Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Inspired by Chevrons - Part 1: Monsters Rock Chevron T-shirt tutorial

I have to admit, though I love all the projects popping up with chevrons, I just haven't caught the chevron craze myself. However, the angular lines are a tasty design element though. So I have finally decided to take the plunge and challenge myself to create and design with chevrons. 

Bright colors contrasted against a neutral background, angular lines, and asymmetry...yes, please! This rockin' monster print seemed to make a good jumping point.

Today I am going to show you how to make this awesome shirt ;)

I also have a tutorial for how to make these board shorts! You can find it here.

To make this shirt start with a any basic t-shirt pattern. If you don't have one you can trace a shirt that fits your child. There are tutorials out there to help you do this; like this one from Melly Sews. I used the "Little Buddies" T-shirt pattern from Ottobre 1/2010. Mark on you pattern where you would like your stripe to be; taking care to accommodate for seam allowance. I wanted my stripe on the left shoulder but didn't want tit to run into my neck or arm seams.

(This pattern tracing has seen some wear, but it's still in one piece.)

To cut your front panel lay your pattern piece flat on fabric rather than on fold. Cut the side, armhole, shoulder, and neck areas from your fabric. Mark center line but do not cut.

Fold or cut pattern on first marked line closest to the neck. Flip pattern piece over and align with center line. Continue your cut lines around this piece.

Now fold your pattern piece on the second marked line and cut the small section at left arm (not pictured).
Your two front pieces should look like this. The middle strip is where the chevrons will be added.

To make the chevrons cut 2" strips of coordinating fabric. I cut extra length on my strips so that I can use to make the shorts. (More of that tomorrow!). Then Cut the strips at a 45 degree angle at the desired length.

I made the black and red pieces both 3 1/2" long but also think it would be fun to make the lengths more random. The blue and orange strips were cut to meet the shirt length after accounting for 1/4" seam allowances.

Sew color strips together. When using small seam allowance on knit fabrics I like to use tissue paper underneath. This keeps my sewing machine from eating the fabric while I stitch. When your seam is sewn you can just rip the tissue paper off. Any leftover paper will come out when it is washed. It is the same idea as a tearaway stabilizer only cheaper :)

Assemble the second strip the same way. Make sure your two strips are mirror images. Press seams down.

Place the two strips right sides together. Pin carefully, making sure the seams of each color are aligned.

(You can see the leftover tissue paper in my seams. No stress; it will wash away.)

Sew strip together. Press seams open.

Place your strip down on the right side of your front panel with right sides together. Stitch in place.

Press seam out toward center. Place the left side of front panel and align with color strip right sides together. Sew in place.

Press seam out toward arm. Trim excess fabric off the top and bottom of your strips if needed. 

Meh, good enough for goverment work. LOL. I try not to stress too much about having things absolutely perfect when sewing kids clothes. I think they are kind of fun when pieces are random and unexpected.

The rest of the shirt is assembled  according to pattern directions. Sew shoulder seams first. The shoulder seams get the most stress so adding a seam stabilizer here is recommended. I like to use 1/4" lastin.

Stitch short ends of neckband with right sides together. Press seams open.

Fold long ends of neckband with wrong sides together and iron.

Align your neckband seam with center of back panel. Pin neckband to shirt with right sides together; stretching evenly as you go. Sew neckband to shirt. Press seam down and top-stitch it in place. (I didn't take pictures of this step.)

Next match center of arm pieces with the shoulder seams and pin. Stitch arms to shirt.

Now align your armpit seams and pin up arm and down shirt sides with right sides together.

Stitch together. Then fold raw ends of arms up and iron fold. Top-stitch your arm hems.

Fold bottom hem up and topstitch. Woohoo! We just made an awesome chevron T-shirt!

Tomorrow I will show you how to make the shorts!

Thanks for stopping by!