Tagged: handmade tee

handmade tee: black knit with flowered placket

handmade tee - black with flowered placket

Time to share another me-made! It’s another simple tee, actually shares the same guts as my favorite handmade blue bird shirt: 2-piece pattern, just a front and a back, no pesky sleeves. For this one I added a colorful flowered placket detail for contrast, and I thought I’d walk you through how I did it.


handmade gray button-sleeve tee

handmade heather gray tee with button sleeves (at the Full House house!)

Happy Friday!

As part of the discussion on sewing for your style, I wanted to share this little t-shirt I finished a few months back. It’s neutral, it’s comfy, and the little sleeve buttons make it a little bit exciting. It fits all my “wearable” criteria, and I wear it all the time.

handmade heather gray tee with button sleeves

The pattern was simple: I had a t-shirt that I loved, a simple 3/4-sleeve tee with little button tabs at the end of each sleeve. It had seen years of constant wear and was on its way out of my wardrobe. But since it was such a favorite, it skipped the Goodwill pile, and I chopped it apart to create a new pattern.

handmade heather gray tee with button sleeves (at the golden gate bridge!)

I love using an existing article of clothing as my pattern, because I know that, if I sew it correctly, it will fit. And this little tee was no exception.

You can see here the best proof of its wearability: I packed it on my trip to San Francisco! Any handmade shirt that makes it into a suitcase is a winner, for sure.

handmade gray button tee - gold button detail

The buttons… can you guess? They came from my stash of Aunt Jeanie’s buttons. That little green Stride Rite box is my go-to, and it sure didn’t fail me this time: I love these buttons. They’re thicker than a standard button, with a gold edge and an opalescent center. They’re perfect for classing up this plain gray tee.

And do you see that cover stitch around the neck? My serger is my favorite thing in the whole world.

handmade gray button tee

The pattern’s all ready for my next attempt, and I think I’m going to strive for something closer to the original: stripes!

Have a great weekend!

the alaska totem pole raglan tee

gray totem pole t-shirt

For my mom’s birthday in July, my family went on a very special adventure: an Alaska cruise!

As with any planned adventure, this gave my mom and I an excuse to try and sew a few new wardrobe items for the trip. My favorite is this raglan tee, which I have taken to calling “my Alaska totem pole shirt”.

gray totem pole knit fabric

I picked up a giant piece of this fabric at my favorite Cleveland-area thrift store, possibly my favorite thrift store ever (Unique on Northfield Rd., if you’re nearby). This piece measured something like 60″ wide x 2 yards, which was a wonderful surprise. Far too often I’m rearranging pattern pieces for an hour to try and fit everything on some scrap of fabric!

I just love the small motifs adorning this fabric – I think they lend it a charming Native American feel. I figured it would make a perfect little long-sleeved raglan tee to wear on our day in Ketchikan at Potlatch Park.

totem pole - seamonster at potlatch park, ketchikan, alaska

Here’s an incredible seamonster who looks over the lake! The detail of its scales just blows me away. The Potlatch website actually has pictures of the steps to create the sea monster, which is pretty awesome. Apparently each scale was painted by a young visitor to the park!

gray totem pole t-shirt

This giant eagle has a not-so-big hole in its belly – that is actually how the dancers get into the tribal houses for ritual dances. According to our tour guide, the costumes are rather elaborate, so I would imagine it’s often a challenge to get through!

gray totem pole t-shirt

Here’s a closer view of my new shirt! (forgive my “mid-cruise squishiness”!) I love sewing in raglan sleeves because they are so easy. I also used my new serger’s cover stitch to finish the bottom hem and stitch down the neck line, which made me feel like quite the professional.

The fabric is a little bit scratchy, most likely due to a high polyester content (hey, thrift store shoppers can’t be choosy!), so I tried to make up for it by using one of my softest heather gray knits for the ribbing on the sleeves and neck. This way, when I roll up the sleeves, I still don’t notice the fabric’s scratchiness. The thickness of the fabric also means this shirt fits more like a sweatshirt, so I wear it with a gray t-shirt underneath.

totem pole workshop at potlatch park, ketchikan, alaska

My favorite part of the park was the workshop, which held giant in-progress totem poles. They carve away at the trees, little by little, until they show the totems they had hidden away inside. A magical process. The inside of the workshop smelled absolutely incredible, since all the totem poles are carved from cedar trees.

whale totem pole at potlatch park, ketchikan, alaska

And, just like I do, the Alaskans love their whales. Some of them get pretty creepy with those big grins, but this guy sure looks friendly.

Of course, I’m not in Alaska anymore, so I haven’t had much opportunity to wear my warm totem pole shirt. But fall is certainly starting to show itself, and as always, I’m loving it. My favorite season without a doubt.