What could be more fun and frugal than spending less than $10 to make shirts for my three favorite boys?! That is just what I did this week with three t-shirts from Goodwill, thread, and the Candy Castle Patterns Soda Pop Polo Shirt pattern. I joined the Sew-Along, but missed the deadline trying to get three shirts done, during History Fair Week, while doing an unrelated pattern test. I think I bit off a bit more than I could chew! But in the end, I am pretty happy with the result and I certainly learned a lot.
This project was my first time:
- Sewing with knit fabric
- Sewing with a double needle
- Using my new serger
- Using this particular pattern
- Making a collar
- Using a stretch stitch
My two younger boys wear about the same size, and I made size 5 for both of them with a longer length for the older one. I made a size 9 for my oldest son.
My Star Wars guy was excited to find this shirt at Goodwill because his dad has the same T-shirt. He asked for a chest pocket and seems really excited about his shirt.
For my little Spiderman, I added a web-like box at the bottom of the placket and a mini pocket on each sleeve using the smallest pocket pattern piece. I had the worst time for some reason with the button holes on his shirt. I think some thread got stuck in the bobbin area of my machine. After I cleaned it out, it worked better, but the third buttonhole had already been ruined by that point, so I added a small piece of the web-print fabric to cover the error.
My little Superman was pretty particular and insisted I not put buttons on his shirt. He wanted a zipper, but it was a bit late for that by the time I found out. He said snaps might be okay, but I don't have a press, so we will see. For now he claims he will wear another shirt under it!
Overall, the pattern went together well. My biggest problem was with the collars. I did end up cutting collars a size larger for the size 5 shirts (I used a size 6Y collar) and had trouble stretching it to fit without getting a tiny pucker in the main shirt fabric as I sewed it on. In the end, I got it okay, but it took a few tries. I was able to save the original hem for the sleeves and I did my own hem with a double needle for the three shirts. I also had a bit of difficultly with placement of the buttonholes, as the bottom of the placket was too thick to fit under my machine, so I could not get a button any lower than the ones I did.
The boys were all excited to get their first non-costume garment made by mom and wore them the rest of the day as soon as I finished. I am pleased enough with the results, particularly because of all the new experiences I gained, but they are not pieces I would want in a portfolio or anything. I need to work on straighter stretch stitches around the neckline (I did learn that I need to increase me stitch length for better results). I also confess to not taking the time toward the end to do things as well as I could have. I was pretty eager to be done with all three shirts by the time I was getting to the end! I am confident that the next time I use knits and the next time I use this pattern I will have much better results with the experience I gained using this pattern (for three shirts) and I am glad my three little men are so excited about their new super-shirts.