Hi everyone! It’s Sharlene from @sosewdressmaking with my next blog for Lamazi fabrics.
Recently I have started sewing more clothes for my husband, Darren. It started with a coat for Christmas and he was so impressed that I kept going. He is not one for shopping, or even realising when he needs new clothes, so if I add even a few garments to his wardrobe it will make a big difference.
I was excited when Lamazi said they wanted to do a month of focusing on sewing menswear. So far I have made Darren a coat, 2 jumpers and a shirt. So next up to try was a t-shirt. I choose the Helen’s Closet Jackson Tee, her most recent pattern release which is a gender neutral pattern. I have made 2 of the pullovers for him so I had already made a lot of the fit adjustments I would need already.
Which brings me to one of the biggest obstacles in buying him new clothes- he is 6 ft 7 with very broad shoulders. The instructions in the Jackson pattern are fantastic for adding extra length to the pattern and I have applied this method to other patterns now as well. The extra length is split over the main body of the garment and the armscye, which makes perfect sense when you think about it. The pattern has a relaxed fit around the shoulder so I could skip a broad shoulder adjustment for this pattern which I would usually have to do (this is done in the same way as for a women’s pattern though).
His other request was for a v-neck t-shirt. I had a look through the men’s wear patterns available and there wasn’t a lot to choose from, so I decided to hack the Jackson.
- I started by marking the seam allowances (1cm) on the pattern around the front neckline.
- I then took one of Darren’s v-neck jumpers and traced the neckline (minus the neckband) onto the Jackson pattern.
- I measured the original neckline and neckband and calculated that it was 20% shorter than the neckline.
- I measured the new neckline and removed 20% to get the new neckband length for the v-neck version.
When attaching the neckband the fold is placed at the centre back. I folded the neckband in half length-ways and crossed the front edges of the neckband over at a right angle and basted them in place (see photo). To attach them start sewing this ‘cross-over’ at the front v and sew right around the neckline until you meet at the front again. It can be beneficial to baste the neckband in place first here to make sure you get it in the right position.
For the fabric I choose one of the new Allure Organic Bamboo Single Knit Jersey in Khaki. This fabric is similar to a viscose or tencel jersey. It is very smooth and has a silky feel. It has a lot of drape and is quite ‘bouncy’. The bamboo fibre has some similarities to cotton but has a natural surface sheen, it is softer and is sometimes referred to as ‘cashmere from plants’. It has natural anti-microbial properties, meaning it helps prevent bacteria and other microorganisms from attaching to the fabric. It also has anti-static characteristics so that it will sit well against the skin without clinging.
All of these properties make it ideal for close fitting garments, t-shirts and underwear (which is what all my scraps will be used for). In terms of sewing it you need to take all the same precautions you would with a viscose jersey. Take care not to stretch it while sewing and use a press cloth when pressing as it can leave ‘shiny’ marks. I used my overlocker for the most part and sewed the hems with a narrow zig-zag stitch and size 80 ballpoint needle. I tried a few different stitch types for the hem but settled on a narrow zig-zag as the ‘bouncy-ness’ of the fabric meant I was really having to keep an eye on it. So I went for the easiest option to ensure the hem stayed even.
Honestly… I’m a little jealous of this t-shirt! It feels amazing and I love the neckline. Don’t be surprised if you see me styling it on myself at some stage! After wearing it for the first time Darren loved the fabric and said it felt really good on. I think the blue colour would be perfect for another one so that could be next.
If you want to sew some menswear Lamazi have pulled together all fabrics that are suitable into one easy to shop section on their website, and have another section for patterns too. If you are not sure where to start, I would recommend trying a simple t-shirt like the Jackson Tee, I Am Patterns Milor T-Shirt or Thread Theory No 12 Sayward Raglan T-shirt. Jersey is generally easier to fit, the new range of organic cotton jersey from Mind the Maker would be perfect to try if you don’t fancy the Bamboo jerseys, and would even give you the opportunity to try colour blocking.
My next menswear project will be trousers for Darren. I have a feeling this wont go as smoothly as this Jackson tee and might pose a few more fitting issues.
Thank you for reading,