Hello everyone! Today’s project is a fun change for me. I’m making a raglan style baseball tee with long sleeves, for my husband.
Being honest, I haven’t sewn as much for him as I have for myself or for my kids. I haven’t intentionally not sewn much for him, it’s just worked out that way. I was excited to take the time with this project to remedy this problem.
The pattern that I was inspired to pair with this project is the Jalie Nico Raglan Tee
. This is technically my first Jalie pattern to sew. My husband loves this style of tee and there are many options included (two hem styles, three sleeve styles and oversized or base layer fit suggestions). I had high hopes that this pattern will become a wardrobe staple for him (and a very quick sew for me).
The result is a resounding yes, this project is a new favorite and we have more variations to come.
The fabric that I’m using is a collection of Stable Jersey Knit Fabrics
from Minerva. I was quite impressed with this fabric when I received it, having a really nice and stable weight to it. It felt perfect for him to enjoy. I planned on sewing a muslin prior to the final for this project. I picked grey for the bodies, navy for the muslin sleeved version and burgundy for the final sleeved version.
I planned on using my serger and coverstitch machines for this project. You absolutely could sew this project on a standard machine (with a stretch stitch and walking foot). I have a standard sewing machine but I also have the other two (so I thought it would be fun to only use the serger and coverstitch machines with this project). My husband tends to be harder on his clothes so I felt confident about serging the seams and coverstitching the hems (for both sturdy seams and a quicker sew for me).
I used these navy coned threads for both projects. I was quite impressed at the quantities that come in each spool. These will last me awhile!
Supplies needed (for muslin and final tees):
*Note that this supply list includes what I used to sew the tees with my serger and coverstitch machines. You may absolutely sew this project with a standard sewing machine (but your thread type will vary).
- Jalie Nico Tee Pattern
- 2m of Marl Grey Jersey
- 1m of Wine Jersey
- 1m of Navy Blue Jersey
- 4 Cones of Navy thread
- BP sewing machine needle
- Washi tape
Preparing the Pattern
One fun detail that Jalie patterns include are A LOT of sizes in one pattern. The Niko tee includes a broad range of both boy’s and men’s sizing. With this detail, though, I found that I needed to be careful in keeping track of sizing. To help with this slight challenge I decided to make a copy of the pattern sizing page (to markup my husband’s sizing).
It was interesting walking through sizing with him as he has not been used to customized sizing. Having predominantly commercial garments, it was very different for him to think about customized sizing.
His sizing differed a bit between the Chest / Waist / Hips. I decided to grade up at the waist but not grade down at the hips (leaving the sizing more flared at the hips rather then matching his size at the hips). I selected size DD for the chest and EE for the waist/hips. He selected the straight hem option and long sleeves as well.
Making the Muslin
To say that he loved the muslin would be an understatement. He enjoyed it so much he wanted to wear it right away (but I had to keep asking him to wait to wear it until we took photos).
One thing I love about my husband is that he is able to express what he likes (or doesn’t like) very articulately, in helpful ways. This detail made the project so easy to tweak and modify the pattern details, to his taste. The main feedback he gave from the muslin was that he did not like the feeling of the serged shoulder seams, exposed. Initially when I sewed the muslin, I only coverstitched the bottom hems.
After the first fit of the muslin, I cover stitched the shoulder seems flat and he quite enjoyed this finishing touch (versus just serging the seams). As mentioned previously, I sewed with serger and coverstitch machines for this project.
We did note that the sleeves are slightly tapered and are also longer in length. Neither of these details ended up being a problem. The tapered sleeve detail allowed for the sleeves to stay in place when they are pushed up. The longer length sleeves includes a more cozy element that ensured that the sleeves are not too short.
As I was sewing the muslin shoulder seams flat (with the coverstitch machine), I found that I didn’t love the inside finish of these seams. Although the cover stitches looked centered on the right side, the wrong side didn’t always fully enclose the serged seam (as I intended). Reference the photo below of the coverstitched shoulder seams, with the coverstitching centered on the right side of the tee.
For the final garment, I decided to test sewing the cover stitches off-center from the seam to help fully enclose the inside serged edge.
I was much happier with this finish so I decide to continue with this coverstitch spacing along all four shoulder seams and the neckband. The result had a much nicer inside finish, fully enclosing the serged edge.
For coverstitching the bottom hems, I found that a 5/8” (1.6 cm) spacing helped enclose the fabric edge. To reference this spacing, I used a piece of washi tape and added it along the edge of the needle plate on my machine. I marked a line with a pen at the 5/8” (1.6cm) distance from the center of the needles.
I followed the pattern directions and sewed the hems flat. I’ve shared previously that I quite enjoy this construction method for knit tops (sewing the hems flat first before sewing the side and sleeve seams, to finish).
The following photo shows the wrong side of the coverstitched bottom hem with the fabric edge fully enclosed. If you’re not familiar with coverstitched seams, the finished seam offers a nice, stretchy finish while also enclosing the back edge of the fabric (within the same seam).
Not only were my husband and I excited about this project but our kitten Lucy was just as excited. Each time I layed the tee down on my sewing table, she would try to claim the project as her own cat bed.
As you may note from the matching shoes in the photo, burgandy is my husband’s favorite color (he already owned the shoes).
He is quite happy with the fit of the tee. We took the final photos on a crisp fall day and there were many crunchy leaves on the ground.
The sleeve and shoulder details were really fun to highlight with the contrasting navy thread.
My husband, the fun loving entertainer, even got a little juggling in at the end of the photo shoot. We found a few crab apples on the ground and took this last photo, to enjoy wrapping up the photo shoot.
The pattern is printed on very sturdy paper. I love this detail as I know my husband will also request short sleeved versions of this tee in warmer weather.
The pattern includes a fun tip on sizing to note. For a Thermal Layer type fit, go 3 sizes down and use fabric with 4-way, 60% stretch. I think this variation would be fun to make base layers as well in the future.
I wish you all much success with your own sewing adventures! Let me know if you sew a Nico tee for someone you love (or for yourself as well).