Sunday, November 15, 2015


There is a real beauty in making such a simple garment.
Let me take you step by step

  1. Choose your Lutterloh pattern.   Any knit pattern in your Lutterloh collection can be made into a t-shirt.  The hallmarks of a T-Shirt is a round neck with no collar, short sleeves, simple shaping, simple hems, typically made from cotton fabric.  If you lay it out it makes a T shape!

2Knit Fabric will be your most carefully planned part of this project. 
     Why?  There are so many  knits types and each makes the garment different.
      Here are some of the better choices for T-shirts
  •  Cotton Jersey Knits, come in different weights.  The lighter the weight the more tightly it will hug you.  Very light Jersey is hard to cut and hard to sew and it is being sold more and more often.  I love a med weigh Jersey and that is what I will make my t-shirt out of because I have a drawer full.
  • Cotton Lycra and Cotton Spandex knits (used mostly for sports wear)
  • Cotton interlock Knits
 The Give or Stretch of your fabric will change how you plan your pattern drawing.  
example:  A stable knit that has no Give is best made with a pattern NOT for knits
                 A knit with 100% Give will need a knit pattern perhaps
                                         as much as 1 size smaller than you wear
Here is a bit of a guide to help you.  Take and put your hands at each end of 4" of knit fabric.  Pull with both hands with a ruler below you.  How much has that 4" pulled comfortably to?

Stable Knits: 1/2" Approx.
Moderate Knits: 1" to 1 1/2" Approx.
loosely stable: 2" Approx.
Unstable: 4"  Approx.
As knits go from Stable to unstable the fabric and the 
garment goes from staying as your pattern was cut to
a garment that grows in size as you wear it. 

Because we can't let you touch my collection of knits and explore 
this on our blog you will have to give this a try in your fabric
 store and at home.  You must make adjustments with 
your pattern to fit the Stretch of the fabric and the 
look you are wanting.

  3. Use a knit needle in your machine.  It's a difference between a sharp needle that can pierce the knit or a rounded needle that will slip between the yarns of the knit.  I use Schmetz needles and I have a Jersey ball point and a package of Stretch needles. Use a size fitting to the knit weight, mostly 80/12 and 75/11

4. Neckbands are the mystery to many however the easiest part when well measured.  I love this blog for some great neckband choices and hem finishes.

How about a video on making a neckline, nine minutes long, loads a bit slow but very helpful!
Sarah is a very good teacher, I've taken many of her classes.
 Watch this before cutting your neck binding

5. Hems   I'm a bit fussy about my hems.  I don't want any ripples or wide stretched out looking hems.

I will put a little soluble stabilizer on the cut edge and surge over it then I make my hem with
 only a single fold.  I finish off with sewing on the front side with a double needle.
It make a very nice hem.


As you sew the shoulder seam sew in a strip of like colored selvage or some other stable woven strip of fabric.  Your shoulders will then stay nicely in shape.  

Darts the new addition to t-shirts.  The nature of a t-shirt is loose, but why not a dart in front? just a bit of one.

I start with a piece of scrap folded fabric as I sew, then sew right into the knit seam, this saves the knit from being pulled into the bobbin area at the very beginning.  The scrap is a little bridge to stating.  

Ann have you some hints to add? 

Well yes, I do....

I like to use a strip of clear elastic in the shoulder seam. You see this often used in RTW garments and it works particularly well for very stretchy or heavy knits. I will even use clear elastic inside the folded edge of a neckline if the fabric is very thin or easily stretches out of shape.

For an alternate hem treatment to avoid ripples and stretching see the end of this post. 

 It's up to you now to create a T-shirt 
add sparkle, add designs, make it festive for
holiday gathering.  There is nothing plain about 
T-shirts you make yourself!

Join the T-party