All the projects in Beginner’s Guide to Sewing With Knitted Fabrics are named after one of my favourite places – the Peak District – a glorious national park full of the hills of the Penines, just outside Sheffield.
Here’s a typically glorious view (taken from Stannage Edge):
and so it made sense to name the first project in Beginner’s Guide to Sewing With Knitted Fabrics – the Peak T-Shirt – a round neck, loose fitting t-shirt with lots of variations (see below).
If you’re going to sew with knitted fabrics, a t-shirt is a bit of a no-brainer for your list. If you haven’t sewn with knits before, I don’t recommend starting on this project, but once you’ve had a go at a couple of the other projects you’ll be fine.
Photo by Julian Ward © Cico Books
You’ll soon find yourself realising just how versatile a humble t-shirt pattern can be…..as well as showing you how to make a basic short sleeved t-shirt, I’ll also show you how to:
- make a long sleeved t-shirt with or without a cuff (that’s easily adapted into a sweatshirt)
- make an elasticated waist t-shirt dress
- make a colour blocked t-shirt dress
- make a t-shirt with a patchworked detail to use up your scrap knits
- add a shirred detail to any of your t-shirts to add shape and texture.
A few fascinating t-shirt facts:
- they started life as undergarments in the 19th century
- by the 1930s t-shirts became workwear for men doing heavy manual work
- the t-shirt became popular as everyday clothing in the 1950s and is usually credited to them being worn in films by actors such as Marlon Brando and James Dean
- the 1960s saw the rise of the printed t-shirt with band t-shirts, prints with political slogans and the inevitable use of t-shirts as advertising
- in the 1980s the use of the t-shirt as a political tool was revived by Katharine Hamnett and her oversized t-shirts printed simply with bold lettered statements such as “Choose Life” (THE most iconic garment of my childhood as worn by my heartthrobs Wham….!)
- by the 1990s, the t-shirt was being used as a vehicle to drive awareness of sweatshop produced clothing and to encourage the use of organic cotton.