t-shirt project

Pinterest has an odd way of helping you bring your thoughts together.  Physical inspiration walls do the same, but because it’s more of a time investment, it’s harder to see the obvious connections of how things that you are drawn to are related.  As I’ve seen my own boards fill up, a big light bulb went off for me, and I want to share it with you here.

I love knits.  I think once you start sewing with them, it’s hard not to.  They’re forgiving, they’re easy to sew, and they feel good to wear.  To boot, they sew up so quickly.  From cutting to wearing, it’s rare that a t-shirt, even a complicated one takes longer than 90 minutes for me to make.  After a long multi day project, nothing feels more mentally refreshing than sewing up a t-shirt.  And I never seem to have enough of those t-shirts made out of my beloved knits.

You can wear a t-shirt over, under or on top of nearly any other garment.  They can be as basic or as wildly complicated as you can dream.  Do you want to match a t-shirt to a skirt or a jacket?–you can do that with more ease and far less out of pocket than your shoes.

RTW t-shirts are often cheap and plentiful, so why make them?  Well, I find RTW colors insipid and the fit *terrible*.  It’s one of the things that drove me to sew in the first place.  And while more expensive RTW does give you some more style options, I certainly am not going to spend $60 on one t-shirt, especially when I know that it takes about a yard of fabric.  You can buy swanky (like Missoni) swanky fabric for less than that.

My idea?  I want to write about t-shirts.  I’d like to write about categories of t-shirts (the henley, the boatneck, the v-neck etc.), look at patterns and RTW inspirations within those categories and figure out how to make them all come together.  And I straight up want to knock off designer t-shirts, not because I want to have that look so much as I’m looking for a challenge.  I have a TNT pattern, so why not manipulate it to its utmost?

So maybe you would like a challenge too.  Will you join me in The T-shirt Project.  Here’s the guidelines:

  • Once a month:  I’m going to take a t-shirt a month for the next year and see how that all goes.  I might make more, but I do doubt that I will make less.  I’ll probably post more often than that.
  • Unique:  I’m aiming for 12 unique, different t-shirts.  I’m not one to have the same garment in a rainbow of colors for the same reason that my pantry is filled with such disparate ingredients as nuoc mam and reserva Sherry vinegar…I like variety.
  • Inspired:  It’s too easy to get into the rhythm of picking up a new pattern and sewing in a bubble.  But if creativity is one reason we sew, let’s start with it.  Follow my t-shirt variant board on Pinterest and let’s bounce ideas off each other.  Let’s look at RTW sources and see what we can add or how we can make them better.

So what say you?  Are you in?  I’ve never organized any kind of sew along before, but this, I’m passionate about.  So passionate that I even made a badge:

t-shirt project

We can start officially next Wednesday.

Elizabeth Made This

Let’s keep the conversation going!  Check out my sewing dreams and inspiration on Pinterest, and keep up to date on my projects on Instagram and Facebook.

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26 Comments

  1. Not sure whether I’ll join you or not (given my low sewn productively levels) but I will certainly be watching with interest!

  2. I love this! Definitely interested in joining in. That said, I’m a beginner (sewn clothes before, but not good at adjusting patterns and am just now figuring out my serger), so I hope you will be beginner-friendly! 🙂 I have a stack of knits just waiting to be used up, but I’ve been hesitant because of my unfamiliarity with the serger, and was put off by a woefully bad-fitting shirt on my last attempt. This may be just the motivation I need…

  3. I love this idea, and will be excited to follow your progress! But knowing how limited my sewing time is, I probably shouldn’t sign up for any sew-alongs. I do love your inspiration and am totally planning to start making more Ts soon, though!

  4. I, too, love sewing with knits for all the reasons you identify. Palate cleanser for sure. T-shirt variations are so fun, I’ve been doing them lately as well.

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  6. It seems great minds think alike… I set myself a challenge to do that too this year, and so far it’s been interesting… Do you draft at all? You might enjoy a “hack”… I publish the drafting instructions for each month’s top as I sew it… 🙂

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  8. Sounds fun! I love knits for the same reasons and sew them much more often than wovens. I should remembered that when I tempted to buy wovens, heh!

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