T-Shirt Success!

I have a love-hate relationship with t-shirts. I love wearing them, but hate buying them. Because of this, I only buy cheap t-shirts and they last like cheap t-shirts do. I’ve tried and tried to make a wearable t-shirt for myself, but never enjoyed much success. You can see my failures here and there is another one on my blog somewhere, but I can’t find it. Clearly my vague blog titles and lack of tagging is now becomming an issue….

Anyway, here are another two fails.

Made with Vintage Simplicity 5133 (c 1981) which I have successfully used here. But I can not remember what I did to make that dress work. BTW – I love that dress and wear it often in summer.

Made with the free Blank Canvas T-Shirt pattern from 3 Hours Past. I made the wrong size, then tried to make it smaller along the side seams, but it didn’t work. the shoulders and sleeves are too big.

My key problem with t-shirt making, me thinks, is that my tightwad, love-hate t-shirt self, never purchased a proper t-shirt pattern. I’ve always tried to fudge up a pattern, but given that I have practically no experience sewing with stretch fabric, I’ve failed and failed and failed. I have tried to save money, but in effect, I have cost myself more money in wasted time and fabric. I should have just purchased a bloody pattern in the beginning!!

Finally, I’ve seen the light and purchased a proper pattern – the Sewaholic Refrew. I was inspired by Marie and Leith’s collection of Refrews that they made for the One Week, One Pattern challenge. They all look great. Much better than my dud t-shirts, which have been relegated to sleep wear or re purposed into tights for Adele.

So, without further ado – let me introduce first Renfrew. View A with 3/4 sleeves.

This was a trial tee made with some cotton jersey that I picked up from the Op Shop here. It only cost $1, so I wasn’t too worried if it didn’t work. Well, imagine my surprise when it turned out completely wearable. The only down side to this tee is the fabric. It’s a little flimsy. More like something you’d make PJs out of, so it has become another PJ top. I didn’t add the waist or cuff bands as I knew this would be a sleep top.

Refrew No 2. View C with 3/4 sleeves

This was made with rayon poly burnout jersey from  Spotlight. Again, completely wearable, flattering and comfortable. I wasn’t sure about the cowl neck, but I love it! Can you tell I’m still surprised with myself?? I almost exclusively used my overlocker to make this, except for setting the sleeves. I did not stitch down the neck seam as you can’t see it and it doesn’t sit poorly so why bother.

Refrew No. 3. View A with 3/4 sleeves

This tee was made with a ponte from Spotlight. I know you don’t normally make t-shirts from ponte, but there are limited stretch options for adults at Spotlight. I liked the colour and I figure it will be nice and warm and not stretch out.

I’m extremely happy with how all of these t-shirts have turned out. The pattern fits remarkably well straight from the packet. I made a straight size 2 and the only changes I might make to the next few is to add maybe 1/4 inch to the shoulder and I may try Carolyn’s stretch binding method, especially for any striped versions, to avoid top stitching the neck binding and to allow fabric matching.

Happy days!

Pattern: Sewaholic Refrew = $19 inc shipping

Refrew No 1 = $1 Op Shop
Refrew No 2 = $15.54. 2m Burnout Rayon/Poly Jersey from Spotlight @ 40% off
Refrew No 3 = $11.69 1.3m Ponte from Spotlight @ 40% off.

Thread from stash
Total  = $47.23 for three t-shirts

Can’t wait to make more! I might have to buy some posh fabric like Leith for my next batch.

  • Why show us your fails…you don't have to tell us everything! You could just have shown us the fab tops you ended up with.

    • Just keeping it real. I don't want people to think that all I do is sew nice stuff. Sometimes it's crap 😉

    • Anonymous

      I like seeing the fails. And the wins. And the kids. And even Dave 😉 CNDI xx

    • AJ

      Fails are great mate. KEEP IT UP. We learn from our every detour. Good onya!!

  • how funny, i was just looking at that renfrew pattern yesterday! i live in stretchy tshirt tops so i think i need to get it and try it out. your renfrew tops look really, reaallly good!!

  • It appears that everyone is having success with the Renfrew. Maybe I should succumb and jump on board. Your tops look great.

  • I love seeing the fails…not that I don't want everyone to succeed! But it does make me feel better about trying things. Otherwise I just think everyone is a genius at sewing except me. So thanks!

  • Hurrah for a perfect Tshirt pattern! Yours look terrific.
    I started out with a Burdastyle magazine pattern, which i then adjusted and fiddled with and it is now perfect for me; so I'm just sticking with that. Thank you for the mention!

  • Hooray for the Renfrew!! So glad you finally bought it. I'm contemplating sewing up the white linen knit tomorrow… If only I could finish sewing damn kids pants!!

  • Oooh yay, your Renfrew's look amazing! So glad you like the pattern, Tasia's way of finishing these t-shirts off gives such a professional finish! I recently dabbled with another jersey top pattern and the result is nowhere near as good as the Renfrew! Thanks also for the mention ;o)

  • Great that you finally found a T-shirt pattern to your liking. If you're like me, T-shirts are an essential part of my wardrobe. I have to have them 🙂

  • I reckon that I might just need a Renfrew pattern too (although I do already have quite a few stretch fabric t-shirt patterns) – it seems like it fits many people well. I like that you've shown us the fails as well as the wins – and as we know, most of what you make are definitely wins!

  • I buy t-shirts with no names on them to save money. I think the biggest issue with people is that they have too many t-shirts. I always find I need more pants and less shirts.

    -Zane of ontario honey