Pattern: Self Drafted
I used the same pattern as I began with for the Salmon & Navy Striped T-Shirt (smaller than the gift shirt pattern, but without the stripe cut out yet), but with alterations. To start, I cut across the chest where the armhole starts to curve. By narrowing the width of the shirt by one inch on the front and back, I barely had enough fabric to cut the front and back on the fold. With the patterned fabric, I didn't want a seam down the center.
On an episode of Royal Pains, Paige had a dress with a blue oval on one side. In high school, I had a formal dress that laced up the sides and showed skin between the laces. I'm fairly modest and try not to show cleavage or abdominal skin, but with no explanation, I'm fine with showing my back and sides. A few months ago, a friend tried on a shirt with lace cutouts on the side, but they were too high and showed the bra chest strap. Somehow all of this varied input gave me the idea to cut out ovals out of the side of my shirt and insert this fabulous spider web netting I have left over from a high school sewing project (the skirt that eventually became this shirt).
Because I made the pattern, I was able to stop the cutout before it began to show anything undesirable. I would have loved to make the shape a paisley shape, rather than an oval, but I know from experience that I don't yet have the skills to insert a sharp point like that. Curved seams are much easier for me. I wanted the netting cutouts to be cut on the fold, but couldn't quite visualize how that would work if the shirt fabric had a side seam.
After I altered a copy of the original t-shirt pattern to include the cutouts, cut out my fabric, and looked at what scraps I had left, I realized that I might be able to create thick enough shoulder pieces to cover the bra shoulder straps. I manipulated the pattern and fabric and got what I needed.
As I began assembling my pieces, the netting ended up on top of the printed fabric. Whoa! I liked the way that looks. I still wanted my sheer side cutouts, but began scheming for ways to include the covered section, too. And so the covered yoke was born. With the netting over the fabric shoulder pieces, the neckline took on a different shape, but I liked it.
Putting all the pieces together took a lot of work, especially since I had to zig-zag stitch-in-the-ditch over all seams except the side and shoulder seams. Without that stitching, the seam allowances flipped over and showed through the netting.
Once the shirt was assembled, I had just enough scraps left to piece together a binding for the armholes. I still have trouble with this. The binding gapes and the seam allowance flips out. The armhole looks so sleek until I finish the raw edge. I'm not sure what to do about this. I have the same problem when I finish necklines.
For this neckline, I didn't want to break the sheer line, so used the netting to finish the raw edge. I really wanted to leave it without finishing because it was so sleek, but I was afraid the netting would stretch out eventually. The netting directly against the skin is a bit itchy, but bearable enough that I enjoy wearing this shirt.
This shirt doesn't have sleeves. I thought about making sleeves out of the netting, but I dislike the look of sheer sleeves. The lack of sleeves makes this a summer shirt, but I really wanted to wear my new creation.
In my drawer, I found a navy long-sleeved tee that worked perfectly under my new shirt. When Mom first saw the shirt, she thought I had restyled the first shirt I made from this fabric, but when she saw that it was a new shirt, enthusiastically liked the way it was designed. At the library, a woman who doesn't seem to particularly care about clothing complimented me on the shirt.
When I said, "Thanks! I made it," she was in awe. Usually when I say I made something, people take the information and that is it; there's no production. Not this time. This time, every time I walked up and someone new was around, the woman had to tell them that I made this shirt.
Somehow, this shirt must really suit my personality or coloring or something. I wish I new what it was so I could duplicate the good parts. Anyway, I'm happy with the shirt and even happier that I don't have to wait until summer to wear it.