clothing, sewing, tops

Scoop neck tee from Skirt as Top

The garment factory accidents in Bangladesh have really opened my eyes to just how our clothing is made.  This article, which I heard on our local NPR station, painted a very vivid picture of the awful working conditions.  (The article is short, please read it.)  As seamstresses, we have a unique opportunity to do something small to help this terrible situation: to make at least some of our own clothing.  Even when my sewing room is sweltering hot, I know that my homemade clothing is not actually made in a sweatshop.  I can’t make items like jeans, and I still do love shopping for and buying pretty things, so I don’t think I’ll be going fully homemade anytime soon, but I truly believe that even a little helps.  

In the past, I haven’t wanted to make things like t-shirts because, well, they are so cheap to buy.  But they are cheap for a reason.  As I’ve gained confidence in my serging abilities, though, t-shirts have become much more quick and easy to make, and might even approach cost-effectiveness, which means one less item of clothing to buy. Fellow Britex blogger, Kristin from Skirt as Top has generously provided a lovely, simple and free t-shirt pattern, and after seeing it here, here, and here, I finally gave in.  Plus, I had a yard of some beautiful chevron fabric that had been waiting for a good pattern.

The pattern comes only in a smallish-medium size, so I took the sides in quite a bit and shortened it by about 2-3 inches.  I also redrew the neckline to be less scoopish (for modesty while bending over at the park, you know) and made the armholes smaller.  I love the resulting fit! 

I couldn’t help myself and made a second one, immediately!  No lie, it took me 40 minutes.  The black and white looks a bit like prison gear, but it’s super comfortable.  Despite using the exact same pattern, the black and white striped top is slightly roomier.

My littlest was helping work the camera timer today, wearing his mom-made top!

20 thoughts on “Scoop neck tee from Skirt as Top”

  1. Love your t-shirts.. So cute.
    thank you for sharing the sad that people are being mistreated ..Heart breaking.. but how wonderful that the lady stood up for them, to the point of loosing her job.


  2. I love your t-shirts, especially the chevron striped one! I had the same opinion about sewing or buying t-shirts as you had, but after ai had bought my serger, I made a few t-shirts, just for serging practice, and I found out that it's pretty cool to wear self-made t-shirts!


  3. I love those tops, the bright one makes me hope for spring one day!

    The next issue with responsible clothing of course is finding out whether the fabric we buy is made in a sweatshop. There's just no easy way of knowing unless we purchase fair trade fabric which is hard to find and not often all that attractive! If you do find any though I'd love to know xx


  4. I, too, struggle with the idea that I don't know where the fabric is coming from (and likely isn't coming from a *great* source, otherwise the companies selling them would be making a big deal about it!). I figure that removing at least one link in the manufacturing line, by sewing the clothing myself, is better than nothing. Not a lot better, but it's something!

    Best of luck with spring! I won't even tell you the gorgeous weather we have in Northern California… 🙂


  5. Thank you! I think if you see something like that first-hand, more so than just hearing or even seeing photos, it changes your perspective. So sad!


  6. I just printed Kristin's pattern. And I can't wait to see how it turns out. I hope it's as cute as your two shirts!


  7. Found your blog through Rae's sew-along and I love your tees! I too need a higher neckline–many small children and often a babe in arms necessitates it–and as a beginning sewer, I love making things that appear so RTW that no one will even ask if I've made it. I don't enjoy shopping with three little boys in tow–it's nearly impossible! Being able to sew this type of basic shirt for myself will be great. Now, if I could just do as nice a job as you did modifying the pattern!


  8. Thank you, I wish I had bought more of that fabric! All the news about the garment industry really just opened my eyes to how little I know about it…as the saying goes, the more you know, the more you know you don't know!


  9. Thank you so much! If I buy an item of clothing, it's exclusively online…I only have two boys, but it's near impossible for me to shop, too! This top is great–I've purchased two more lengths of fabric to make more. (And hopefully I'm getting a coverstitch machine for my birthday so I can really make it look store-bought! 🙂


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