A tricot shirt: neck band doesn’t lie flat.

This is the fabric that I made all previous shirts for:swap 42 hhgttg ipad cover
Katzentritt by Susanne Bochem/ SUSAlabim for the European brand Lillestoff
Both drafting a pattern and learning to sew with jersey were done just so I could cut into this expensive and quality fabric and make myself something.

This is the shirt and it went all wrong the very end, at the neck band:
sewing self drafted t-shirt tee shirt Katzentritt jersey tricot stretch stitch Janine 425S

Last week, at sewing lessons, my teacher commented that I tend to stretch my jersey bands too much, they should be put in a tad looser. You put together the fabrics, at about 4 fingers width, and then the garment fabric should be loose enough for one finger to poke through.

After preparing the neckband I noticed I once again had made quite a tight band. One could easily put two fingers between the garment fabric and the band. So I opened up the neck band again and put in an extra strip, carefully matching the pattern.
I put it in the neckline, using a stretchy stitch (which sews triple, stitch G on my Janome 425S) and, knowing it would be looser, topstitched immediately. With another stretchy stitch that sews triple, the “straight” stitch A on my machine.
Turns out it was too loose. The band does not lie flat against my skin.

After consulting with textile friends there are at least 3 solutions for a neckband that doesn’t lie flat, apart from ripping it out and cutting a new, longer band:

  1. cut away the band and make the neck opening a little wider. Use same band.
  2. open up the band a bit and put in a bit of elastic which will sit the top.
  3. take the band at the shoulder seams and fold the tops into itself a bit. Making the edge circumference smaller. Secure with thread (or topstitch).

Because I had done a nice bit of pattern matching at the front I opted for the elastic:
sewing self drafted t-shirt tee shirt Katzentritt jersey tricot stretch stitch Janine 425S
Nice! Little ripples are visible but that’s beginner sewing for you: small steps, small mistakes but already nice things are happening and the garment is very wearable.

Trying out how tight the elastic should be:
sewing self drafted t-shirt tee shirt Katzentritt jersey tricot stretch stitch Janine 425S
When I was content I sewed the elastic flat onto itself, making sure it wasn’t twisted anywhere. I put it back in the band and closed the little hole I’d cut into the band with neat little stitches.

Now all that remains is topstitching the sleeve cuffs and grade the seam allowance there. I’m confident to sew tricots now.

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finished a thin viscose dress

I’m getting the hang of sewing with tricot jersey fabric.

Over the weekend I sewed a very thin viscose dress, using my self drafted t-shirt pattern with one-piece-sleeves. Because the colour of the fabric is nude I put in red bands at neckline and arm holes. I used 1 m of fabric, bought at Joop’s Modestoffen in Sittard, at Stoffenspektakel.
sewing self drafted dress one piece sleeves jersey tricot viscose Janine 425Ssewing self drafted dress one piece sleeves jersey tricot viscose Janine 425S

I learned more about sewing with thin stretch fabric on this instructable page.

I mainly used stretchy stitch G on my Janome 423S, after trying out numerous zig zags on a very small piece of scrap fabric. This is the standard stretchy tricot stitch that’s on every machine and excellent for internal seams, as I learn on this page from Make It Perfect.au.

This page was very informative too: https://doitbetteryourself.club/best-stretch-stitches-sewing-machine/

Stitch G is not so neat for topstitching but I read that the triple stretch stitch (A) was:
sewing self drafted dress one piece sleeves jersey tricot viscose Janine 425S
At least it’s sufficiently stretchy.

I did not have a lot of fabric and wanted the smallest hem possible. Just turn over and sew down with the triple stretch stitch (A). Not so neat.
sewing self drafted dress one piece sleeves jersey tricot viscose Janine 425S

learned to sew a tricot jersey shirt

First time sewing with thin tricot/jersey. Self drafted pattern for a one-piece-shirt (meaning sleeves are part of the front panel and back panel).

I learned at sewing lesson and I used the overlocker there:

I finished at home at my Janome 245S with a zig zag stitch:

Folded strips at the arm and neck holes. My teacher said to press them RS tog first, then overlock, then pin them to the hole with a bit of stretch, figure out how long they should be, sew the tube shut while the tube is pinned to the hole, sew tube to hole with overlocker.

I felt there was a lot of use of the overlocker while this fabric does not fray and does not need to be locked. It does lay the fabric flat though, stops it from curling. At home, with the zig zag, I soon found out that the zig zag should not be wide as it shows on the RS.

My second attempt I did with a small zig zag. My teacher also said to use a triple (stretch) stitch for the side seams. With only one thread you run the risk of exposure when the seam pops.

Steaming or pressing works very well for this fabric. Especially after sewing. It relaxes the stitches and further pinning and sewing is far easier.

This self drafted pattern had too tight sleeves so I cut them off. My next pattern has a bit longer sleeves but still not long enough.

the next day I made this:
tricot jersey t-shirt handsewn self drafted pattern sewing sway back one piece sleeves tricot jersey t-shirt handsewn self drafted pattern sewing sway back one piece sleevestricot jersey t-shirt handsewn self drafted pattern sewing sway back one piece sleeves

Back panel is less wide than front panel. This suits my sway back very well. The broad border at the bottom enhances this. It draws attention to my back, leaving room at the front, my belly, to breathe.

Learning to add the strip at the neckline and use the right amount of stretch:

tricot jersey t-shirt handsewn self drafted pattern sewing sway back one piece sleeves

Using my zigzag and topstitching with a very shallow zig zag, after pressing:
tricot jersey t-shirt handsewn self drafted pattern sewing sway back one piece sleeves

Inside of the neckband:

tricot jersey t-shirt handsewn self drafted pattern sewing sway back one piece sleeves
My nifty little handheld steaming iron: tricot jersey t-shirt handsewn self drafted pattern sewing sway back one piece sleeves
it’s from the Lidl

Sideseams were sewn twice and graded:
tricot jersey t-shirt handsewn self drafted pattern sewing sway back one piece sleeves

Now onto the next tee: adjust pattern:

  • take out the curve at the top of the shoulderseam
  • make sleeves a bit longer

practice practice