Over the years I’ve collected many t-shirts from Pixies gigs. I’ve been a different shape for a while so they’ve gone unworn up until I decided to upcycle most of them into a lounging around the house coat.
I incorporated a few striped and orange jersey offcuts into the mix and I was happy that I could wear the tees again.
Fast forward four years to a notion I had whilst day dream making and I remembered I had one t-shirt left which needed a coat of looking at. It was the Death To The Pixies shirt in a size small. I experienced the joys of the Peak T-shirt pattern by Wendy Ward included in her smashing book A Beginner’s Guide To Sewing With Knitted Fabrics whilst making the Longshaw Dress which I’ve written about here – I’d used the Peak for the top half shown below.
When I was making the dress I discovered how much I liked the pattern and resolved to make a few wardrobe essentials from it when I could. Well I haven’t really got any jersey fabric in my stash at the moment but the Pixies t-shirt came to mind as did a pair of too-small leggings with minimal thigh bobbling and a partially dismantled man’s tee that I could use the fabric from.
I noticed the tees were of tubular construction meaning that there weren’t any side seams to encumber me in my quest to extend the width of the sides. Here’s what I did:
• I selected the pattern pieces I’d be using
• I then cut the t-shirt at the shoulders and then right up the centre back
• To give you some idea of pattern layout, the photos below show what I was aiming for with the front and sleeves and I did similarly with the back on the plain partial t-shirt.
After the sleeves were cut from the leggings what remained to my eye looked like knickers, it’s a pity they no longer fit my posterior though other people may well be able to make wearable ones for themselves from the offcuts. I’ll use the bottom parts for cuffs for another future project.
• Then basic construction of the Peak T-shirt followed the sequence of shoulders, sides and set-in sleeves (I always do this as a preference to the flat method, simply because I enjoy it) I decided to use my walking foot on my old machine for this project as the stretch recovery was different for all the fabrics included in the project, for example the sleeves (leggings) had some elastane content. I used a narrow zig-zag stitch and seam finished on the overlocker. The seams in the leggings were already present but I decided to restitch further in because they were a tad shoddy.
A mid-construction photo:
• When it came to finishing the neck, cuffs and bottom I did a binding finish I’m keen on which is to make facings 5cm wide (smaller than the apertures by about 5cm, 1cm pressed to the wrong side along the length and then joined to form hoops) These are then sewn RS of facing to WS of garment all the way around and then turned, clipped in place (to not puncture the neckline with pins as it’s a bit bulky to pin)
The collar (plus cuffs and bottom) were then topstitched, I removed the walking foot for this to get a better finish.
Then gave it a good pressing using a dampened cloth.
And here’s the finish Peak T-shirt, I’m happy to report that it fits a treat. As mentioned in the Longshaw dress post, I made the biggest size and then trimmed it back down (see this for process if you’re interested in the fuller bust fitting and narrow shoulder adjustments)
I’m delighted to be able to get to wear this again, it will be worn under dungarees. When I make other Peaks in the future I’ll make them slightly longer as I was limited with the original t-shirt length but is perfectly fine for how I’ll be wearing it.