Friday, July 12, 2013

Peet's Dystopian Shirt, Part 2 - Sewing

Backstory: Continuing from the last post, after the mockup turned out okay, it was time to buy the final fabric and put together the shirt. I wanted to use natural fibers with breathability for the sake of being able to be worn year round, but I also wanted to make it seem like the shirt had been worn, damaged, and repaired by replacing part of the front with a different fabric. I decided there should be a poorly thought out pocket on the front, and some sort of patch/reinforcement on the shoulder. I bought four fabrics.

The texture of the offwhite is hard to see
because apparently it's shiny(?), but it is linen.
How I did it: For the shirt I just cut out the pattern pieces and sewed them together, overlapping the off-center front seam so that the green fabric would fray along the edge. When I attached the sleeves, I purposefully reinforced on the front and back so that I could pull apart the seams and then add decorative stitching to hold it together. The pocket was just a rectangle of fabric, randomly decided, and attached without folding under the sides again so there would be visible fraying. The shoulder patch is burlap, which I hand sewed on but expected to have to reattach after washing the shirt (I wanted the patch to pull off and then I planned to reinforce it around the edge inside where it frayed, then reattach). I hemmed the sleeves and the bottom of the shirt. I added contrast hand stitching to the pocket and front seam with whatever thread I had lying around. The shoulder patch was done with button/carpet thread.

What I learned: If I were worried about it looking "professional" or "commercial," I would have had to think about how I was doing the pocket a lot more seriously. But since I'm going for dystopian future with self-taught and under-skilled craftspeople, looking poorly done isn't a problem.

What I might try next time: More hand sewing. I machine sewed everything, using matching thread where the stitches would show, then hand sewed over it. If I were to do it again, I might machine sew only what absolutely needed to be or wouldn't be distressed, then hand sew the rest.

Final Thoughts: The shirt turned out pretty close to what I wanted. Next comes the distressing.

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