Oatmeal and Red Stripe Shirt

Red and white stripe oatmeal shirt

Fall weather seems to have finally hit San Francisco. All I want to wear right now is jeans or denim skirts and long sleeve t-shirts. While I have a plenty of skirts (although I wouldn’t call 2 pairs of jeans plenty, especially as one of them is pink) to carry me through the season, close inspection of my closet reveals that I have 3 long sleeve t-shirts. And one of them doesn’t really fit me. So, it’s off to the sewing machine!

pocket and button placket on shirt

Since I get bored when trying to force myself to make wardrobe basics, I had to add some interesting details to this shirt that I drafted. I initially thought that I would do a henley style button front with placket, but this knit was so stretchy in every direction (and yet it still has a bit of bulk), that I thought buttonholes would eat it alive. So, I topstitched a band of fabric on to look like a button placket and added these non-functional buttons on top. I also put on a little pocket, cut perpendicular, so that I could play with the stripe patterning a bit more.

invisible knit hem

I constructed the whole shirt on my sewing machine, using a very small zig-zag stitch (since the straight stretch stitch was also eating this fabric alive). I used a stretch blind hem for the bottom, which I think works very well, except for the fact that I lined up the stitching with a red stripe to make sure that it was perfectly straight. And I didn’t think through the fact that this would put a little piece of oatmeal colored thread in the middle of the red stripe. Oops. (Also please don’t notice the fact that my side seams don’t perfectly align on the stripes. I feel like I have visible panty lines or something with non-matching stripes showing!).

gathered tee shirt cuff

I added one more bit of visual interest to the sleeve. I made a tube of fabric, closed at both ends and attached it wrapping from the inside to the outside of the sleeve such that it pulls up for a small gather. And then I added another non-functioning button. I think my details are subtle, but they make this much more interesting than a plain t-shirt while retaining it’s ability to play well with other pieces of clothing.

fall long sleeve tee oatmeal stripes

I really like the scoop neck on my body (I like my collarbones) so I think I’ll pick up some more stretch knit fabric and make a few more similar shirts. I think I overfit the shirt below the waist, so I’ll probably play with making the next one a bit drapier. I like to have my waist show (since I have a narrow waist) but that always leaves the challenge of having the garment flare out enough to make room for my hips, especially on garments without darts. So, I’m off to a good start on some wearable fall clothes. And I have a stack of bow-neck-blouses planned for next month’s sewalong, so at least I’ll have a good selection of tops to make it through the season!


Comments 7

  1. I love it! The fit at the hips looks great in the photos, does it feel tight? Personally, I like to have my t-shirts fairly fitted at the hip, because, otherwise my hips end up looking bigger than they are. :)

    You should develop it into a pattern because I’d love to make one, too, and I’m sure I’m not the only one!

    1. Post

      Thanks Beth! It feels comfortable to wear, , but I’m worried that on any fabric less stretchy it will look obviously stretched across the hips. I’ll do some experimenting on my next shirt, because there will definitely be another!

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