Wednesday, 17 November 2010

My Milly-Molly-Mandy top

I am so pleased that I bought plenty of this Milly-Molly-Mandy striped jersey at Fabrics Galore on Monday.  I am quite happy to have several things made from it in my wardrobe.


 Yesterday I made this long sleeved t-shirt, using the Ottobre Creative Workshop 303 pattern (which you can buy direct from Ottobre here).  This is a pattern for nine different versions of a basic women's t-shirts in UK sizes 8 to 26.  It has a wealth of information about sewing with knits and adjusting sizes.  I love its simplicity and usefulness - I just know I will be making tops from this pattern for years to come.


The pattern makes a close fitting t-shirt, perfect for layering or wearing under a cardigan, and mine turned out pretty much how I wanted.  I added 2cm onto the length as I know I have a long body, and many t-shirts I buy come up too short - and I'm pleased with how that turned out.

I didn't add anything to the sleeve length, but next time I would add 2cm there as well.  The sleeves are fine if I keep my arms down, as in the photo below, but if I am waving them around the sleeves creep up a tiny bit, and I'd like them just a touch longer.


The neckline was the fiddliest part of construction.  Purely because the fabric is rather slippery and I didn't pin it adequately.  It is bound - just like a quilt - and I like the way I got the stripes on the binding going the other way to the stripes on the top (purely accidental - I have a feeling if I tried to, I wouldn't be able to do it like this again next time!).  The binding gives a very neat, flat finish to the neckline.


The Ottobre pattern gives a few different suggestions for hemming, but I didn't follow any of them in the end.  Instead I followed the Oliver + S instructions (which you can get here) for making a lettuce hem on a regular sewing machine (no serger required). 

The hems (on the cuffs and the bottom) have ended up being my favourite part of the whole top.  I adore the simple, ruffled effect that you end up with.  And as I always sew hems on skirts and shirts by hand, to make them properly invisible, I love the speed of hemming on the machine!


Both the Ottobre pattern and the Oliver + S website are reassuringly adamant that you can make beautiful jersey clothes on a regular sewing machine, and I would wholeheartedly agree with this.  I'm sure if I had a serger I would use it and love it, but I don't feel any need to get one at all - my Janome machine does everything I need.

I have learnt a few jersey-sewing tips over the past few days, however:
  • Do use a ballpoint needle. A regular needle just chewed up the fabric.
  • Buy LOADS of reels of thread for your project, and wind several bobbins before you start.  The stitches you need to sew jersey fabrics are all very heavy on thread.
  • You really need to pin before you stitch.  I very rarely pin when I sew - preferring to carefully hold the fabric together - but jersey slips about too much for me to be this cavalier with it!
  • Don't be afraid of jersey fabrics - just have a go.  Now I'm wearing my top, I can't believe I've been dithering for so long.
I'm moving onto babycord today - there are two Clothkits skirts (one for me, and one for O) cut out and ready to sew - but I'll be back onto the jersey tomorrow, and am hoping to have several more t-shirts in my wardrobe by the end of the week.

11 comments:

  1. Your neck binding is just to die for. I am in awe.

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  2. I do like that Nancy it has come out really well. I'm making some shorty pajamas with that jersey I bought a tthe Cloth House over the summer finally.

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  3. Clever, clever you! Looks wonderful.

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  4. Amazing, you clever girl! And so quick too...

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  5. It looks great and I love those ruffly edges

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  6. Oh my gosh! You are amazing!

    I've been saying for years I'd like to be able to sew my own tees. The arms and bodies on store-bought tees are never anywhere near long enough for me.

    K x

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  7. You must be so pleased with yourself ,they look fantastic ,clever girl ...love from 'little friend Susan' erm mean Jan xx

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  8. That is so impressive Nancy. I have not ventured into stitching with knits yet, although I have promised the girls some PJs, and have some Gossypium fabric in waiting.

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