When I came across this fabric on the Minerva Crafts website I couldn’t resist it for some PJ bottoms for Jez – he loves pirates. I set out make him a set of PJs using the ‘Margot Pyjamas’ pattern from the ‘Love at First Stitch’ book for the bottoms and the Simplicity 2116 T-shirt I’d used for his stripy t-shirts. In the end, I just bought a plain black t-shirt, as I didn’t have much time and he was keen to start wearing them.
As this is the fourth time I’ve made the PJ bottoms, there isn’t much to say about them, other than it works perfectly for men too. I am generally a selfish sewer (sewist?), but Jez’s joyful reaction when I make things for him means I love sewing for him as much as for myself, maybe even more.
How often do you sew for your significant other?
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.
After my success with his Monkee’s shirt, my boyfriend asked if I could make him a stripy t-shirt. He’s quite particular about his stripes and hasn’t been able to find any t-shirts he likes for a while.
I wasn’t sure about making something as classic as a t-shirt, but thought I’d give it a go. I ordered some black and beige stripy knit fabric from Minerva Crafts and I was very pleased with the feel of it when it arrived. The pattern I picked for this was actually a pyjama top pattern which looked like it would be simple to make (Simplicity 2116).
The cutting out took quite a while as I tried to make sure that the stripes matched on the folded fabric. The stripe matching along the sides worked out well in the end – not perfect, but good enough.
The big problem I had was with the ribbed collar. I used my overlocker for all the seams including the collar, and as I was sewing it felt like it was going in beautifully. I’d never done this before, but I was following some advice I’d found online about stretching the ribbed fabric as I sewed it in, after lots of pinning to make sure it was evenly distributed around the neckline. As I looked at the completed neck band, which was lying beautifully flat with no puckers, I realised that I’d sewn it in inside out! Bugger! I managed to keep calm and after unpicking it, which took ages with the overlocking, I sewed it in again the other way around. Not quite as good as the first time, but good enough.
In the end, Jez was really pleased with it and has set me the task of finding some red and black fabric to make him a Dennis the Menace style t-shirt (or two).