I needed some simple projects to get going again and decided to fill a gap in my wardrobe: long sleeved t-shirts. Useful when it gets a little bit colder and a short sleeved t-shirt doesn’t provide enough coverage anymore but a cardigan or sweater is still too warm.
If you have been following this blog for a while you may have noticed that I usually use solid colours when sewing for myself and that I am not averse to some colour blocking. To make this t-shirt I used the same pattern as before but adapted it to give the top of the t-shirt a different colour. I even remembered to take some progress pictures so I could show you how I changed the pattern to achieve this look. This is a very easy method to give your favourite t-shirt (or dress) a different appearance.
The first step is tracing your pattern because you don’t want to mess with the original, you might want to use it again some other time. Make sure to include all relevant pattern markings, I forgot to add the straight of grain line for the sleeve at first…
The second step is to decide where you want to cut and mark this position on all pattern pieces (front, back and sleeve). I made a mark ¾’’ below the armpit. You could cut a little bit higher than that, but I would advise you to take into account that you are introducing extra seam allowances inside the shirt and you don’t want all of those to meet exactly at the armpit because that will become very bulky which is a pain to sew and might also not be too comfortable when wearing. If you only want a small strip of the second colour at the top you can also cut above the armpit. Check that the marks you made on the front and back bodice match and that the marks you made on the sides of the sleeve match as well.
Draw a line across the pattern pieces through the mark and cut the pattern. Make sure that both sides of each pattern piece are labelled correctly.
The Lady Skater pattern has the seam allowance included in the pattern. However, where I cut the pattern, the seam allowance is not yet included. This means that I have to remember to add the appropriate seam allowance when I cut the pattern from fabric. I use a quilting ruler and rotary cutter to get a straight cut. You can also tape some extra tracing paper to the pattern and add the seam allowance to the pattern if you worry that you’ll forget.
I chose to first sew top and bottom of each pattern piece together before assembling the t-shirt. You could topstitch the seams but I didn’t. For another look you could also only do this modification to the bodice to get a differently coloured yoke and leave the sleeves as they are.
And it case you are wondering, yes, there will be jeans at some point, just not this week, I have too much other stuff going on…
Great how-to’s – thank you!
What was the fabric you used?
T-shirt looks wonderful!
Thank you! Both fabrics are a viscose/lycra blend which I find extremely comfortable to wear.
Ooooh, lovely fabric to wear! Did the edges curl very much? I’m about to start some here, and that’s a problem!
Thanks so much! xx del
No, I didn’t have much edge curling problems. I did start sewing almost immediately after cutting so that might have helped. I think I read or heard somewhere that spray starch can be used to tame those edges if they really are a problem when sewing.
Thanks for that tip!
thanks for sharing a cute tee and the details. We have some similar fitting issues, so I really appreciate knowing how you work them out.
Thank you! I plan to get back to fitting sometime this month, if my schedule gets a bit less crazy that is…
Great fitting tee shirt. The colours on you are lovely. My holy grail is to have a go-to tee shirt pattern and solids and colour blocking will be part of that. Thanks for the details.
I bought the fabric before I went to the colour analysis and was very pleased when I held my colour card next to it when I came back. 😉 Especially the green looks great on me which is why I chose to use that colour on top.
I love a great tee as well as some color-blocking! 🙂 If I didn’t already have so many tees made up, I’d be tempted to do some more! Love it!
They will wear out some day… 😉
I love colour blocking, either with solids or prints. Looks good!
Thank you. Prints are a bit of a challenge for me to use. I often find that they are a bit overwhelming on me but I should probably try to use them more often to get a bit more variety in my wardrobe. Habits are hard to break though…
That’s understandable, I have a problem with too much black!
I keep seeing these skater tops, saw one made into a dress. I love the blocking, now it’s on my list. Arrgh.
At least it’s a quick project… 😉