Once the summer months roll around, I always have hand-sewing projects prepped and ready to be worked on. My kids love time at the park, in the pool and at our local libraries. I want them to get the most of these fun and carefree days and I take advantage of the opportunity to slow down and stitch.
After making the decision to no longer support Alabama Chanin, I began designing, making and selling laser-cut stencils for jersey hand-sewing. I and my sewing friends, wanted an alternative source for materials to practice the craft we enjoyed without compromise.
As a brand ambassador for Nature's Fabric, I have access to a wide range for organic cotton jersey as a canvas for my new stencils. I am happy to have had some time to complete my first hand-sewing project of the summer.
I started with the shirt from Vogue 9108. I lengthened it by 3 inches and shortened the sleeves to above the elbow.
I chose organic cotton jersey in Sun and Medium Blue. I painted my Solar stencil to the top layer using silver/pewter paint and allowed it dry. I then stitched around the shapes with white button and craft thread.
After all the shapes were sewn, I cut the painted middles out leaving about 1/4 inch of the painted area for contrast against the backing fabric. (Complete details of the process can be read here.)
I continued by with machine sewing the side seams and sleeves using a 4mm straight stitch length. I know this is contrary to what we know about sewing knits, but this has worked for me every time.
I then pressed the seams to the back and accent them with hand-sewn topstitching. This step helps stabilize the machine sewing on the interior seams.
The neckline is secured with a strip of bias binding and a hand-sewn herringbone embroidery stitch.
I left the shirt and sleeve hems unsewn. With wear and washing they curl up beautifully.
I paired my top with a 4 panel skirt like Simplicity 8885. Simply omit the zipper and add a waistband casing.
The interior seams are machine sewn and top-stitched the same as with the top. I used navy thread for a greater contrast against the blue. Also like with the top, I left the hem raw.
I am very pleased with my summer ensemble. I am working on adding more t-shirts to my wardrobe. With the wide range of jersey colors available and stencil ideas I have, I am looking forward to lazy summer days.