What will you need?
-A loose fitting basic knit top pattern (I used the Not-so-plain Tee from Sewing Modkid Style by Patty Young)
-fabric for the main tee and for the bias facings
I used a cotton/lycra poplin for the star tee but this one is made out of a light weight quilting cotton from Joann Fabrics.
(and of course, all the typical sewing paraphernalia)
To start, cut out a front, back, and sleeves from the main fabric. You'll also cut 1 inch wide bias strips for the bias facings from your contrast fabric (not pictured).
The main issue you run in to using a woven for a knit pattern is that the neckline will not be stretchy. So, you need to make sure the opening is large enough to fit over your child's head. I marked 1/2" down from the neckline on both the front and back and trimmed.
At this point, I basted the shoulder seams together and had girl #3 try it on to make sure I had trimmed enough from the neckline.
I decided after BK tried the top on that the neckline could be a little wider (she has a big head!) so I trimmed a little more off.
After I was happy with the neckline, I basted one sleeve on and the underarm/side seam so BK could try the tee on again. I wanted to ensure that the top would fit comfortably.
And it did!
There's an approximate 2 inch difference between the middle front and the middle back. As seen here:
As far as sewing steps went, I sewed the shoulder seams first and then finished the neckline with the 1 inch bias.
Step 1: I folded and pressed my 1 inch strip in half, opened the strip, folded one of the long edges to the line in the middle, and pressed again.
Step 2: Pin the unfolded bias edge, right sides together, to the neckline edge. At center back, make a note of where the bias needs to be joined and stitch it together. (I moved the tee out of the way after taking the picture so I wouldn't catch my main fabric.)
Step 3: Trim and press open the seam you've just sewn open.
You'll sew the bias to the tee using a 1/4" seam.
For the other steps I followed Jen's tutorial for applying a bias facing. The only thing I did different is that I have my seam allowance turned under already.
Once the neckline is done, it's time to sew the sleeves in. I chose to sew my sleeves in the flat (as opposed to setting the sleeves in). I was able to ease mine in with no problems but you might need to sew a couple of rows of basting stitches to help ease the sleeves.
After the sleeves are in, sew the underarms and the side seams. Then it's time to apply the bias facings to the sleeve edges and the hem following the same steps you did on the neckline. And you're finished!
BK really likes this style of shirt. After pictures she insisted on keeping the Woven Tee on as we headed to the middle school track meet to watch girl #1 run.
Some quick notes:
-for the cotton/lycra poplin tee I used a size 6, that is where BK's measurements fall closest to except for height
-this version I traced off the size 7 with the length of the 10 to give BK a bit more room since the quilting cotton has no stretch
-you need to be careful when choosing a pattern...sizing up from a very slim fitting tee isn't going to work (at least not as good) You want the tee to fit well through the upper back and shoulders.
-I did french seams through out to give the inside a nice finish (the overall seam allowance was 1/2")
I have some ideas for the next one (two, three, four...) I sew. Wouldn't the tee be cute with the bias facing on the outside like the Pinwheel Tunic from Oliver + S? Or what about adding a little pocket to the front? One could keep the hem straight or add a ruffle or even a flounce...the possibilities are endless!
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