Friday, November 12, 2010


Crafstake: noun. Mistake pertaining to crafting.

I've been sewing up a storm lately. My fabric stash is growing, as is my confidence. And on that line of thought, I branched out into something a bit new (and feared among some sewers): jersey knit.

Now, for you non-sewers, jersey knit is that mildly stretchy stuff that t-shirts are made out of. I found some on sale and proceeded to attempt to make some nice shirts.

First attempt: making a ruffled tee using an existing t-shirt as a pattern, using the instructions from a nifty little blog called Make It and Love It. I followed the instructions for the body of the t-shirt, but the sleeves didn't fit the armholes. I wanted a lower neck line, but cut it in the wrong spot and ended up with an off-the-shoulder number. I wasn't sure what happened, but chalked it up to user error. In the end, what I had was unwearable. (This is the part where I point out that NOW I know what I did and there were no problems with her instructions. Completely my fault.)

Second attempt: After a while away from stretchy shirt ideas, I tried again. This time, I took the seems out of an old, well-loved, and well-fitting t-shirt and used that as a pattern. Body was fine, sleeves, again, did not fit the armholes. I was angry and frustrated. I recut the sleeves a couple of times, which did not help my mood.

I was talking with Husband about my frustration with the project when he asked a question that I hadn't even considered: "Did you put the sleeves on backwards?"

"Of course not!" I was ready to say. "What kind of idiot...wait. Hang on."

I checked the original pattern pieces and guess what? I put the shoulder seam on the outer arm and the outer seam against the shoulder. (If you non-sewers don't know what I'm talking about, just know that it was wrong.) Out came the seam ripper, and after a little bit of extra effort, I found the original sleeves fit just fine and now I have a rather lovely shirt that I made myself.

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