, an eraser (!), a ruler and some paper, and ended up with something wearable. It’s a good feeling.

So that was back in October – I just didn’t get round to posting about it. And now I’ve made some more t-shirts. I amended the pattern slightly (cut off a bit from the shoulders), but I don’t think it’s made much of a difference.

Here’s all my fabric, cut & ready to go:


I made another scrap-busting t-shirt, one with funky chickens, and one with cool trainers. I love the children’s section of my favourite online fabric shops.


They all fit like a dream. And they seem to be comfy to sit on, too, says Mia cat.


Meanwhile, I’m still sitting here in my jumper. Come on, spring! I’m ready…


About alycevr

Academic, translator & maker of things
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