New makes: Tees for men and boys round-up

Sometimes I think I’m not going to post something, and occasionally I get caught up in other life stuff and don’t, but for the most part I do remind myself that the blog is as much a record for me as it is a piece of outward-going media. So that’s why I’ve also written this intro: to remind myself to remind myself of that next time I forget. Etc.

This wittering is relevant because I’m posting a bunch of new t-shirts today, which are basically now TNT patterns for my husband and son. Therefore, I’ll put limited notes on them, unless I’ve constructed something differently than before. The main changes are the fabric I’ve used, so if you want some info on cotton lycra or organic knits for t-shirts, read on.

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First up, my third version of the Metro tee for men from Oliver + S. It fit pretty well last time (size XL), so I didn’t change anything (I lengthened the body by an inch last time). This is my favourite version so far and is made in a cotton lycra that I got from a Facebook group, Whimsy Baby Customs.

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The quality is great and it washes like a dream. Using Facebook groups and pre-ordering is definitely not the quickest way to get your hands on fabric, but pre-ordering is slightly cheaper, which is good because buying custom-made or Euro knits is quite expensive. I firmly believe you get what you pay for, and the quality is there. With this print, I briefly considered matching stripes, but they’re neither straight nor regular (intentionally), so of course abandoned that idea sharpish. The husband has been wearing it a lot!

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Now the kids clothes. First, I made a Brindille & Twig ringer tee (it’s a free pattern!) in size 2-3T with this gorgeous Charley Harper organic cotton knit from Birch Organic fabrics. It’s on sale at Fabricworm for the next two days I see (all Birch organics are), so head over if it tickles your fancy. Now obviously organic cotton = good in lots of ways. However, I would be remiss in not mentioning one little thing I’ve noticed.

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The cotton is 100% and is extremely soft, but it does certainly feel a little less… elastic than some other cotton knits. This is not a problem at all in the fabrics I’ve used so far, and anything with a natural background is absolutely gorgeous, but if you want something with great recovery, this is probably not the fabric for you. In addition, the prints that are vividly coloured, such as this one, do have a slightly heavy, pigmented feel to them. Again, not uncomfortable, but something to be aware of. I purchased a beautiful starscape knit that is a heavy navy background, and in that case it seems like the fabric didn’t absorb the dye too well. It’s such a shame because it’s a stunning print, but I have seen other sewers mention a bit of fading with it too. I’ve washed the Charley Harper a few times now and haven’t seen any fading so far, but just something to watch out for.

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Finally, I sewed two versions of the Schoolbus t-shirt from Oliver + S. I cut out the 3T this time, and it fits my son well. He’s not yet 2.5, but he has broad shoulders and a long torso like his dad, so the 2T was a bit snug at those points. I don’t see a need to grade for a toddler, honestly. 🙂

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Both these fabrics came from another Facebook group: Jumping June Textiles. Rachel, the owner, runs this group very efficiently and always has a fantastic range of Euro knits to choose from, both on pre-order and retail. As I mentioned earlier, this is not a cheap way to buy fabric, but the quality is amazing. They don’t fade (in my experience) and are lovely and thick, but still soft. Great for kids! I warn you though – it’s easy to get addicted once you’ve tried them!

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I made them a very standard way and decided to try a little twin-needle finishing in a contrast thread. It’s a bit wobbly and doesn’t show up all that well in photos, but I was pretty chuffed with it! Overall, I have to say I slightly prefer the Schoolbus tee. They both have good points, but the waistband of the Ringer tee flips up a little and I think I prefer the folded and seamed hem of the Schoolbus. Having said that, they’re both very cute and well-sized, so it won’t be the last time I make either of them!

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