Sunday, July 15, 2007

T time for James

James and I ride a tandem. We ride it off road and on road to and from work. Sometimes we take the bike travelling. At the weekend we do a big food shop with Mountain Expedition panniers filled up with beer, beans and baps. The disadvantage of having a great weather shield on the front of your tandem is the front view, which tends to be a bit dull.

Not anymore! Now at weekends I have romantic european cafe-life views to enjoy. I just finished the third T-shirt I have made for James. What I have realised through the two other attempts is that tighter fitting shirts don't look that great on tall men, so I added about 4cm ease to the pattern. Here are some more pics: side, back.

The fabric was the interesting part of this exercise:

It was so expensive that I have forgotton how much it cost - a bad memory is the only way to make cutting into such things a possibility - but I know it was so much that I only bought a metre. I bought it from a lovely shop called "Elegance" in Nippori. It seems to sell only incredibly expensive beautiful fabrics! So I laid out the front and back of the shirt on the fabric and then realised there was no way to get even a single whole sleeve out of the remainder. I think the fabric was 150cm wide but James being so tall, there was just no way of getting it to work given the fact that the print on the fabric has a right way up. So that's when I started stitching little rectangles of fabric together. Each sleeve is of about 5 pieces and the neckline band is made from 3 pieces. The delightful part is that it really doesn't look any the worse for the patchwork effect, and I still managed to get a cute little velo at about the same place on each sleeve. So now I feel like I didn't waste quite so much money on the fabric - I had only a handful of tiny scraps left over after cutting out!

The fabric is a cotton knit, light-mid-weight and soft. It feels really lovely. It was a total pain because the edges curl. At the last minute, I doubled the seam allowances when cutting out (they were 0.25"), by drawing a new cutting line straight onto the fabric in chalk. I think it would have been hard work without this extra SA. The other problem was that the fabric did not always start the seam being fed through the sewing machine properly and had a habit of staying put and the machine then stitched a big knot instead of a nice neat row of stitches. The Janome Acufeed food helped but did not always irradicate this problem. On the other-hand the fabric has great stretch recovery which saved the fabric in these situations and also none of my seams of hems appeared at all stretched after steaming, which is unusual.

Other than the fabric adventures I didn't have problems constructing the shirt since I have done it twice before. Really I just wanted to share the nice pattern with you, to encourage you all to save up your money and then come shopping in Tokyo (although I think the fabric is a European import).


No comments: