MATERIALS & SUPPLIES:
- T-SHIRT PATTERN – I am using the Ruched-T from the Angela Wolf Pattern Collection™. Here is a link to the paper version and a link to the PDF file and get 20% off with coupon code BROTHER20
- Stretch fleece fabric
- 4 spools of serger thread
- Tailors chalk
One of my favorite items to make is a simple t-shirt. It’s fast and easy when sewn with a serger. Then I use the Brother Coverstitch machine for hemming. If you have used the Coverstitch before you will notice the back side of the coverstitch has a sporty look, similar to what we see in sportswear. For this tutorial, I am going to show you how to utilize the 3-thread Coverstitch to create this fashionable look! Let’s get started:
DESIGNING THE SPORTY STITCHES:
- Cut out the pattern. My T-shirt pattern pieces consist of 1 Front, 1 Back, 2 Sleeves, and 1 Collar.
- There are not princess seams, but I want to add the illusion there are princess seams. Starting with the front pattern, on the wrong side of the fabric, draw a line from the armscye to the hem. Use a curved ruler if you need help drawing the curve.
- Fold the fabric in half and use your hand to brush the fabric. This will trace the chalk mark to the other side of the fabric.
- Open the fabric back up and you should see a faint line from the first chalk marking. Use the chalk to trace over this line, making it darker and easier to see.
- If for some reason the chalk doesn’t brush to the other side, fold the fabric back slowly and trace.
- Follow steps 2 – 5 for the back piece.
- For the sleeves, draw a couple of lines. The placement really doesn’t matter, it’s sewer’s choice.
- Layer the other sleeve and rub the chalk to the other piece.
- The collar for my top is going to be a twisted collar. To add a little more decoration, I will draw a few lines along the collar as shown.
SET UP THE COVERSTITCH MACHINE
- Choose the color of thread for the decorative stitch. Ideally the color should be in the same color family as the right side of the fabric, but enough of a contrast that you can see the stitches.
- Decide which stitch looks the best on your fabric:
- Stitch a swatch of fabric with a wide coverstitch (using the left and right needle)
- Stitch a sample with the triple coverstitch.
- Keep in mind you will be stitching with the wrong side of the fabric facing up. Check the look of the stitch on both sides.
- I prefer the triple coverstitch on my fabric, so I will set up the coverstitch machine with all three needles using 4 spools of thread.
I find it easier to stitch from piece to piece. Start stitching on a scrap of fabric and then add another piece of fabric. This allows me to check my stitch quality and I won’t have to worry about threads falling off at the beginning or end of my garment pieces.
STITCH THE DECORATIVE STITCHES
- Starting with the wrong side of the fabric, slide the fabric under the presser foot. Stitch along the chalked marking.
- When you get to the end of the first piece of fabric, slide another piece of fabric under the foot and continue stitching.
- Continue to stitch from piece to piece, stitching along the chalked markings.
- When you run out of pieces, trim the stitches holding them together.
- Continue stitching until all the chalked markings are covered.
SEWING THE TOP TOGETHER:
- Set up the Brother 5234PRW Serger to a 4-thread overlock stitch. With right sides together, serge the shoulder seams.
- Brother coverstitch machine: Push the seam allowance to the back of the garment, line up the seam with the 3 needles and stitch.
- With right sides together, pin the sleeves to the armscye.
- Brother Serger: Serger the armscye seam.
- Brother Coverstitch Machine: Push the seam allowance toward the garment body and stitch along the seam allowance.
- Brother Serger: with right sides together stitch the entire side seam from sleeve hem to body hem.
- Serge the collar or binding.
- Press up the garment hem and sleeve hem.
- Brother Coverstitch machine: From the wrong side of the fabric, stitch along the edge of the hem allowance.
- To get inside of narrow areas like the sleeve hem, turn the garment to the right side out. Slide the sleeve hem allowance into the coverstitch machine and stitch.
The Ruched-T is an Angela Wolf Pattern Collection™ product and Brother International Corporation makes no representations or warranties regarding such product.