So my circumstances dictate that random laundry/storage room items will appear in all photos until such circumstances change. As much as I would like tidy photos, I do not want them enough to rearrange an entire room every time I want to take a picture and since it's not my house, I can't rearrange permanently. I hereby acknowledge that I am allowing any internet user access to the slightly-out-of-focus details of my laundry room. You won't even have to secretly peek in the door to see what kind of laundry soap I use.
Now to the important parts.
I've been working on several projects, none of which have produced anything more than cut-up fabric and long sessions with the seam ripper. I needed success at something, so I gathered my resources and went looking for the cheapest knit fabric I could find. My plan was to use my self-drafted t-shirt pattern to make a second t-shirt. Hopefully, this would serve two purposes: give me some success and prove that the pattern is correct enough to use with slightly different fabrics.
I found this lizard and frog fabric. That the bolt label stated that the fabric has not been approved for children's sleepwear fire-retardant properties should have clued me in that this looks like little-boy pajama material. But, buying any fabric was a splurge and at $2 a yard this was the cheapest I could find. Besides, I like frogs and lizards. When I saw this fabric, it made me smile.
On Friday, I washed and dried the fabric. On Saturday, when I went to fold the fabric in half, I realized the grain was distorted. I know you can have one person stand at opposite diagonal corners and pull the grain back into line, but how does one do this alone with 2 yards of fabric? I made the fold smooth and used the off-kilter fabric. I would like to know a solution to this.
After I cut out my t-shirt pattern, I lowered the neckline by one inch and free-hand drew the curve. I wanted the neckline for this shirt to be lower than the first one, but wasn't too concerned with having it perfect. It is, after all, a very casual tee. I would, however, like to learn to know what kind of curve will produce what kind of neckline.
I had some scrap green velvet that was the perfect length to cut out four neckline bindings. The plan was to use one for the neckline, two for the armholes, and have one already cut out for another project.
Since I wanted the binding to show on the outside of the shirt, I first sewed it to the wrong side of the fabric. Then I realized that since my neckline was bigger, I needed a longer binding than the one I cut from the original pattern. Math never was my forte. Fortunately, I had the fourth piece of binding in reserve. Unfortunately, I had pinned the binding on in such a way that meant I had to have the fabric on the right side of the needle. That meant that I could have used some left-handed cutting skills when it came time to trim the excess length off the binding. Fortunately, the joining seam ended up at an inconspicuous spot.
Anyway, the shirt went together quickly and I was thrilled to finally have a successful project. The velvet binding was a little heavy and caused the neckline to pull forward a bit. Or maybe is won't lie flat because of the shape. Whatever the cause, it's not enough to make me try to fix it.
The shirt does seem to fit slightly larger in this fabric than in the navy fabric I first used. Not sure why, especially since my pattern slipped a little when I was cutting it out and the front piece was about ¼-inch off in some places. Anyway, at least if fits and looks good enough to wear casually.
I tried on the shirt again and thought it looked like a smock or house-wife apron from decades ago. I took some more scraps of the green velvet and experimented with creating a waist or under-bust sash, decorative epaulets, or a false button placket, but nothing really appealed to me. I was about to convince myself that I liked the smock look when I saw a few strands of velvet left over from cutting the binding. I played with these and came up with a decorative design that breaks up the shirt front and adds interest while still letting the frogs and lizards shine through.
So maybe this still does look a little like a smock or pajamas, but I don't care. I've got a new shirt that has elements of my taste. Even more, I successfully completed a project and feel renewed to go back to the seam ripper and experimenting.