Hi & welcome to my latest project on the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network.

Although I’ve been sewing most of my life, I’ve not actually made many items using jersey.  I saw this beautiful floral Jersey Fabric in navy & red 1 on the website and instantly loved it.  I planned to add contrast by making a T shirt with plain navy jersey sleeves using this Ponte Jersey Fabric.  I prefer to wear V neck tops as round necks can be a little too warm for me and I found this pattern, McCall’s 6964, which offers two styles of neckline and three sleeve lengths.

On reading the pattern, I was really impressed with the details as there were lots of fitting instructions about sewing with jersey.  Most patterns only provide minimal guidance and throughout this pattern there were handy hints and tips.  The instructions also recommend using a ballpoint needle which works by going between the threads rather than piercing them and I could really feel the difference when I forgot to swap needles.  Minerva have a great selection of Sewing Machine Needles.

Both fabrics are lovely to handle, however, the floral fabric was slightly more difficult being a fairly lightweight jersey.  It has a lovely soft feel and, as long as you take your time and lift the fabric rather than smoothing it, you can avoid causing it to become misshapen.

The plain ponte jersey is sturdier than the floral fabric & they possibly should not have been used together.  However, they do work well as the ponte adds a bit more weight and structure to the garment.  One of the down sides of ordering online is being unable to feel the weight of the fabric which can be so important when combing different materials, however, the Minerva website offers accurate descriptions and so much choice.

The pattern recommends applying some stay tape to the shoulder seams to prevent stretching and if you don’t have any a small strip of Iron On Interfacing works just as well.

I recommend following the advice of the pattern and clipping all of the markings eg centre back neck and sleeves, as the stretch of the fabric could easily cause the pieces to become misaligned when positioning with other pieces.

I made my usual fitting adjustments of taking 2 cm off the upper centre back neck as I find it always gapes, & I also added an extra centimetre to the upper, under arm seam.  I don’t like short t shirts and expected to have to increase the length but this one is just the right length.

I closely followed the pattern instructions for the v neck and found them very clear and I was mostly pleased with the results.  I could probably have stretched the neck facing even more than I did as I can notice a very slight gape on the one side.  I often skip steps like basting and rely on pins but took the time to baste the neck.  The main floral fabric is quite flimsy and, as expected, the edges curl and, therefore, basting the collar is important for checking the fit before stitching.  Although the two fabrics are different weights the plain navy adds stability to the neck.

Topstitching adds a professional finish to a garment and I added this feature to the neckline, sleeves and lower hem.

I inherited my mom’s overlocker 4 years ago but still haven’t tried it.  I stitch the seams with a straight stitch, repeat a couple of millimetres away and then finish the edges with zigzag stitch. The edges don’t fray so it is not essential, however, the edges curl and I always finish internal seams aiming to have the inside as neat as the outer. 

The pattern comes together quite quickly once fitting has been assessed and if I master the overlocker the whole T shirt could probably be made in a couple of hours.

I love the colours and design of the floral fabric and hope I have enough fabric to make another T shirt, maybe with the opposite layout having a plain body and using the floral fabric for the sleeves and neck binding. 

Thanks to everyone for reading and to Minerva for the fabric and embellishments.

Helen JustSewHelen.com