Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Sew Sew Def Saldana T-shirt

I was curious about the new Mimi G digital sewing magazine, Sew Sew Def. So, after I confirmed that the accompanying pattern came in my size (the size charts weren't available on the website; now the finished garment measurements are up), I bought the first issue!

The magazine, which has a mix of DIY style inspiration, "sew stories," and tutorials, among other things, includes two PDF patterns each month: one for men and one for women. You can also buy these patterns individually (here) if you're not a magazine subscriber. The patterns come in print-at-home and copy shop versions.

For the inaugural issue (April 2017), both patterns are t-shirts: the Saldana and the Westbrook. 

Here's how the Saldana, the t-shirt for women, is described: "The Saldana pattern is the perfect High-Low T-Shirt or Maxi Dress. It is designed to be easy to sew, easy to wear and very chic. There are so many possibilities with The Saldana by simply mixing prints and colors. Along with the two variations that come with your pattern we also provide a quick and easy modification to get a third look from one pattern!"

The t-shirt has a v-neck, side panels, gathers at the back neckline, roll-up short sleeves, optional topstitching on all the seams and a slightly curved swingy hem. I really liked the pink colorblocked version Mimi showed off, so I decided to give it a go (plus I needed a quick palate cleanser after the involved project that was my Hampton Jean Jacket!). I always need more t-shirts (they get really gross really fast in Bangkok's perma-summer weather), and give bonus points for t-shirts with a bit of interest, like the Saldana.

For my fabric, I wanted something drapey, so I went with this turquoise and black striped rayon/lycra jersey from Imagine Gnats, combined with solid black rayon/lycra jersey scraps for the side bodice pieces and neckband (the colorblocked Saldana is a great scrap buster!).

My body measurements put me in a L at the bust and XL at the hip, but after looking at the finished garment measurements, I decided I could get away with a straight L in this swingy style.

As far as adjustments go, I did a 1" full bicep adjustment after comparing the sleeve to some other t-shirt patterns I have; it seemed a bit narrow for me. I also decided not to do the roll-up sleeve. I shortened the sleeves by 4" and just hemmed them up 3/4". 

I finished both my sleeve and body hems with a twin needle, using wash away hem tape to stabilize the jersey a bit. I opted to topstitch all of my seams on this one, which the pattern suggests as an option.

The two patterns in this issue of Sew Sew Def were designed by Ann at Designer Stitch, whose patterns I've tried and liked in the past. I was pretty delighted to see that she was attached to this project; I really enjoy working with her patterns. This was my first knit pattern from Designer Stitch; I appreciated that the pattern uses 1/4" seam allowances, perfect for serging (although, frankly, I was too lazy to change the thread on my serger, so I just zig-zagged this whole t-shirt!).

The only issue I had when constructing the tee is that I had to ease the striped bodice into the side panel a bit below the notches, which the instructions didn't mention. I double-checked my tracing job to make sure I had traced the right lines and everything seemed fine. As you can see, there is a bit of rippling from the lower half of the seam connecting the main bodice to the side panels, in both front and back. I'm not sure if that was part of the design or not. I don't mind it, but it did seem a little bit strange that it wasn't mentioned in the instructions.

I really like this Saldana top! I'm a fan of t-shirts that fit closely at the bust, but then swing out at the hip so they don't cling to my chubby bits. The seamlines are nice, the v-neck is a great depth and shape, and it's got a nice casual/cool/sporty vibe. I could definitely see myself making more of these, and I'm curious to both try the Westbrook for Tim! I'm also looking forward to seeing more from Sew Sew Def... it appears that the just released May issue has lots of good stuff, including articles on curvy sewing as well as his and hers swimsuit patterns!

If you want to check out the Saldana on other curvy gals, CarolynLaquana and Brittany have all recently made lovely versions!