Sunday, July 26, 2015

a "simple" tee shirt

Hi Readers, 

I have been camping...unplugged, horseless, and no sewing machine.  How did our ancestors cope?

We spent a week in the White Mountains, north of Tucson and camped at Hoyer Campground in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests.  It was wonderful to get out of the heat, and to enjoy the forest through hiking and photography.   I was really interested in checking out the area as I am trailering big Nick up there in August for a weekend trip organized by my boarding barn.  Elevation is 8500-9000ft in the area where we camped...and hiking proved that as I wheezed going uphill.

traveling down toward the bottom of the Salt River canyon

near Big Lake

a lucky sighting of elk
little Nick and I explored Bunch resevoir area

I brought a few tee shirts made a week before we left-I used a Marcy Tilton pattern-V 9057 and mixed A and C for a loose, sleeveless tank.  After wearing the tunics/tees camping, I knew they needed adjustments.  The sizing seemed too large in my  shoulders, so I altered to bring it in a bit.  The length was far too long using A and I removed 1.5" in the second round of alterations.  I'll need to add an FBA in the next tee IF I use a stable knit.   
The outfit below
is the tee (hate to sew cotton interlock) in its highly altered state.  It is acceptable for a 1st version and I will use the pattern again, but add sleeves.  As an aside, here are some pictures of my samples for the hem.  Did I mention I hate sewing with this fabric? 

The tunic had a serged hem, but I cut all of that off.  I used stitch witchery to stabilize the hem and then ZZ'ed.  It's okay for a Saturday/barn shirt.  

The skirt is from a Sandra Betzina pattern V 2911 OOP - a great bias skirt pattern.   I love my new bias skirt in turquoise, blue and brown.  

New sewers may think a tee shirt is an easy make...but I can prove that wrong.  This tee has been altered twice, and is still in need of work.  I didn't even discuss the neckline and armhole binding methods, which need to be chosen dependant upon the fabric and the style of the garment.  I rarely follow the pattern instructions there.  We sometimes forget how many skills we have picked up along the way as we merrily cut, sew, slice and re-sew.  Sewing is a skill worthy of pride.


  1. That looks like a wonderful area for horse-camping; have a GREAT time!

  2. Knits can be fiddly, and I admire your patience in making all of those hem samples! Pretty color, too. And uphills are the worst when it comes to camping/hiking!

  3. Beautiful location, Mary! I agree, a "simple" tee can be very fiddly to fit! But it sounds like you are narrowing in on a perfect TNT!

  4. I hate cotton interlock too. Your top looks nice. I have that pattern and am trying it in rayon spandex.

  5. What a lovely camping trip.Such a beautiful area.
    Love that skirt too.. really pretty.. I agree sewing tee's can be hard.
    You did a great job, working on the pattern, I hate that part of sewing.ha

  6. Beautiful photos! I really like that skirt and we share a hate of sewing cotton interlock. Curling edges.....the devil! My five year old loves all those interlock prints, too!

  7. Mary, so nice to see the Big Lake area so nice and green after the big fire several years ago. I have fond memories of camping, fishing and hiking there.

  8. I'm with you on interlock! a beast to sew and I don't buy it intentionally. But my recent marigold top is interlock. All that curved hem. I tamed it by serging the edge, turning up with steam-a-seam, and topstitching in two rows. Worked great.

    What a lovely place to camp and ride. Cool air - how appealing right now. I would miss my sewing machine as well...but bet you had a good book with you.

    Looking forward to your continuing work with this tee pattern.

  9. Won't you two enjoy the road trip! Have fun. Love the skirt and kudos for worikng with know my feelings about knits. ;-)

  10. Mary, those photographs are just stunning. I love that part of the country though I've never been to that exact place. And you are so right about Tee's. Lots of areas to tweak to get the just-right-tee.

  11. What a lovely place to camp! Your outfit looks cute and perfect for hot weather.


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