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An easy self-drafted jersey t-shirt dress.

One of my latest makes is an easy jersey t-shirt dress. I haven’t been making that many clothes for myself recently because I do have a pretty well stocked wardrobe. However as always when the season changes I have a bit of a purge. Some items stay in my wardrobe from year to year and some are a one season wonder. These always make me feel slightly sad because I kinda like the feeling of getting a lot of wear out of something. However I know there is no point keeping the wardrobe filled with items I know I won’t wear.

I am never short of ideas of what to make next, in fact my list is usually way to big. This season I decided to create a short list and get sewing. I chose to make relatively simple styles, all with the emphasis on understated.  Generally speaking I am a ‘comfy’ fan, I like relaxed clothing shapes that have understated style. As a super busy person and mum to youngsters, clothing also needs to be practical and comfortable. This simple t-shirt dress ticks all boxes.

I’ve been playing around with a basic t-shirt shape for a long time. It seems I am always able to improve it ..just slightly, each time that I make it. After yet another tweak I decided to try it out as t-shirt dress.

This piece of Cloud 9 organic interlock jersey popped up when looking through my stash, it seemed like the perfect choice for this t-shirt dress. The overall shape is really simple. I wanted it to be a pull on style that didn’t cling.  It can be a fine line between an ‘easy fit’ and ‘baggy’. I’m happy with this fit it doesn’t make me feel conscious because it is too tight and I don’t feel like it is completely loose and shapeless either.

The construction is really simple. My favorite jersey top neck finish is always a matching neckband. Its neat, simple and there are no flappy facings to clutter the inside edge.

Deep chunky hems are another fav characteristic to use on my self drafted clothing styles. Here I used the same depth for the sleeve hem as for the lower edge hem. I overlocked the raw edge and then finished with a narrow twin needle.

As a detail at the hem I added deep knee high vents. this obviously makes it easier to walk in too. I didn’t think to much about stitching around the upper edge of the triangle vents with a twin needle before starting! Luckily it worked out OK. I did just go for it, but next time I would definitely draw the shape on with chalk first because when you sew with a twin needle you have outer side uppermost. (which you might already know!) It is best to tack the hem up so you have a guide line on the outside when you are sewing. This way you can check you have caught the hem fabric in the stitch line.

All in all I’m happy with this dress, though it has actually been a little bit to warm to wear so far. I am sure that will change before to long!

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Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...

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