I’ve been wanting to make a simple t-shirt for a while in order to learn some knit garment techniques. I had been eyeing a few different patterns but came across the Secondo Piano BasicInstincT, which is FREE (with newsletter subscription). I cut an XS.
The pattern consists of front, back, sleeve and neckband pieces. The instructions were very clear and the diagrams were very helpful. In the instructions, the word instructions are grouped together and are not directly next to the corresponding diagram. While the written instructions and corresponding diagrams were very clearly labeled, I still found myself getting confused as to where I was in the instructions. Diagrams and instructions for matching stripes are also included. Obviously, my fabric is a solid colors so I didn’t get to test out those instructions.
I got this white stretchy mystery knit (jersey???) from my mom’s fabric stash when I was home in December. It’s slightly thinner than I’d like for a white t-shirt, but I had chosen to use this fabric intentionally as a test garment.
Despite the very clear instructions, this was the most difficult thing I’ve sewn in a while.
- My walking foot:
As it turns out, my walking foot is messed up and seems to push the foot off kilter as it sews. I broke a few needles trying to make this shirt. After I gave up on using the walking foot, things started moving along better. I still don’t know what’s wrong with it or what to do about it. Luckily the walking foot wasn’t super necessary for this project.
- Twin needle:
Thank god for the internet, because I read about a million posts about sewing with twin needles, with THESE TWO being the most helpful. I set my needle thread to the highest tension possible on my machine and hand wound wooly nylon to use in the bobbin.
I topstitched and hemmed using the twin needle. The top stitching on the shoulder seams for this t-shirt is just awful. I had to redo them a million times and they still turned out awful, most likely do to my messed up walking foot.
I basted the neck band and then sewed it with a 3-step zig zag. I thought about serging it, but I wasn’t all that confident with my neckband-attaching-skills and I figured unpicking a 3-step zig zag would be easier than unpicking a serged seam. By this point, I had figured out that my walking foot wasn’t working properly. I topstitched the neckband using the twin needle with a regular foot and am thrilled with how it turned out.
Other than the neckband, I sewed everything together directly on the serger. I hemmed the the shirt using some heat n bond, which someone on my instagram stories had recommended it for getting flatter / even hems. I think it worked because the hem looks A++.
This project is arguably the “simplest” item of clothing I’ve ever made but definitely one of the most challenging things I’ve made. I’m glad I finally tried the twin needle and I’m excited to make more knit garments with a more “polished” finish than a zig zag.