So when this month of Self-Care Sewing (#selfcaresewing) rolled around, and the tutorial request for our affiliate Blank Slate Patterns' Rose T-shirt hit my inbox, I knew I had to seize the opportunity to adorn MYSELF in knit, too!
The Rose T-shirt is a great wardrobe staple, as you've no doubt learned from Suzanne's post last week. Since she did such a fabulous job reviewing the top, I took it upon myself to find the creative potential behind it! So here's what I came up with:
First off: my fabric choices were deranged. I LOVE the result, but sewing mesh to super thin knit is NOT for the faint of heart. (Don't worry, I discovered tissue paper very early in my journey. It keeps the fabric from getting sucked into the machine!)
So let's talk mods. First up: The tunic. This is impossibly easy. I lengthened the top by 8 inches.
Actually, I took a tank dress pattern that I loooooooove and stacked it under the Rose pattern pieces. (This gave me the rounded hem look I'm so fond of!) But for simplicity's sake, let's just say: I added 8 inches to the long length of the t-shirt.
Why so long? Well, I had pockets in mind, and wanted them at a standard, comfortable, hip height. Like this:
If I'd cut the tunic any shorter, you'd have seen my hip-height pocket peak out from the bottom of the tunic.
Tunic length. Add 8 inches. CHECK.
Now for pockets!
First, you need a pocket pattern piece. If you've got a sizable collection of patterns already, I'm sure you own one that will do the trick! I used one from this super awesome pattern that was just newly released. BUT, if you don't, just draft one yourself by drawing around your hand, leaving an extra 2 inches all around. (Apologies for cell phone pics. No motivation to brave the snow to dig out my pro equipment from the car...)
Cut 4 pockets. (2 should be mirror-image)
But where to put them?? I measured from my shoulder to my hip (X). Then measured X along the side of my tunic, starting a the shoulder seam.
I marked that same spot on both the left and right sides of the front and back tunic pieces, and placed my pockets right-sides-together at those markings.
Stitch these in place with the same seam allowance used throughout the pattern, and finish those seams.
Now here's where my Softie experience comes into play. Fun Fact: sewing these pockets is done in the same way as adding paws or tails or other creature features!
Lay tunic front and back, right sides together, with pockets (and seam allowances) pressed outwards.
Stitch along the arm, side, around the outside of the pocket, and down to the end of the side seam. Finish with zig zag. You fancy serger-owning people can do that instead ;)
From here, I completed the garment as instructed (hems, mostly) and went out for some more middle-of-the-street-traffic-chicken. I mean, taking photos!
The photo experience taught me 2 extra steps I should have taken, so listen up!
FIRST: Top-stitch around the outside of your pocket opening. With knit as light weight as mine, pressing a crisp seam wasn't an option. Top stitching will add more stability to the pocket opening.
SECOND: My light weight fabric made the pocket sag below the hem line. I intend to go back and stitch the bottom of the pocket along the hem of the front tunic. That will keep it flat(er) through wear, and ensure it stays out of sight! OR, if you didn't do a rounded hem like mine, don't worry about it. The extra 8 inches down the side will hide that pocket just fine.
You can win your very own copy of the Rose T-shirt PDF pattern and many other great prizes in our Sew Yourself Some Love Giveaway!