Glitter: From stash
Ribbon: From stash
Stretchy Glue: From stash
Thread: From stash
Because this was a gift, I could justify the expense of buying new fabric. Two yards of this cotton/poly blend was $3.95/yard and surprisingly, felt silky and soft after the pre-wash and dry. I prefer full cotton because it feels less stiff and scratchy than a blend, but couldn't afford it this time. After the pre-wash and dry, this fabric felt so nice, I wish I had gotten more.
When I went to cut out my pattern, I saw that the fabric was a tube. Granted, I seldom buy fabric and have only just started exploring knits, so maybe this is common and no cause for comment. Even though the fabric was narrower than I expected, the two folds saved me some fabric.
I wanted to get two shirts out of this, so I cut the sleeves in pieces and have a seam on the outside arm. I also pieced together the neckband, but that worked out so the seams are at the shoulder seams.
I sewed the front and back together at the shoulder seams, using black ribbon to prevent the stretching I'm told about, but have never experienced. I sewed the front and back sleeves together to make a normal full sleeve piece.
Then I set up the glitter and glue station. I thought it would be easier to decorate the shirt before the side seams were sewn. This glue and glitter process took several days because I could only do one small bit at a time. I used a free coloring page from online for a stencil, not using the entire coloring page design, but the bits that I wanted. Before that, I tried to draw my own, but my drawing skills are undeveloped.
After I thought I was finished with the glitter, I zig-zagged the sleeve hems, leaving the raw edges exposed and sewed in the sleeves. Then I sewed the under arm and side seams. I even zig-zagged the side seam allowance to make a nicer finish. Maybe this isn't needed on knits, but it makes me feel like I'm doing a good job to attend to these details that I would prefer to ignore.
I looked at the shirt, and realized I missed some places where the design needed to be wrapped from the front to the back. I glued and glittered some more. At this point, glitter is all over the sewing room, no matter how I try to control it. I'll pull out the vaccuum when I'm done.
When that glue was dry, I put in the neckband. For the first time, I got the neckband sewed in correctly and the neckline does not gape. It's so simple; I don't understand why I was confused all this time.
After the neckband, I zig-zagged the hem of the shirt, leaving the raw edge exposed to match the sleeves and I was done.
The construction was easy and sewing over the dry, but not cured, stretchy glue did not gum up my needle the way I had feared. The most tedious part of the project was the glitter application.
The glitter design came out nothing like what I envisioned. Clearly, I am not a graphic artist. Then again, I think this suits the style of the recipient, so all is not lost.
Now that I know how to put in a proper neckband, I like the lower front and back neckline. The longer length shows me that if I can figure out a swayback adjustment, I can cut the hem several inches longer and have a comfortable, flattering knit dress.
Project verdict: Perfect for the recipient and holds potential for me.