Archive for June, 2010|Monthly archive page
A note before I continue: There are obviously all sorts of types and qualities of T shirts out there, and I recommend you experiment with yours a bit before jumping in at the machine. Remember to use a ball point needle and hold your threads to the back when you start each seam. On my machine I give ’em a little pull to get going, so see what makes your feed dogs happy. You also might want to try different tension settings on your presser foot. I lightened mine a bit for this project.
Experiment with pressing as well, since your T-shirt material like mine might flatten like mine a bit too much and get that odd shine over seamed areas. I still ironed my seams because I wanted the crispness, but I probably should have used a pressing cloth or something smart like that.
Back to the back…
I chose a back snap placket for this romper because I wanted to feature the T design on the front. You could also choose to do an envelope or crossover neckline, or add snaps at one shoulder, if you’d rather.
To execute the back placket (This is like doing half a welt pocket!):
You will need the romper back, along with two strips for the placket. My two strips were about 2 1/2″ by 6″, with the grain running the long way (so that it goes in the same direction as the rest of the back when the plackets are applied). You’ll also need two or three snaps to finish the placket eventually.
1) Cut the back. Determine the center of the romper back. Measure 1/2 inch on either side of the center and mark it for cutting. Measure down about 4 1/2 inches (or whatever length you wish to use) and mark the bottom of the placket. You now have a hole in the center of your romper back, about 1 inch wide and 4 1/2 inches long.
2) Pin placket sides. Fold your placket pieces in half, long sides together and press. With the romper back right side up, line up the cut edges of the pressed placket pieces with the cut edges of the romper back. The tops of the placket pieces should line up with the neck edge of the romper back, and the bottoms should extend below the bottom of the cut section. Stitch, using the double seam technique described here if desired (although you don’t have stretch the straight stitch. I just do the double seam here because it finishes the edges and looks nice. It won’t fray if you skip the zig zag). Fold and press plackets out, with one placket side laying on top of the other so that they fill in the hole you cut in the center of the romper back.
stitched (view from wrong side.)
3) Clip back at bottom of placket. (Warning: here’s where my words are failing me, and the pictures are utterly horrible. So sorry.) Clip the romper back at angles toward the plackets. Then trim the top of this newly created flap to 1/4″.
back bottom held to wrong side (view from wrong side)
4) Pin and stitch bottom edge of placket. Turn the romper back so that the wrong side is facing you. Fold the plackets out, and finger press this flap toward the back. The wrong side of the flap should be flat against the wrong side of the romper back. Then lay the plackets back in place over top the flap, one side over the other. Trim the bottom edges of the plackets even with the edge of the flap and pin through all of these layers (pin and stitch only through the plackets and the flap, leaving the romper back free). Stitch, first zig zagging back and forth at the edge and then with a straight stitch 1/4″ away, but do not stretch the straight stitch.
placket bottom stitched (view from wrong side)
5) Topstitch. Press all seams flat and away from center back opening, if you want to press (but be careful–I accidentally ironed a wrinkle into mine). Turn romper back so that the right side is facing you and topstitch approx. 1/8″ away from the edge of the placket on the back. Aren’t you amazed at yourself?
Coming soon: Shoulders, sleeves, and sides. Or shoulders and a neckband, you decide.
Hello, and thanks for your patience! In the past few weeks, we’ve moved in Massachusetts and married off our last remaining single sibling in Tennessee. Oh, and Gracie learned to clap and to say it is the cutest thing ever would surely cheapen the experience.
But back to the romper…
First, I forgot to say that if you don’t have a romper-style garment to copy, use any kind of onesie or sleep and play and just continue the line of the side to add legs. That’s why I like this style, very simple and easy to fit.
Cutting out your pattern is great fun, but more a matter of personal choice than anything else. Figure out how you want to preserve the image on your T shirt first, then arrange the rest of the pieces around that. Since the front and back are identical (you could raise the neckline in the back and lower it in the front if you wanted to, but it works well if they are the same in this style, which has a back placket and added neckline), you can simply lay out your T-shirt, smooth it down, and begin cutting your pattern pieces.
A tip: don’t throw away any T shirt scraps yet. They may come in handy later! Especially if you tend to mess up experiment a lot like I do.
Here’s how mine worked out.
- romper front & back -middle front & back of the T
- romper sleeves- one cut on the fold of each T sleeve
- T neckband to be used for romper neckband
- long side remnants to be used for back placket (cut 2: approximately 2 1/2″ wide and 6″ long, with the grain running up and down the length) and edgings for the sleeves and leg (approx. 2 1/2″ wide and a bit longer than the sleeve and leg edgings. Don’t stress about it.)
- long bottom remnant to be used for leg opening snap reinforcement (approx. 2 1/2″ wide. Length is, well, just make it longer than your leg opening!)
Some other tips: you can cut your romper sleeve at the edge of the T sleeve so that you use the hem that’s already made. You can do this with the leg openings, too, at the bottom of the T, if it doesn’t mess with the placement of your T image. It’s a great time saving step that also looks good!
And a view without the pattern pieces.
Up next: the back placket.