DIY Striped T-shirt (Self Drafted Pattern)

Quick, easy and highly wearable? That's my favorite thing to make. And that's what this shirt is. I made my own pattern for this basic T-shirt and used a large fabric scrap to whip it up over the weekend. This week I'm sharing inspiration for how to mix stripes with florals so of course I couldn't resist making something myself.

The fabric has a very small stripe in it, kind of a dark grey on black. I can't remember where I bought it, probably from a bargain bin somewhere. :) I used the fabric a couple of times before. Once for a long grecian dress and once for a fabric strip scarf (tutorial included in link).

To draft my pattern, I picked a t-shirt that fits well and traced its shape on paper. This pattern was extra easy because there are not separate sleeves. The t-shirt just has little cap sleeves built as an extension of the shoulder. 

After picking a shirt to copy, all you have to do is fold the shirt in half, place it on top of your paper and trace around it. I made one pattern piece for the front and one for the back. Now, I'll be able to use the pattern over and over again and it only took a few minutes to make.

TIP: I've found that using chalk to make marks is easier and faster than pencil or pen. The chalk will rub off onto your fabric which in some cases is a good thing! 

To put the t-shirt together, I used my serger to stitch the front and back together at the sides and shoulder seams. Then I hemmed the sleeves and bottom. Doing the neck binding took the longest because I expected the fabric to stretch quite a bit but it did not. So the length I cut to bind the neckline was too short and I had to do a little experimenting before I got it right. I must say that a serger and a sewing machine with a walking foot really do make sewing with knits so easy and quick.

For the above outfit, I paired my new t-shirt with a DIY floral pleated skirt that I made last year. I really love this skirt by the way. The bright colors are so cheerful and fun. And it's super easy to pair with any neutral colored stripes. Yay for mixing it up!

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Striped Kimono Sleeve Top - McCall's M6566

How fun are these stripes? This is another kimono sleeve top from McCalls pattern M6566. This top is View D. It's perfectly suited for stripes. This was a little more complicated to make than View B but still fairly easy. See my version of View B here. Again the walking foot and the serger were my best friends in making this. 

You don't think it looks too jailbird do you? ;) I got this fabric in downtown LA a while ago intending to use it for a project from one of the drape drape books. I really wanted to use it in a pattern that would show off the stripes and this was perfect.

One of the coolest, more unusual features of the top is the crossover back. I considered eliminating this feature at first because I was worried about the dip being so low.

And the back is quite low and does not properly cover the back of the bra. Wearing a camisole easily solves the dilemma but it is a little annoying.

I made a size medium for this with a narrow seam allowance. If I had followed the size chart I would have made a size large. The fit is loose which is the intention. But, you should be aware of this when deciding what size to make. If this was any larger, the shoulders would definitely be falling off. However, I do recommend the pattern. It's a great basic kimono sleeve top with some nice variations. If you're curious about the kimono sleeve versus the dolman sleeve check out this post.

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Kimono Sleeve Sweatshirt Top - McCall's M6566

I wanted to make a simple kimono sleeve top and McCall's M6566 view B fit the bill perfectly. See my guide to the elements of a kimono sleeve versus a dolman sleeve. The fabric is a gray sweatshirt fabric I had leftover from another project.

The bits I had remaining were enough to cut all the pieces yet one back pieces had to be cut from the wrong side. So, to make it look more intentional, I made the pocket with the wrong side showing and cuffed the sleeves to show the wrong side as well. The one other change I made was to slightly round the front hem up.

I cut size medium for this top but made the seam allowance a little smaller than 5/8 inch. I recommend the pattern just watch the sizing. It can get baggy quickly. But, it has a kind of fun Flashdance vibe to the cut.

The pocket is a little wonky. I could have stitched it better.

The top was very quick and easy to make. I used the walking foot from my machine to do the top stitching. The walking foot is so great for sewing knits. I wish I had gotten one sooner. The walking foot pulls the fabric through from the top and bottom so that it doesn't bunch up or stretch out.

The fabric makes this a very cozy casual top perfect for weekend, at-home wear and maybe a run to the  grocery store. The top was a great use for my leftover fabric. If I were to make this style again, I'd use a fabric that's dressier, better for everyday going-out wear.

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