New Favorite T-Shirt Pattern

I have a new front-runner in my never-ending search for a flattering t-shirt pattern. What am I looking for in a t-shirt pattern? I'm looking for a top that minimizes my bust, and makes me look slim without clinging. Welcome to my life, Jalie 2682.

I'll be carrying Jalie patterns on The Confident Stitch website SOON! As I mentioned in my yoga pant post, Jalie is a Canadian company that makes great patterns for regular clothes. I love them, my 20-something daughters love them, and they come in small children's sizes, too. 

I have made two versions of this V-Neck top. The first version was crafted out of an awesome soy knit. Soy knits feel like bamboo, but they don't pill as much. Yes, they'll be available in the shop! I can't show you the first version, because my 23-year-old daughter snagged it on her last visit home: "Oooh, Mom, this shirt is so flattering on me. Can I have it? Thanks." In case you're not the mother of girls, the previous quote can be interpreted as HIGH PRAISE.

This second version is made of an Art Gallery cotton/spandex knit. The fabric, and many more Art Gallery cotton knits will be available in the shop. The only alteration I made was to lower the underbust seam by one inch so that it would actually go under my bust, and not across the apex. I wish I had done a more traditional full-bust-adjustment because there is some pulling at the front underarm seam. Next time, I will do a complete FBA and show you how I did it. The v-neck and shawl collar are created ingeneously, so the FBA will be a little tricky.

Andrea Jones did not move to Missoula with me, so we all have to put up with my fiance's "artistic" sense. Gotta love the tree in the eye.

Andrea Jones did not move to Missoula with me, so we all have to put up with my fiance's "artistic" sense. Gotta love the tree in the eye.

In this side view, you can see that I need a little more fabric across the bust so the armseye will lay flat against my body.

In this side view, you can see that I need a little more fabric across the bust so the armseye will lay flat against my body.

In addition to constantly searching for the perfect t-shirt, I am always looking for the best way to hem clothes. There are so many options! This top called for simple, single-turned hems for the bottom and the armholes. I decided to use 1/2" SewkeysE double-sided fusible stay tape to hold the hems in place before I stitched them. The tape is extremely fine and pliable. I pressed one side of the tape to the edges of the hems, turned and pressed the hems, removed the paper backing on the stay tape, and re-pressed the hems. (notice the all-important hyphen. No one wants a "repressed" hem.) The stay tape held the hems perfectly in place for stitching -- no bubbling or shifting.

Emma Seabrooke has a huge variety of stay tapes, all of which help with sewing knits.

Emma Seabrooke has a huge variety of stay tapes, all of which help with sewing knits.

I also used my new seam allowance guide that screws onto my sewing machine. Pushing the fabric against the blade of the guide ensured the zigzag stitching was even on the right side of the garment, and the stitches caught the fold on the wrong side of the fabric. The stay tape and the guide made the hems so nice and easy. Double score -- great t-shirt pattern + great hemming method!

Extra precision with the seam guide!

Extra precision with the seam guide!

Jalie Yoga Pants -- Yes I'm Brave Enough to Show You

Do you know about Jalie patterns yet? Jalie is an independent Canadian pattern company with a great variety of patterns. They are well-drafted and each envelope contains 27 sizes.  Jalie carries patterns for what I consider 'regular clothes' -- Polo shirts, dolman-sleeved tees, easy knit dresses. I have made a Jalie swimsuit, which I like, but you will never see. I am brave enough to show you these yoga pants, however. I love this pattern because it has a center back seam. The seam improves the fit in general, and allows for extra tweaking (no, I did not say twerking). The waistband is also two pieces, allowing for tweaking and interesting design elements.

This is my first version of these pants. I unintentionally treat the first version of anything I make like a muslin. I should make actual muslins, but I'm too antsy and hopeful. I promise myself I will pay attention to all the details and make sure everything is perfect, and then I jump in with both feet. Unfortunately, I am always too distracted by finding the correct fit and learning how the pattern goes together. Although I like this finished product, I put the waistband on backwards, I completely forgot to match the pattern on the waistband, I cover-stitched with blue thread instead of black....

Long yoga pants....A tall woman's dream come true! Please disregard the center-front waistband seam -- it's supposed to be in the back. Photo by Andrea Jones.

Long yoga pants....A tall woman's dream come true! Please disregard the center-front waistband seam -- it's supposed to be in the back. Photo by Andrea Jones.

I made these pants with a super-strong polyester-spandex from Rose City Textiles. The fabric is from a famous bike-short company, and the pants are thick and WARM. I think the fabric is better suited for shorts. These pants will definitely keep me cozy through the Montana winter!. The waistband is a fun cotton-lycra jersey from Art Gallery. Both will be available in my shop and online (soon!).

The back. I tried enhancing the photo so you could see the center-back seam, but other things were also enhanced. No thank you! Photo by Andrea Jones.

The back. I tried enhancing the photo so you could see the center-back seam, but other things were also enhanced. No thank you! Photo by Andrea Jones.

I chose a size based on my hip measurements, and made no changes to the pattern except lengthening (my inseam is 36 inches). The waistband is held up by half-inch elastic cut to fit your waist and sewn on the inside. I can't wait to make more pairs!

Close-up of the waistband -- wouldn't it look good if I had matched the pattern and put the vertical seam in the back? Photo by Andrea Jones.

Close-up of the waistband -- wouldn't it look good if I had matched the pattern and put the vertical seam in the back? Photo by Andrea Jones.