Closet Case Patterns Ebony T-Shirt

As soon as Closet Case Patterns released the new Ebony Dress and T-Shirt pattern I knew it was moving to the top of my list of things to make for myself.  I am a sucker for a swing tee!!  I have several RTW swing tee’s.  I was so excited to actually add one to my ‘me made wardrobe’!  It may be my first, but it will not be my last.  In essence, this is my ‘wearable’ muslin, but I was confident in the fit and the construction so I used a fabric that I knew I would love to wear.

The fabric is a soft bamboo/cotton/spandex blend jersey that I bought from Mercers Fabric.  The rayon made of bamboo gives this fabric a luxurious feel and a flowing drape.  It is perfect for the swing shape in this pattern.

It has been a while since I have sewn with knits.  I am not sure why, because I LOVE wearing knits, in fact, it is practically all I wear.  My serger has been acting up and I intend on treating myself to a new one soon.  So I used this as an opportunity to sew a knit using my straight stitch machine.

I used the ‘lightning’ stitch, sometimes also referred to as the ‘stretch stitch’, to stitch the garment together.  This stitch stretches a little bit with the fabric and won’t break as easily as a straight stitch.

Tip:  If you have a walking foot attachment for your machine it might come in handy to use it for this project.  I did not use mine, and I didn’t have any trouble, but I might try it the next time just to compare the ease of sewing.

I finished the inside seam allowances using an overcast stitch to finish the inside seam allowances.  I lined this stitch up very close to the first stich (not on the edge) and then trimmed the excess width of the seam allowance (about 1/8″) without cutting through my seam finish.  This actually worked remarkably well.  I experimented with a few different stitches (ie. other zigzag and overlock stitches) and they were just bunching up the edge of the seam allowance.  You might have to try a few to see which one works the best on your machine and it might be best to move in from the edge of the seam allowance a bit.

To finish I used a ball point twin needle to do the top stitching around the neckline and hemline of the tee.  TIP:  It is important to use a ball point or stretch needle in your machine when sewing knits.  Otherwise you might get skipped stitches or pulls in the fabric. 

I am not much into modeling my own garments.  I have never been comfortable in front of a camera for family photos, let alone the internet.  It’s just not my thing!  So I laid my new tee out flat and took some photos of how I would wear it.  I plan to make this my travel outfit for a trip I am taking in the near future.

For more on sewing knits you might also want to check out The Colette Guide to Sewing Knits: Professional Techniques for Beautiful Everyday Garments.  I own the printed copy and love it.

I think you will enjoy sewing this pattern as much as I did.  I plan to make other versions of it soon.  I have a knit stripe that I would love to make up into an Emory Dress.

Happy Sewing!!!

5 thoughts on “Closet Case Patterns Ebony T-Shirt”

  1. I’ve seen so many of these lovely Closet Case Ebony dress Tees online and I’m SO tempted but I’m concerned…I have a large bust (36G) waist 35, hip 41 – I’m tall (5’8″) with long legs and what worries me is that this will just look like a tent on me making me look absolutely gargantuan 🙂 – yet the ones I’ve seen (like yours) have so much drape and fit so well at the shoulders and bust it doesn’t look tent- like. What is your advice? I’d love to know what you think!

    • Hi Kathleen,
      I think you should try it.  Although I am the opposite size as you -I am a Curvy Petite, it still worked for me.  I think it is all about proportion.  Because of my height I tried the tee first, and the next time I make it I am going to shorten the back a little.  Given that you are tall, I would suggest that perhaps you try the dress version with the length just above the knee.  There are many photos of  knit swing dresses on Pinterest with boots and a scarves as accessories for winter, or sandals for summer.  I would search for these to get some ideas.  I personally would also recommend a knit with a good amount of drape so it will hug your curves softly. Good luck!   

      • Thank you for sharing your thoughts Ann! I don’t think a dress would work…I just finished a shirt dress (Harrison by Cashmerette) and it looked so dreadful I immediately chopped it down to a longish shirt and it looks MUCH better 🙂 (although insanely STUPID mistake I made sewing a bias tape to make the hem and instead of sewing to the right side I sewed it to the wrong side!!) so I definitely don’t think the dress would work – if anything a tunic or chopped top length. In fact the more I think about the better a cropped top length might just be perfect! 🙂


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