I have spent a couple of months searching the internet for red and black striped knit fabric – one to one and half inch horizontal stripes – with no success. I wouldn’t have thought it would be such an impossible fabric to find. My last resort was to have it specially printed, although this seemed like a lot of work to go to for such a simple pattern.
I started with ‘Spoonflower’ which appears to be the front runner for printing your own fabrics. It was simple enough to create the design and upload it, but I had to buy 2 yards, as I needed just over 1 metre for the t-shirt and you have to buy to the nearest full yard. Then there was international postage costs to the UK, and I was hit with a tax charge when I picked it up at the sorting office. They were unable to deliver it directly due to this additional charge. This is definitely the most expensive fabric I had ever bought. All included it came to approx. £60. The fabric was a thin jersey, but it was okay for the t-shirt. The red came out a little brighter than I expected, but that’s hard to account for without ordering colour samples first.
After receiving this fabric and needing to pay the extra tax charge, I thought I’d look into UK based alternatives. I tried out ‘Bags of Love’ and I was very impressed. It took me a little time to figure out how to upload and order the fabric I wanted, but you can order an exact size of fabric required (length and width), which helps to keep the costs down. I ordered the medium weight jersey and it was a lovely fabric. From my experience with the colours of the Spoonflower fabric I darkened the red stripe, and it came out exactly as I wanted. The cost of fabric and delivery came to approx. £45, so it was quite a lot cheaper than Spoonflower. Since I’d ordered the exact size of fabric I wanted, there were no fabric remnants left, which was great. I’d only end up hoarding them, and what can you do with small amounts of jersey fabric?
Here are photos of the two t-shirts made using Simplicity 2116 again, like the Black and Beige T-Shirt. The construction was very similar to the first one, except this time I made sure I put the neck band in the right way around first time. Jez and I are very happy with both t-shirts and I’ll definitely use ‘Bags of Love’ should I need/want fabric printing again.