Woodley Sew-a-long: Getting Started

Woodley Sew-a-long: Getting Started

Today I am going to share some helpful tips and resources to get you set up for success in creating and customizing your Woodley Tee!

To get started, we will:

-Choose which version to make

-Take measurements and determine your size

-Make any fit adjustments to the pattern pieces if needed

-Pick out fabric

-Gather tools and get your work station set up to sew with knits

 

Choose which version:

 

The Woodley Tee offers two versions to create. Version one is made from a solid colour with long sleeves and sleeve cuffs. Version two is a colour block t-shirt with short sleeves. Choose which version you would like to make and next we will take measurements!

Take your measurements:

The measurements you will need to determine the best fit for the Woodley Tee are:

1. Bust or Chest circumference

2. Shoulder width

3. Waist circumference

4. Center back length

5. Sleeve inseam

Take these measurements for yourself or for the person you are sewing the Woodley Tee for. Alternatively, you could measure an already made t-shirt that fits you (or the wearer) best and take the same measurements off of that. 

Here are some links to similar past sew-a-longs that have more detail on how to take measurements:

Choose a size:

Refer to the Body Measurement Chart and Finished Garment Chart and compare your measurements. Keep in mind, if you took body measurements to refer to the body measurement chart, and if you measured an already made t-shirt to refer to the finished garment chart.

If your measurements aren't all in one size range, choose a size based off of your shoulder width. It is very simple to adjust the side seam to accommodate the chest/bust and waist circumference of the pattern pieces to match your desired measurements if needed. 

Adjust patterns for fit:

As mentioned earlier, for this pattern it is best to pick your size based off of your desired shoulder measurement. I will demonstrate some common adjustments that may need to be made to your pattern for a perfect fit! I will even show you how to adjust the shoulder if that is needed as well.

1. Length:

-It is very common for patterns to be adjusted for length! On all of the necessary pattern pieces we have included lengthen and shorten lines that run through the width of the piece. If you need to lengthen or shorten your pattern piece, first determine how much you need to lengthen or shorten. Next, cut your pattern piece along the provided line.

 -Spread or overlap the top and bottom pieces at the added or subtracted length measurement. It is best if you trace a new pattern piece so that the center or side lines are blended and smoothed out.

2. Width:

-To add or subtract width from either the body or sleeve, blend in or out at the side seam or underarm seam of the original pattern piece. If widening the sleeve, make sure to also widen the sleeve cuffs so that they fit onto the new sleeve opening.

 

3. Neck height:

-If your neckline needs to be lowered, mark down from center front or center back how far. Blend from the shoulder seam down to the new neck point, trying as best to keep the same curve shape as the original pattern piece. If your new neckline becomes substantially longer than the original, make sure to add that length to the neckband.

4. Shoulder, chest and bust:
-If your shoulder width does not fall on our size chart, a simple way to adjust this seam is to slash a line running vertically from shoulder to hem along your pattern piece. You will now do the same method of spreading or overlapping your pieces, as you would in the above lengthen/shorten section. This pattern adjustment is also great for chest and bust adjustments.
Choosing Fabric:
For both versions it is best to use light to medium weight knit fabrics with at least 20% stretch.
  • Easier to sew: More stable knits such as thick t-shirt knits. Interlock or French terry are good examples of stable knits. Cotton blends with 6% or less spandex content are generally easiest to sew.
  • More challenging to sew: Very stretchy or thin knits that are prone to curling at their edges. They will still make excellent t-shirts but will be more challenging to sew. Bamboo, cotton or hemp jersey blends, tissue-weight knits, ribbed knits, or athletic materials with a large spandex content are good examples of very stretchy or thin knits.
  • Colour block design idea: Use a contrast knit for the front and back top pieces. Consider purchasing two coordinating colours of thread for hemming and topstitching.
  • Tip: Use ribbing for the sleeve cuffs and neckband for a more rugged and comfortable fit. Use a contrast colour ribbing for a cool vintage look.

For the Woodley Tee photoshoot garments we sourced knit fabrics from Blackbird Fabrics. For version 1 we used a French Terry knit with color coordinating 2x1 rib knit for the cuffs and neckband. For version 2 samples we used bamboo jersey knit and cotton modal jersey knit.

Here is a link to a past blog post that goes into detail how to choose the best fabrics for sewing a t-shirt!

 Get Ready to Sew!

Now that we have most of the important things sorted out, lastly we need to be prepared with proper tools! Here is a link from a previous sew-a-long that explains how to sew with knits and how to set up your machine:

Here are links to some tools in our haberdashery that would be useful for sewing up the Woodley Tee:

 

 

