Thursday, 10 April 2014

Copying RTW

One of the many sewing related topics that came up at the recent meet up for Auckland Sewing Bloggers was our behaviour in clothes shops.  I was glad to hear that I wasn’t the only sewer who lurks in clothes shops looking at RTW with a view to making a copy.
I was on one of these inspiration hunts when I spotted this T-Shirt in Farmers.

I quite like the use of the two fabrics, and curvy shapes.  I also wear a lot of black and white, so I could see this top featuring regularly in my wardrobe.

What I didn’t like was the price tag $69.99! WTF!  I mean, seventy bucks for a T shirt!  Even if I could afford it, I couldn’t justify that much on a single T shirt, however nice.

So, of course, I set about making my own version.

I started with a pattern from Burda magazine - January 2009.  It has the raglan sleeves not dissimilar to the RTW top, and I’ve made it several times before, so I know it fits. 

I sat down with all the essential supplies

Yes, the coffee is an essential supply!

NOTE: all these pattern pieces have NO seam allowance on them)
The sleeve on the Burda top is gathered, which I didn’t want on this version, so I pinned the excess fabric out…

And laid the piece out as flat as I could and traced it (both the original and the design was aiming for use stretch fabric, so I didn’t need to be too concerned about losing the shoulder shape)

I then made a copy of the front piece (minus the markings for an opening) and cut it into two pieces, roughly like the RTW one.   

Then I repeated the exercise on the back piece

To make the pattern piece for the facing I placed all the pieces together at the relevant seams and traced the curve, marking the centre front as a fold.  

Since this was a bit of a hack, I didn’t want to use expensive fabric to try out this new pattern, so I dived into my $1 stash and found a striped T shirting, and a plain grey one.  

I added seam allowances as I cut and added an extra 1cm on the inside of the facing curve, effectively making it slightly smaller, so I would pull towards the inside of the garment

Once I had made it up I felt that the front neckline was a little high, so I cut it a few cm down, and did the same to the centre front pattern piece.
I also added a raven with the embroidery machine because, well, because I can.

Overall I’m please with the result, and will definitely be looking for a nice black and white graphic print to make a more formal looking one for the monthly stitch Sewing Double Challenge, or I guess if I don't find the right fabric in time it could always be Sew Stretchy for May.

There are several things I will change next time:

  • I managed to get the placement of the raven a bit off, so I have a raven flying across my boob. 
  •  I still have to get better at stabilising knits for the machine embroidery.

Despite these two issues, I feel that I have a workable pattern for a “real” copy, which I probably won't embellish anyway

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