Monday, January 11, 2016

Tee Shirts

For my first sewing project for 2016, I made four long sleeve tee shirts.

I used this out-of-print Kwik Sew pattern #3338 and made view A.  I used a size large, except medium for the shoulders.  What I like best about this pattern is the shape of the neckline and the fit of the shoulders.  This is one of the few patterns that I don't have to narrow the shoulders.

Top 1:
The only pattern alteration I made was to add a little width to the center front fold, to give more room over the tummy.  The main fit issue I have with this pattern is a fold I get in the armhole right at the bust.  If you look at the picture on the pattern cover above, you can see it on the blue top on the right.  Fabric is an olive green cotton without much stretch and was bought at Joann's in June, 2015 for $2.25 yard.

Top 2:
This fabric is a thin and very stretchy rayon.  I bought it at Joann Fabrics last year for $4.00 yard. This will be great for layering.

Alterations I made:
sway back adjustment
lengthened by 3 inches
lengthened the sleeves 1 inch
made a small dart in the front armhole
added to back fold line at hip area

Top 3:
This white fabric came from Walmart and I paid $3.50 a yard.  I made the same alterations as for the second top.  I also added 1" to the sleeve cap height and reshaped the sleeve a little trying to fix my usual sleeve twist problem.   These changes helped, but didn't completely take care of the issue. 

So after doing some research regarding the sleeve twist, I realize I have an inward elbow rotation like in this picture:  (Some call it forward rotating shoulder).

Good timing for me, Jennifer Stern recently posted an alteration for this issue "how-to-adjust-forward-rotated-shoulder"

Top 4:
I decided to make one last top and try the forward rotating shoulder adjustment.   I'm surprised how much this alteration helped my sleeve fit, and plan to make it a standard alteration for my future tops.  I made this top a little looser fit and longer length. 

The fabric for this is a men's xxl tee shirt that I bought at Kohl's on clearance for $2.50.  It's a nice weight cotton.  I didn't have enough fabric left to make the neckband, so I used a piece of black & white print from my scrap bag.

I have 4 new knit tops and learned a new fitting solution.  Now I'm ready to move on to something else.


  1. You've been busy! and those alterations are impressive. If people only knew how well-fitted our DIY garments are!! Lovely tees.

  2. Beautiful work, and good info on the alterations. I have been churning out tees and vests.

  3. Good work on sorting out the fit. A great quartet of tees will give your wardrobe a real boost.

  4. You've added 4 great choices to your wardrobe tops! The last top is so pretty. I like the neckline contrast and the final modifications. Your year is off to a great start! :)

  5. Isn't it amazing to find out how to tweak the twisted arms? You have 3 wonderful, useful and versatile tops!


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