August 26, 2021
Woodley Tee Sew-A-Long Day 1

Woodley Tee Sew-A-Long Day 1

Day 1 of the Woodley Sew-a-long will feature assembling the body and finishing the shoulders. Before following along with these steps, please refer to Woodley Tee Sew-A-Long: Getting started to make sure you are all set up for sewing with knits! 
Cut out the pattern pieces of the Woodley Tee in your fashion fabric.
Prepare and Attach Front Pocket:
Press in all the sides of the front pocket piece, along the marked seam allowances. Stitch down the top edge first, and leave the other edges pressed in place.
Pin the front pocket to the front body at the placement markings.
Edgestitch along the outer edges of the pocket, through all layers. For extra strength at the pocket openings, stitch a reinforcement triangle as shown above.
 Assemble Colour-block Pieces:
For the colour-block version, with right sides together pin the front top and front bottom pieces together. Stitch along the seam allowance using your preferred knit stitch.
Open the front pieces along the seam. Press the seam allowance up towards the front top.
Repeat these steps for the back top and back bottom pieces.
Sew Shoulders:
With right sides together, match the shoulders of the front and back. Stitch along the seam allowance using your preferred method of knit stitch. Press the seam allowance towards the back.
Assemble Neckband:
Fold the neckband in half, right sides together, matching the short edges. Stitch the short edges together so that the piece becomes a long loop. Press the seam allowance to one side.
Fold the neckband so that the long edges are matching, with WRONG sides together. OPTIONAL: At this point to keep the raw edges of the neckband from separating and shifting, stitch the edges together. If you do this, you can also finish the edge of the neck opening of the t-shirt so you don't have to worry about that edge in later steps.
Align the neckband to the neckline, matching the seam of the neckband to the center back notch of the back t-shirt. Stitch the neckband to the neckline using your preferred method of knit stitch. 
Open up the t-shirt along the shoulder seams and neckline, with the wrong side facing up. Press the neckband seam allowances towards the t-shirt. 
Make and Attach Shoulder Binding:
I will demonstrate two ways of finishing the shoulder binding. One way is to use twill tape and fusible web, the other is to create your own binding from self or contrast fabric.
Here is how to attach twill tape:
Cut a strip of 20mm wide twill tape about 36" (91.4 cm) long. Place the shoulder binding over the shoulder seams and around the back side only of the neckband seam allowance. You will have to fold and curve the twill tape slightly where the shoulder seam meets the neckband to cover around that intersection. Make sure the shoulder binding is completely covering the seam allowances. You can position the twill tape to be centered over the seams, or more towards the back. 
Cut several strips of fusible webbing, about 2-3" in length. Position the fusible web along the shoulder and neckline SANDWICHED BETWEEN the shirt and twill tape. It would be extremely helpful to use the fusible web at the shoulder seam and neckband intersection. Using an iron, carefully fuse the twill tape to the shoulder and neckline, following the manufacturer's instructions, making sure the twill tape stays positioned over the seams.
Using a straight stitch stitch along the twill tape through all layers, connecting the twill tape to the shoulder and neckline seam allowances. 
How to create your own shoulder binding:
Cut a strip of shoulder binding on grain from self or contrast fabric 1.25" (3.17 cm) wide and at least 36" (91.4 cm) in length. Fold the long edges of the binding to the wrong side, overlapping the edges, creating a trifold that is about 5/8" – 3/4" wide (1.6 cm – 1.9 cm wide). Press.
Place the shoulder binding over the shoulder seams and around the back side only of the neckband seam allowance. You will have to stretch and curve the shoulder binding slightly where the shoulder seam meets the neckband. Make sure the shoulder binding is completely covering the seam allowances. You can position the shoulder binding to be centered over the seams, or more towards the back. Pin.
Using a straight stitch, carefully edgestitch along both long folded edges of the shoulder binding, securing it to the shirt. Depending on how you positioned the shoulder binding, you may see some stitching along the back part of the neckband. Press.
September 01, 2021
Woodley Tee Sew-a-long Day 2

Woodley Tee Sew-a-long Day 2

Day 2 of the Woodley Tee Sew-A-Long will feature attaching the sleeves, sewing the side seams, and hem finishes! 
Attach Sleeves:
With right sides together and notches aligned, match one sleeve to one armhole. Pin. Starting at the shoulder seam, using your preferred knit stitch, sew in either direction towards the underarm, easing slightly as you go so that the sleeve edges line up with the armhole edges. If you are using a serger you will need to start from one edge and sew to the other rather than starting in the center. Press the seam allowances towards the sleeve. Repeat for the other sleeve and armhole.
For version 1 only, we will now assemble and attach sleeve cuffs.
Fold one sleeve cuff in half, with right sides together, matching the shorter edges. Stitch along the shorter edges using your knit stitch.
Fold the sleeve cuff in half, with wrong sides together, aligning the long edges in the round. Press.
OPTIONAL: At this point, to keep the raw edges of the sleeve cuff from
separating and shifting, zig-zag or serge the edges together. If you do this, you
can also serge or otherwise finish the sleeve opening at this time so you do not
have to worry about finishing this edge once the sleeve cuff has been sewn on.
With right sides together, and seams aligned, match the sleeve cuff to the sleeve. An easy way to do this is to insert the sleeve cuff into the sleeve opening with the sleeve turned wrong side out. Pin. Zig-zag or serge. Do not use a straight stitch as the sleeve cuff opening will need to stretch when worn.
Press the seam allowances towards the sleeve and the sleeve cuff away from the sleeve. Repeat for the other sleeve cuff and sleeve opening.
Sew Side Seams:
With right sides together, notches and underarms aligned, match the front and back together at one side seam. Pin. Stitch along the seam. Press the seam allowances towards the back.
Hem Sleeves and Body:
Here are two methods to choose from to complete the t-shirt sleeve and body hems:
OPTION 1: TWIN NEEDLE HEM
Serge or zig-zag the raw hem edge. Fold the hem up and to the wrong side 3/4" (1.9 cm). Press. With the right side of the shirt facing up, using a twin needle, start at one side seam and stitch around the hem 5/8" (1.6 cm) from the folded edge. Be very careful to let the fabric run easily through your machine with absolutely no pulling or stretching. Press to remove any ripples that might appear.
OPTION 2: FOLDED HEM WITH ZIG-ZAG OR STRETCH STITCH
Fold the raw hem edge under to the wrong side 3/8" (1 cm). Press. Fold to the wrong side again at the hem notch. Press. Pin. Starting at one side seam, with the wrong side of the shirt facing up, use a zigzag or stretch stitch to edgestitch along the top of the folded hem. Be very careful to let the fabric run easily through your machine with absolutely no pulling or stretching. Press to remove any ripples that might appear.

 

Give your t-shirt a final press and it is ready to wear!

Share your Woodley Tee's with the community on Instagram and Facebook using #woodleytee 

 

September 17, 2021