Try, try, try….


Ok, so I have really been wanting to sew my daughter a raglan style t-shirt and so I found instructions for a DIY pattern.  It sounded easy enough and made sense so I gave it a go.


Above were my first three attempts.  These were all made using the DIY instructions.  The first one was comically small.  My daughter reassured me that she could use it for her American Girl Doll!  Hee-hee. Also, I placed the pattern on the main fabric upside down. It could go either way but I wanted it going the other direction so it look more like a banner and less like triangles.

For the second attempt I made it bigger, but then the neck was way too big!

My third attempt was better but the neckline still had issues and the shirt looked wonky in general.  Also, I had trouble getting the hem right for the sleeves and bottom of the t- shirt.

This was my 4th try.  This time I decided I needed an actual pattern so I purchased and downloaded this one.

May 2014 270

This helped a lot! The neckline is much better and no more general wonkiness. I was also really happy with my top-stitching of the neckline and my double needle skills on the sleeve hem.May 2014 269

One thing I learned when working on this project was that it’s best to not try to sew the entire shirt with the serger.  Especially under the arms with the serger knife down.  I kept making big holes on the underarms.  Sometimes I think in curved areas like that it is best to sew the seam on a regular sewing machine first and then go back with the serger.  Preferably not with the knife down!

Two things that I’ve learned that have helped me to improve my sewing are:

1- try, try, try again


2- slow down!

I think the things that made this shirt look better each time I sewed had less to do with garment construction and more to do with getting the details right.

Taking my time when top-stitching really seamed to improve the look of the garment.

I could also add a third item

3 – Press, press, press … with the iron.
Pressing the seams,even on knits, or I should say, especially on knits, really made the shirt look less hand made.

Keeping these items in mind while sewing really helped me to improve the look of the fifth version.



The best part was that this one turned out well enough for my daughter to actually wear this to school. I was so happy with these results that I decided that I needed to make one more attempt using this ruffled fabric and here are the results.


A fun shirt we both like.  Sometimes on the internet I feel like all we ever see is the happy final product without all the mess ups. I needed this reminder that it doesn’t always end up perfect the first time.

So have you been working on improving some of your skills lately?  Do you find failure the key to success?
Apparently, I do!

3 thoughts on “Try, try, try….

  1. I love the purple ruffle one too! Practice really does make perfect. I’m learning in my old age that whatever new things you try, sometimes it’s best to give it a second or even a third try.

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