The greatest benefit of my job is one-on-one lessons from sewing, embroidery, and quilting experts. When preparing for a TV series, my guests and I plan the series months in advance. After a quick study of the technique, book, or pattern, we have several phone conferences, I prepare scripts, the guest and my staff make step-by-step samples, and the day before recording the Sewing With Nancy episodes, we fine-tune the show.

When working with Pamela Leggett, whose patterns focus on knit and fit, I thought I’d learn a couple tips, but I was wrong, I learned many tips!

Watch Sew the Perfect T-shirt on Sewing With Nancy.

Sew the Perfect T-Shirt/Sewing with Nancy/Nancy Zieman/Pamela Leggett

Sew the Perfect Knit Top or T-Shirt

This tip works ideally with Pamela’s, The Perfect T-Shirt Pattern. 

Sew the Perfect T-Shirt/Sewing with Nancy/Nancy Zieman/Pamela Leggett

1. Test the fabric for retention, not just stretch. Most T-shirt patterns require at least 25% crosswise stretch. That’s easy. But does the fabric retract without coaxing? Quality is important!

2. Choose the pattern for T-shirts by measuring high bustline. Choose the size by that measurement. Then, measure full bustline. If the difference is 3” or greater, choose a T-Shirt pattern with a dart.

  Armholes on fitted knit tops are usually low. Using this technique, I’m pleased with the fit of the shirt in the upper body.

3. Fit while you sew. Yes, we know that, but with Pamela’s process, she guides us through the exact process.

   I admit, I like to skips steps, but following the process was totally worthwhile.

4. Stabilize the front shoulder seam with a woven, fusible stay tape. You’re going to like this idea!

5. Stabilize neckline of front and back with knit, fusible stay tape.

I usually cut knit interfacing strips from fusible knit interfacing. But, using the woven and knit stay tapes, as used in the industry, really saves time!



6. Use a stretch needle as opposed to a ball point needle. The stretch needle has a more defined point. 

7. Do not use a stretch stitch, you know, the ones with lots of stitches. Less is best. Serge the seams or use a wobble stitch, .5 width x 2.5 length.

8. During the sewing/fitting process, make changes to the fabric and pattern at the same time. You’ll learn how while watching the first episode of Sew the Perfect T-Shirt.

Ten Tips I Learned About Sewing the Perfect T-Shirt | Nancy Zieman | Sewing With Nancy

9. Stitch the dart, try on the knit shirt, then, check the fit. If the dart position is too high or low, you’ll learn how to change the pattern and the knit fabric at once. Knits are forgiving, and  changes are easy to make.

10. After making one style, don’t stop there—this pattern has three neckline options: Jewel, V-neck, and Scooped. The second shirt will go together effortlessly.

Watch Sew the Perfect T-Shirt (Part One and Part Two) on Sewing With Nancy online.

About the Pattern

The busy woman needs a modern wardrobe that can keep up: Using jet-set knits is a comfortable and easy solution. Make a variety of styles and diversify your closet with one pattern. Learn techniques you can use over and over again to create beautiful, custom fit clothing that you’ll love wearing.

Nancy Zieman the Blog GiveawayFor a chance to win a copy of The The Perfect T-Shirt Pattern from Pamela Leggett, please leave a comment below.

Sew the Perfect T-Shirt/Sewing with Nancy/Nancy Zieman/Pamela Leggett

Nancy Zieman's Giveaway WinnerThe randomly selected winner a copy of the Quick Stitch to Wear Again book from Nancy’s Notions is Jennifer.

Her comment is, “I love learning new techniques to extend the life of a garment. Your techniques are amazingly simple and so creative! Looking forward to seeing what other gems your book contains. Thanks!”

Quick Stitch to Wear Again by Nancy Zieman Book & DVD

Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

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