Model Tee, a feminine T-Shirt from MacPhee Workshop

This is a great pattern, not boxy, but shaped at the waist to flatter our female figures.   Or straight if that suits you better.  And, with 20 classic style options, you may never need/want to buy a T-Shirt pattern again.  #323

323 model Tee

There are many style options and I had a bit of difficulty making up my mind on what I wanted.  I decided on short sleeves and a deeply scooped neck, finished with binding.

This pattern is in stock at MacPhee Workshop.  btw, we’re not in business together, just friends šŸ™‚

My tape measure says I wear the M/L (Mona Lisa, lol), which will give me a few inches of wearing ease.  I chose a rayon/lycra from my stash, one with a large poppy print.  It has little body and is a bit slippery and the selvedge pulled in a bit.  All in all not a great choice unless I was up for a challenge.  I was!

2014-05-18 18.24.49To make the cutting out as simple as possible, I traced off the pattern onto a folded piece of paper, marking a few of the neckline options for next time so I could cut out the front and back at the same time.

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Yup, I’m going to make more of these!

I pinned the opened pattern onto my double layer of fabric and cut, following the outline, cutting both body layers the same and following the neckline as though I was making two backs,  then then  sleeves.

Make a mark, or stick a pin into the top of the sleeve at the fold of the pattern.   This will match to the shoulder seam later.

Then I separated the two body pieces.  One will remain the back, the other piece I folded in half with right sides together, pinned the pattern back on, ( folded in half, too) and cut out the deep scoop neckline.

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I’m using my serger for most of the construction.  (You can certainly use a sewing machine to make this Model Tee.) I have a Husqvarna Viking 200s in my sewing room and I really like it.  The front opens up on both sides so there are no hidden thread guides.  The presser foot has a guide in the front for feeding in twill tape, (my preferred shoulder stabilizer) (or elastic, or ribbon, or cord).  I couldn’t find my twill tape šŸ™

Instead, I resorted to a tried and true technique, strips of fusible interfacing.   I keep a supply of a knit fusible interfacing in my sewing room.  To me it’s a staple, like bread and butter.  I cut a couple of 1/2 inch wide strips with the grain, to stabilize the shoulders.  (That’s the non-stretchy way)  I used a hot iron to fuse the strips to the front shoulders, then serged the front to the back at the shoulders. Press the seam allowance toward the back.

2014-05-18 18.59.04While all the pieces were still flat, I fused 1 inch wide strips of the same fusible knit interfacing to the wrong side of the hems of the front, back and both sleeves.  These strips are cut ACROSS the grain of the interfacing, so they stretch.  I use this method to stabilize the area so I can twin-needle the hems. (more on that later)

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Neckband:  I decided a bound neckline would work best for the lightweight fabric.

Linda’s instructions say to measure the neckline and then cut a piece of fabric 1 cm smaller.   I have found that’s a bit too long with some soft fabrics.  Here’s what I do.  Measure the neckline by standing a flexible measuring tape on it’s edge.  Don’t include the seam allowance.  You’re measuring 1/4 inch in from the neck edge and not including the  seam allowance at the shoulders. (see the dots?)

2014-05-19 14.26.17 Whatever that measurement is, multiply it by .9 (point 9) I cut a strip of fabric, across the stretch, to that measurement by 1 1/2 inches.  I didn’t add any seam allowance.

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Join the strip at the short ends, with right sides together to form a circle.  Press the seam to one side.  This band will be sewn to the right side of the t-shirt, then folded to the inside and stitched into place, wrapping around and enclosing the seam.

Fold back in half and stick a pin into the fold opposite the seam.  That’s our half mark.  Now open the circle up and bring the seam to the half mark.  The two new folds are the quarter marks.  Pin or  mark them, too.

Do the same to the body, matching the shoulders to find the center front/back, then matching those to determine the other two quarter marks. And, although it seems to make sense, they are not the shoulder seams, but a bit down the front.quarter pinned necklineWith right sides together, match and pin the seam in the band to the pin at center back.  Same with center front and the two at the side of the neck.

With the band on top, and your top down against the feed teeth, serge (or sew) to join the band to the body, stretching the band slightly as you sew.  Press the seam allowance toward the band.

We’ll finish the band later.

Sleeves: These sleeves are easier than some patterns as there is no front or back to the sleeve.  With right sides together match the top of the sleeve, (where you marked it earlier) to the shoulder seam.  Pin or clip together.  Do the same at the beginning and ending of the armscye.

Beginning at one end, join the sleeves to the bodies.  When I use my serger for this, I find it works best if I only serge to the top of the sleevecap and “zoom off”, then start again at the opposite end of the sleeve and again serge to the top.  I overlap by about an inch.

With right sides together join the side seams, matching the underarm seam.

Finishing:  I like to twin needle the hems. For this soft knit I used a stretch 75 with a space of 4mm.   Consult your sewing machine manual if you’re unsure.    Twin needle sewing is done from the right side.  That means the part that’s turned up can’t be seen as we sew.  Remember those strips of interfacing we fused onto the hems earlier?  They are 1 inch in width.  The fabric folds where it ends, making it really easy to turn a 1 inch hem to the wrong side.  Press it first if you like, I find I don’t need to.  I can feel it as I sew.

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Start at one side seam, with the hem turned under by 1 inch.  Have the fold of the fabric 3/4 inch from the center of the twin needle.  My throat plate is marked.  Slowly stitch around the hem, being careful at the seams where it’s a bit bulky.  When you get back around, overlap slightly, then back stitch a couple of stitches.  Do the same for the sleeve hems.

Finishing the neckline.

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I’ve pressed the seam allowance toward the band.  Now fold the band to the inside, wrapping the fabric around the seam allowance.  This leaves a small binding, just over 1/4 inch wide.  Pin in a few places, the with the right side up, start at a shoulder seam and twin needle the band into place.

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Give the whole thing a press, and you’re finished, it’s ready to wear, your classic Model Tee.

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