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The "couture" undershirt - Part 2

April 02, 2022

The "couture" undershirt - Part 2

Last week, I went into some detail about the concept of a "couture" undershirt.  While not meant as a tutorial, I did want to show that a high end or purposeful finish was possible for even the most basic of garments.  You can elevate your underwear

Creating a well-made undershirt, or T-Shirt or underwear is possible even with a basic domestic machine.  It takes some time, practice, and great fabric to make the perfect garment.

This week, the undershirt is finished and I have THOUGHTS about the techniques and the fabric I used.

Finishing Up The Sewing

The rest of the sewing went easily once I got in the rhythm of the three rows of stitching.  It felt a little meditative, especially on the long side seams.

The sleeve insertion was done on the flat, which is generally my preference.  You can see the Berlin T pattern has a 3/8" jog to help line up the sleeve with the body. I'm using a pin at an angle to help keep the sleeve in place.  Usually, I avoid pins as much as I can, preferring clips when needed.  But a pin is the best way to keep the piece in place and the fabric flat.  It worked beautifully here.

 The finished sleeve looks great. Even these seams got the couture treatment with the stay stich, construction stitch, and the overcast stitch.

The side seams are strong and have a finished look that you can't get with a serger. 

 

For the hems, I got out the twin needed.  A big complaint about twin needs is tunneling (the ridge that can form between the lines of stitching).  There was a small amount of tunneling here.  But adjusting the tensions minimized the problem and a good press kept the hem flat.  And since a twin needle cost 4-5 dollars, it is within reach of most sewists.  

 

 

The Finished Undershirt

I'm very happy with the result of this undershirt.  For an undershirt, I want a close fit that isn't constricting.  So a knit that a lot of stretch and recovery is critical.  The seams are strong and the raw edges are finished with a beautiful overcast stitch.  

I got exactly what I was hoping for: A well-made, well-fitting, comfortable undershirt that will last for years.  

 

The fabric

This is a 94% modal/6% spandex knit that is very soft with a great stretch and recovery.  It has a slight sheen to it that I like. Even after a few washes, it stays very soft.  It is very lightweight and will be a great fabric for the Summer months.

I love this fabric.  And after sewing with it, I ordered a good amount for the shop.  It should be in stock in the next week or so.  I would definitely recommend this fabric for undershirts, light Tees, underwear, and even socks (yes, socks!).

With the fabric left over from this project, I sewed ankle socks with the Peekaboo Pattern Shop Adult Socks pattern.  I've purchased ankle socks in a very soft knit before and loved them.  I can tell these are going to be comfortable in the summer.

Thanks for reading.  Please feel free to leave a comment or question below or send me an email.

And don't forget to watch Kelly Hogaboom's Vimeo videos "Your Good T-Shirt".  As always, I'm inspired by Kelly's work and help in everything.

I hope this inspires you to try some these techniques and elevate your underwear!

Kevin


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