I'm back again with a brand new (to me) pattern which I'm certain has made it into my small collection of TNT's. This is the Baseball Singlet by Measure Twice Cut Once.
I've been wearing the same RTW singlet tops for somewhere between 5 and 6 years now and it's really time to lay them all to rest. While I've been wanting to sew singlet tops for ages I hadn't managed to come across a simple pattern that looked flattering enough. Enter the Baseball Singlet. It's part of Measure Twice Cut Once's Basics Collection which is just an all round awesome idea. Basics are things we all really want to sew but either never get around to or can't find basic and flattering patterns for. This pattern ticks all the boxes. Also I've hung out with Susan a bunch of times now and she's awesome so of course I had to buy one of her patterns!
I've been struggling with inspiration overload post-wedding-dress-sewing. I'm itching to sew every day and my list of things to sew is the longest it's ever been. It's as if I'm trying to make up for the lost time I spent working on only one project. I've partly combatted this by planning out a summer wardrobe and keeping tabs of it on a chalkboard in my sewing room. So I know that these tops will go with my future shorts and skirts that are coming up soon in my sewing queue.
So the pattern. I printed off the all sizes option because I'm pear shaped and always have to grade between sizes. It was so satisfying to only have around 10 pieces of paper to tape together before getting on with the sewing! My measurements fell pretty neatly into a size 10 at the bust, size 14 at the waist and size 14 at the hip. I graded the pattern before making a muslin and sliced a bit off the sides of the bust on my pattern as I fell more into a size 9 once I'd tried it on.
I had a bit of a head scratching moment when it came to finish the edges because I hadn't thought that far so I actually read the instructions. Lo and behold it told me I could fold over 1cm and stretch stitch it down. Stretch stitch? Excuse me? A stitch for stretch fabric that no one told me about or mentioned? Gobsmacked I stared my machine down to realise that straight stitch was number 00 and stretch stitch was number 01. For real.
So I did what the instructions said and turned it over 1cm and stretch stitched it down.
And. It. Was. Perfect.
I can't believe I've been sewing for 4 years and not come across this before. It's times like this I really wish I didn't have such large gaps in my sewing knowledge. I don't know what I don't know so I don't know what I need to learn.
Of course I was so excited I cut out 5 of these and started sewing them immediately. I chose Cotton Jersey in 4 different colours and a print but they're all slightly different weights and quality. I tried each of them on after overlocking the seams so I could check the fit. Sure enough two of them were fine from the pattern and two of them were too big so I marked them with chalk and sewed them up a bit tighter. Then I stretch stitched all their edges.
So let's talk about this magical stretch stitch. If you try it on a stable Cotton Jersey it's going to feel like the clouds are parting and the sun is shining directly down on your machine as you sew. You pull on the fabric and the stitches just stretch themselves out to accommodate all dreamy-like. However if you deign to put a lightweight Cotton jersey under the needle for stretch stitching it is going to turn your machine into a jersey eating monster. My white and black versions didn't survive stretch stitch unscathed. They're still wearable because, let's face it, the thing fits and looks good on and nobody but my spoolettes are going to peek closely at my stitching. So I'm good.
In terms of the pattern I found the scoopy bit at the bottom way too long so I chopped it off. I'm 5"2 and it looked more like a tunic. I initially cut the pattern to the bottom notch which is the end of your side seam. After trying on the muslin I decided to make it 2 centimetres longer so I wrote it on my pattern to remind myself for next time. I like my singlet tops long because I tell myself it makes me look taller. Also it's helpful when wearing them with jeans for when your bending and moving about - they still overlap the top of your jeans for maximum coverage - if you know what I mean.
Now let's talk about this type of finish. I'm not fussy with the finish on my jersey garments. I've made many a Jersey thing I haven't hemmed because. Well because. So knowing that I could just turn and stitch was awesome for me. If you have a look at the insides you'll see that the edges curl up a bit. This isn't noticeable when you're wearing it but if you're fussy about finishing on jersey you're probably going to want to bind your edges. Which is way more work but would probably look a whole lot more profesh than what I've got. But I sewed these all up in one weekend. So I'm good.
FYI the back looks pretty great too.
I'll definitely be making more of these but next time I'll be scouting around for good quality, good weight cotton jersey so I can make singlet tops that will last as long as my old RTW ones.
I'll leave you with a picture of me looking pretty smug about my new collection of tops.