Episode 813

Merediths

Fit To A 'V' by Matthew & Morgan Meredith

Use a sewing machine or serger to stitch a modern, easy sleeveless top. Wear this wardrobe staple as an undershirt or as the ideal summer singlet.

Supplies

Light- to mediumweight knit fabric (2 1/10 yards of 45"-wide or 1 1/5 yards of 60"-wide)

Stretch or ballpoint needle

Matching all-purpose thread

Serger (optional)

Prepare It

Download the tank pattern to print at home HERE; print. Download the pattern to print at a print shop here. Cut out or trace all pattern pieces in the appropriate size according to the pattern guidesheet.

Lengthen or shorten the pattern if necessary by slashing along the "lengthen or shorten here" line. Tape new paper between the slashed edges to lengthen or overlap the edges to shorten.

Prewash the fabric according to the manufacturer's instructions to avoid shrinkage after cutting. Press the fabric, and then fold in half, aligning the selvages.

Lay out the pattern pieces on the fabric. Pin the fabric together along the selvages and the folded edges to avoid shifting during cutting.

Cut out the pattern pieces and transfer all markings onto the fabric wrong side using chalk or a removable fabric marker. If clipping the notches, don't clip too deeply into the seam allowance, as this creates a weak point in the knit fabric where a run might begin, even if you serge- or zigzag-finish the seam allowances.

To construct the tank using a standard sewing machine, test-stitch on a folded scrap of the tank fabric. The following instructions are a starting point from which to adjust to suit your individual machine and fabric choice.

Install a stretch needle or ballpoint needle onto the machine. If the machine is skipping stitches, use a stretch needle instead of a ballpoint.

Decrease the presser foot pressure according to the machine manual.

Set the machine to a 2.5mm-wide zigzag stitch with a 0.5mm to 1.5mm length.

Use a serger to stitch the tank and finish the seams in one step, or finish the seam allowances together after sewing using a stretch or zigzag stitch.

To construct the tank using a serger, install a stretch needle or ballpoint needle. If skipped stitches result, use a stretch needle instead of a ballpoint.

Set the differential feed to approximately 1.4. Test the settings on a folded scrap of the tank fabric until the serged seam neither puckers nor stretches.

Sew It

Use 3/8" seam allowances unless otherwise noted.

With right sides together, align the tank front and back along the shoulder seams; pin, and then stitch. This seam is very short and doesn't need to stretch, so any of the following stitch types are acceptable: straight stitch, zigzag, stretch stitch or serging. Press the seam toward the back.

With right sides together, pin the tank front and back along the side seams; stitch. These seams require some stretch, so use any of the following stitch types: zigzag, stretch stitch or serging. Press the seams toward the back.

With right sides together, fold one armscye binding in half widthwise. Stitch the short edges, and then press open. Repeat to stitch the remaining binding to form two loops.

With wrong sides together, fold one binding loop in half lengthwise. Lightly press the folded edge so reduce shifting during sewing.

With raw edges aligned, pin one binding loop to one armscye right side, aligning the binding seam with the side seam and the notch with the shoulder seam. Serge or stitch using a zigzag or stretch stitch, stretching the binding to fit the armscye as you sew. Press the seam allowance toward the shirt. Edgestitch the seam to secure the seam allowances.

Repeat to stitch the remaining binding and armscye.

Staystitch the neckline for 1" on either side of the "V" using a 1/4" seam allowance and a 2.5mm-long straight stitch, pivoting with the needle down at the shirt center front. This prevents the "V" shape from stretching as the binding is attached.

Fold the neckline binding in half lengthwise with wrong sides together; press.

Overlap the short edges at a right angle to form a "V". Pin, and then stitch along each binding short edge.

With right sides together and raw edges aligned, align the binding point with the neckline center. Place one pin at the center of the "V" and align the binding with the neckline for 1" on either side of the center; pin. Stitch, pivoting with the needle down at the base of the "V".

Pin the remaining binding to the neckline, aligning the notches with the shoulder seams and center back. Serge or straight stitch, stretching the binding to match the neckline length as you sew.

If using a serger, begin serging the binding at the base of the "V". Stretch the binding to match the neckline length and overlap the stitching beginning to secure the seam. Press the seam allowance toward the shirt.

Edgestitch the shirt just below the binding seam, catching the seam allowance on the wrong side.

Finish It

To use a twin needle, first serge or zigzag stitch the shirt lower edge. Fold the lower edge toward the wrong side at the notch; press and pin in place.

Install the twin needle onto the machine, following the machine manufacturer's instructions.

Beginning at one side seam and using a 1/2" seam allowance, stitch the lower edge from the shirt right side. Don't pull or stretch as you sew. Press to remove any ripples.

To use a single needle, set the machine for a stretch or zigzag stitch.

Fold the shirt lower edge 3/8" toward the wrong side. Fold again at the notch; pin.

Select a zigzag or stretch stitch on the machine. Beginning at one side seam and stitching from the garment wrong side, edgestitch the first fold. Don't pull or stretch as you sew. Press to remove any ripples.

Pocket

If adding a pocket, serge, bind or zigzag-finish the upper edge. Fold the upper edge along the foldline with right sides together. Stitch each pocket edge to secure the fold. Trim the seam allowances to 1/4".

Turn the pocket fold right side out, using a point turner or knitting needle to push out the corners.

Fold the remaining pocket edges 3/8" toward the wrong side to align with the finished edge; press. Topstitch the pocket upper edge. Place the pocket on the shirt-front right side according to the pattern markings; pin. Edgestitch the pocket sides and lower edge, backstitching at the pocket upper edges to secure. 

Products used in this episode:

 
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