Kelly Hogaboom, T-shirt Livestream

“seams legit” sewing lesson: a t-shirt!


Kelly Hogaboom, T-shirt Livestream

Update: the livestream video is here on Facebook.

It’s May (yay!), it’s sunny (wow!), and the spring spiders are visiting me in my studio (yikes)! We had a lovely time sewing up pyjama pants in April; this month we are stepping into another simple project in a knit fabric: a t-shirt!

A reminder that for all sew-alongs in my Seams Legit series you need:

1. a machine with its manual; the machine needs to be tuned-up and sewing a balanced zig-zag

2. the supplies listed in the pattern, as well as a thorough read-through of the pattern you use.

I demonstrate all my cutting with rotary and mat. You will need your fabrics pre-washed and your paper pattern printed and cut, by Friday the 31st at noon PST.

So! Let’s talk about this month’s project!

There are many types of t-shirts out there; the one I’ve selected is about as simple as can be. This is Ellie & Mac’s “Everyday Tee”, and it features dolman sleeves (therefore no shoulder seam), a scoop neck, and a curvy shape (fuller in the bust and hip). Ellie & Mac has been so gracious as to offer us a 50% off coupon; simply enter the code Seamslegit to receive!

For our class I will be sewing on my domestic Pfaff, and finishing seams with a 3-thread serge; that said, I will also demonstrate how to construct the garment using a sewing machine only.

Kelly Hogaboom, T-shirt Livestream (Everyday Tee by Ellie & Mac)

Size range:

waist: 29″ to 60″
hip: 33 1/2″ to 63″

My advice is that you acquire the pattern, print the instructions off, pour a cup of coffee or tea, and read through it.


   Rotary cutter and mat

   Sewing machine with balanced zig zag; sewing machine manual

 Thread and machine needle: universal, ballpoint, or jersey

 knit fabric with 50% 4-way stretch

The exact quantities of each material are detailed in your pattern, which is why it is important to read through the instructions before purchasing supplies. The Ellie & Mac pattern I chose is very beginner-friendly in that it goes through everything you could possibly want to know, before starting! The downside is that this can be a bit overwhelming for a beginner, so really take the time to read it through. If you have any questions, you can write them below.

Most people will sew this top up with a cotton lycra, or a bamboo, modal, or rayon lycra. Both options are wonderful; I personally love bamboo, and I further think that Nature’s Fabrics’ bamboo spandex jersey cannot be improved upon.

This is a simple and fast sew, but it’s a pretty fantastic one. Tweaking a t-shirt pattern to our exact favorite fit, is both a joy and an obsession of mine!

I am always available here or through email. Any questions? Comment below!




T-shirt Upcycle

dust bowl / provender

Today felt impossible at times. I have had a delay in cash flow from clients and that has led to some tight funds. A polite way of saying: we’re skint. I tried to deposit a wad of cash into my account twice today, and both times the credit union screwed up. The whole business was rather a downer, to be honest.

Anyway in the midst of these adventures I’m standing in line at Rite Aid about to ask for their ATM, to try to get this cash where it needs to go. I realize the cashier is having a discussion with the customer in line. I look and see he is in a wheelchair, he is black, he is wearing some kind of trucker-style hat. I see that and then I am tuning into their words. “The cheapest is seven dollars for the Pall Malls,” she tells him. I watch him count some singles. He is a dollar short. He is trying to figure it out. It’s obvious what I can do. I lean forward and say, “I’ll get them,” and hand him the bill in my hand, a $5. He is immediately surprised and says “Thank you, thank you!” I am thinking, How much it would suck to not be able to buy the brand you want to buy? Maybe he even likes Pall Malls, who knows. But I’m in a hurry so I can’t stay. At that moment I spy the ATM and as I say, “You’re welcome,” I put my hand on his shoulder to say, Okay.

There was someone standing in my living room just the other day who was telling me about some panhandlers, and how they shouldn’t be out asking for money with a baby, and how they seemed “sketchy”. The person telling the story, well I was interrupted before I could say what I know, which is we don’t really need to worry about any of that because if I have extra cash or even sometimes of if I don’t I can pass something along because we all need to eat.

I am in the middle of a t-shirt upcycle project: seven shirts, 50 cents apiece. All re-cut and re-sized, with notes on how it was done. And of course I’m putting together a master tutorial for others to follow, if they want excellent results. My thirteen-year-old son is my model; a series of vignettes on his beauty. It’s the perfect summer project: keeping me company for a week, reminding me not to get caught up, not to forget.
T-shirt Upcycle